Saturday, 3 December 2016

Salmo The Leaper

The Atlantic Salmon was named by the Romans I think, as Salmo the Leaper (Salmo salar}.This is owing to the salmon's ability to leap up and over waterfalls that would otherwise impede it's progress up the rivers.The Atlantic Salmon returns to it's native rivers in the Autumn to swim upstream to the spawning grounds in the upper reaches of the rivers where they would have originally been born. They usually await heavy rain when the rivers are in spate enabling them to make progress upstream much easier.

I eagerly await their arrival in the Autumn when I can try to catch leaping salmon with the camera.This year the Autumn was very dry with little or no rain.Eventually at the beginning of November the rains did arrive and the salmon began to make their way to the spawning grounds.One of the favourite places to see this annual spectacle is Stainforth Force on the upper River Ribble above Settle.

I had seen some nice images obtained by local photographers and I was keen to see if I could catch one or two for myself.It is not an easy task to photograph salmon as they leap the falls.It is impossible to tell when a salmon will leap and concentration is vital to capture the moment. I enjoyed a couple of sessions on the upper Ribble at Stainforth and was reasonably well pleased with the results shown below.It was an enjoyable experience with good weather and excellent company and the scenery in this part of Northern England is magnificent.

Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy my selection of images from the River Ribble.Since then I have been on the trail of waxwings which are now coming into the country from Scandanavia and some large flocks are present in Scotland and the Lake District.To see how I got on tune in again to see these beautiful birds as they performed for the camera.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Sunrise and Sunset

Following the recent wet weather things settled down a bit and cold days with frosty mornings became the norm.The days were very pleasant and it was nice to get out and enjoy the winter scenery.Last weekend there was a fall of snow over the high ground and a trip up to the Lake Disrtict provided some alpine scenery particularly around the Kirkstone Pass area.

However my latest blog concentrates on the magnificent sunrises and sunsets I have seen.I was awake early on a few mornings and from my bedroom window I enjoyed some fabulous skies lit up by the rising sun.They were however fleeting as the sun rose and cloud moved in.The sunset shots below came from Scorton and Lytham St Annes.Iwas driving back home late p.m when I noticed a sunset over the Lancashire coast.I quickly drove up above Scorton village to look out towards Blackpool where the sky seemed to be on fire as it lit up the coast through a hole in the clouds. One afternoon found me at Lytham as the sun was setting and the famous Lytham windmill provided the perfect subject for the camera as the sun set over the Irish Sea.

Thanks for looking in and next time I will feature my trip to the upper River Ribble above Settle to watch the salmon leaping the falls as they made their way upstream . They were heading for the upper reaches of the Ribble to the headwaters where they were born to spawn and continue the survival of the Atlantic Salmon.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Wonderful Whoopers

Recently I made a couple of visits to Martin Mere Wildfowl and WetlandsTrust.I had gone specifically to photograph the arrival of the whooper swans from Iceland.They usually arrive a little later than the pink footed geese and the numbers build up over the following weeks.They did arrive on time aided by the warm and settled weather we have recently enjoyed.

I usually make for the Hale hide as lots of potatoes are put down for the swans and geese in front of the hide.Nice flight shots of the swans can be obtained as they come into land in front of the hide.They also like to bathe and preen following their long journeys and make nice subjects for the camera.

Shown below are some of my better efforts with the camera and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did in taking them.Thanks for looking in and hopefully after the current unsettled and wintry weather goes away I will be able to bring you more from my wildlife exploits.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Great White Egret...Leighton Moss

Last week I made a visit to Leighton Moss to see what was around.A number of Great White Egrets,up to five I believe,had been roosting at Leighton along with large numbers of little egrets.The Great White Egret is a bird that is appearing regularly now in this country and is a possible coloniser as did the little egret some years ago. I saw a couple from Lillian's hide but they were distant and only provided record shots for the camera. Later from the causeway hide I saw another distant Great White feeding at the far end of the reserve and close to the Lower hide.

I hot footed it down to the lower hide and there was the Great White giving excellent views close to the hide.However it soon flew to the other side but eventually came back to fish in front of the hide.

By now the sun was beginning to set after another fabulous Autumn day and the light was perfect to photograph this spectacular bird.It had found a hot spot and was catching small pike.Whilst I was watching it caught four small pike and gave me some great opportunities for the camera.The sunset was also lovely to see and all too soon both egret and the sun vanished.It was a super end to an otherwise quiet day at Leighton Moss.Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy the images above of this spectacular egret in the late afternoon sunshine.