Friday, 6 January 2017

Waxwing Fest...Barrow.Lancs.

The New Year began as 2016 had finished with yet more waxwings.Around one hundred birds had arrived at the berry laden trees lining the main street of Barrow village near Whalley.I made a couple of trips to obtain yet more waxwing images for the portfolio.The first visit was a bit dull and cloudy but the waxwings performed well.There were only a handful of photographers there and it was nice to see Simon who I had not seen for over twelve months.

My second visit was on the Bank Holiday Monday 2nd January.After a frosty start it was to become a sparkling winter's day with prolonged sunshine.When I arrived I was amazed by the number of photographers already there.The long lenses were in evidence all along Trafalgar Gardens overlooking the berry laden trees.Many top notch photographers were there to take advantage of the wonderful weather.There were still plenty of waxwings  but I didn't think quite as many as previously.

What a wonderful time we all had chatting and exchanging information on this super day.I am fairly certain that everyone went away very happy with memory cards full of images.As I write my blog the waxwings have moved on and good numbers are now in the centre of Blackburn.I am however very satisfied with the images I obtained.As well as the waxwings, visits from starlings,mistle thrush and redwing added to the variety.I think I am now over this severe case of waxwingitis and can rest easy having obtained lots of images of these very special visitors from Scandanavia.Hope you enjoy my selection from the thousands of images I took and I will return soon with more from Lancs.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Waxwings

There are now numbers of waxwings in Lancashire.They have filtered down from further north and have been seen in a few locations in the county.Some visited Preston but proved very elusive and very mobile as they searched for food.Lancaster also had a number of waxwings scattered around and again they were flighty and proving difficult to track down.This last week I noticed from information on the internet that around fifty birds were visiting a rowan tree in the car park of the White Horse pub close to the centre of Lancaster.They were being seen daily so it seemed a good spot to visit for another fix of waxwings.

I arrived at the location on Thursday early afternoon.There were a couple of birders/photographers already there and I was told that the birds were coming back to feed at regular intervals but had not been seen for half an hour or so.I decided to stay therefore and got geared up for some hoped for action.Sure enough the waxwings did return,at first in small groups but eventually around sixty birds were present at the top of the tall silver birch tree which overlooked the area.

Eventually in typical waxwing behaviour they all descended to feed in their smash and grab fashion before returning back to the top of the birch tree.By now sunshine was lighting up the top of the lookout tree but the berry laden rowan by the entrance to the pub remained in shadow.The next hour or so was spent watching and photographing these delightful birds in company with a few other birders including employees of the RSPB who have sight of the waxwings from their office.At times the birds were too close and it was difficult picking out a target for the camera.

However I was well pleased with my efforts the best of which can be seen below.It was for me a wonderful Christmas present and well worth the effort and time spent in the pursuit of these fabulous visitors from Scandanavia.I hope you all enjoy the next week or so of festive activities and I wish all my fellow bloggers and photographers a very Happy Christmas.I may make one more posting before the end of the year showing some of my favourite images from another busy year.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Starling Roost...Blackpool North Pier

At this time of the year approaching Christmas,I like to visit the North Pier at Blackpool to see the starling roost.Thousands of starlings use the pier every night and can provide some memorable moments as they bed down for the night.So it was this last week I paid a couple of visits mid afternoon to catch the arrival of the starlings.

It soon seems to go dark at this time of the year and you need to be in position around 3pm to witness the arrival of the starlings.They will have spent the day feeding out on the fields and farmland of The Fylde and will begin to arrive in groups of birds steadily up until around 4pm.This year they are doing as in previous years and dropping onto the beach and forming a large carpet of birds.It is always tricky capturing reasonable images as the light is fading fast and settings on the camera have to be spot on to capture the action.

Shown below are some of my better efforts to capture the spectacle but as always I think I can do much better.It is still nice to be there however and witness this nightly spectacle.To me this is much more exciting than what goes on around the piers and Golden Mile in the centre of Blackpool.I will return however as hopefully the birds will be present for much if the winter.Thanks for looking in and I will probably do one more post before Christmas and show some of my favourite images from 2016.