Saturday, 11 November 2017

Whoopers and a Buzzard

This last week in between various medical appointments I was able to get out for a much needed change of scenery.I visited the Pilling and Cockerham areas to see what was about.It was an excellent decision as good numbers of whooper swans had arrived at various sites.I began at Eagland Hill where a few dozen swans were feeding on the wet and muddy fields.The next location where I found more swans was down Gulf Lane at Moss Edge Farm.Here the whoopers were with some pinkfooted geese and numerous assorted gulls feeding again in the very wet fields.The third location held around three hundred swans together with plenty of starlings and all were enjoying the rich pickings in the fields.This large group were in fields not far from the Cockerham Sands caravan park.I enjoyed photographing the swans from the comfort of the car and was pleased with the results.

However better was to come as on the way back near to Lane Ends at Pilling I saw a buzzard sat on a roadside fence post.More often than not when this happens the buzzard soon flies away but on this occasion it stayed put and I couldn't believe my luck at this golden opportunity.Needless  to say I filled my boots and took many images of this close encounter and again was very pleased with the results.Shown below are some of my better efforts from this splendid afternoon around the lanes of Pilling and Cockerham.Thanks for looking in and enjoy what looks like being a bright and sunny weekend.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

A Walk In The Park

Recently I made a couple of trips to Royal Studley Deer Park  near Ripon in North Yorks.I had received good reports of deer showing well and was keen to visit this new location.I was having difficulties with walking due to a form of rheumatism affecting my leg muscles but I was determined to get out and enjoy the Autumn sunshine.Kath came with me and on the second visit she visited the adjoining World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey.

The parkland was fairly flat and I took my time and was able to approach some of the deer which were also enjoying the warm sunshine.Particularly on the second visit I was pleased with the images I obtained and at one point I used a hollowed out tree as a hide and enjoyed excellent views of the fallow deer which were busy with the fine bucks herding the hinds and youngsters around the park.It was a very enjoyable visit and the journey to Studley took us through some stunning Yorkshire Dales scenery.I have shown below a selection of the many images I took showing the red,sika and fallow deer which can be seen at Studley Royal.It is highly recommended for an excellent day out in splendid surroundings.Thanks for looking in and I hope to be back soon with more from my travels.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Cattle Egrets...Marshside

Mike and I recently visited RSPB Marshside as the bird activity had recently increased bringing in some interesting birds.The star attraction was two long billed dowitchers which showed from time to time although always distantly.Five cattle egrets had also been showing well and it is suspected that they may have bred in the area as they have been around for most of the summer months.Cattle egrets have bred this year at Burton Mere Wetlands on the Wirral.This is yet another sign of our warming climate as southern European birds are colonising Britain.

We enjoyed a lovely afternoon at Nel's Hide which was busy with birders hoping for a sighting of the dowitchers.Mike thought they could have been roosting in with the godwits on the far side of the reserve making it very difficult to pick out in amongst the hundreds of godwits and other waders.I enjoyed the wonderful settled sunny weather and was quite happy photographing the other birds present.I have shown below shots of the cattle egrets in close attendance with the grazing cattle.I also managed a decent flight shot of a male pintail and some of the many pink footed geese in the area.The shoveler posed nicely for the camera and looked splendid in the glorious afternoon light.The final images are a couple of shots of the scene from Nel's hide and a glorious sunset as we left for home.Thanks for looking in and I will be back soon with more from my travels.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Dallam Deer

This last week I made a couple of visits to Dallam Park near Milnthorpe.Dallam Park is home to a herd of fallow deer which have occupied this deer park probably for a few hundred years.The fallow deer can often be observed from a large layby adjoining the A6 just south of Milnthorpe.They can be seen in the vicinity of the ancient deer house in which they can shelter in bad weather.On my two visits however the deer were on the western side of the park and were busily engaged in the rut.

On my first visit despite mobility problems I managed to walk into the parkland to obtain better views of the herd of deer.They were under the control of a dominant stag who was constantly on the move rounding up the hinds and youngsters and making sure the other young stags didn't move in on his harem.It was exciting to watch the action and to listen to the belching of the boss stag.On a second visit the deer were in approximately the same area of the park and this time I obtained some images from the comfort of the car.

I was well pleased with my efforts with the camera and I hope you enjoy looking at the results.I am looking forward to catching up with the red deer rut soon.A visit to Leighton Moss drew a blank with neither sight or sound of some of the magnificent stags that live in the reedbeds.Maybe I will have more luck on a future visit.Meantime thanks for looking in hopefully the weather will settle down when Storm Brian moves on.