Saturday, 23 September 2017

Snipe and Others

I am posting some images from recent trips to Leighton Moss and into Bowland.My main objective was to photograph purple heron and red grouse.My efforts were shown in earlier postings.At Leighton Moss whilst waiting for the heron to show a trip down to the Eric Morecambe hide was good for snipe. Four snipe were very close to the hide and gave great opportunities for close up shots of this beautifully marked bird. I have included an image showing the superb cryptic plumage on the snipe's back.

Trips into Bowland looking for grouse gave me some nice images of a common buzzard close to the roadside which stayed long enough for me to take its photo.Also on the Bowland trip a stonechat and brown hare close to the road were very nice to see and photograph.The final two images were from Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve where I hadn't been for some time.It was generally very quiet but a kingfisher and kestrel showed well in front of the Rufford hide.That's all for now to keep the blog ticking over.Hopefully I will be out and about again in due course and bring you more of Lancashire's wildlife.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.









Saturday, 9 September 2017

Grouse Shooting

Recently I made a couple of trips into Bowland looking for some opportunities to photograph Red Grouse in amongst the purple heather.It didn't quite work out as there was much activity from grouse shooters with guns and dogs.The large estates in Bowland are very busy at this time of the year with shooting parties who pay large amounts of money to kill a few brace of grouse.I would much rather shoot the grouse with my camera and have a permanent record of my day out leaving the grouse free to fly another day.The grouse in Bowland were keeping their heads down and although I managed a few shots I was not satisfied with the results so I decided to visit the Yorkshire grouse moors between Wensleydale and Swaledale.

Wednesday of this week promised some better weather so I made the two hour journey to the moors up above Reeth and Redmire.It proved to be a good decision and I enjoyed a four hour session photographing the good numbers of red grouse that were showing well up on the heathery tops.This part of the moors is well known amongst photographers as being a good location to see the grouse.There is a military rifle range nearby but I got the impression that maybe these moors adjoining major roads connecting the dales are not shot over too frequently.It was cool and windy on the tops but all my photography was done from the comfort of the car.Shown below are some of my better efforts at grouse shooting.I was particularly pleased with the flight shot that heads this post.Hope you enjoy the images I have shown of the grouse and the magnificent scenery in this part of the Yorkshire Dales.Thanks for looking in and tune in again for more from my travels.

















Saturday, 2 September 2017

A Purple Patch

A purple heron has been present at Leighton Moss for a couple of weeks or so and as I had never seen one I was keen to add some images to my portfolio.Mike and I arrived at the Grizedale Hide where the heron had been showing well.We did see it but all too briefly and we therefore decided to visit  the Morecambe and Allen hides and return later.It was not good at the marsh hides with a distinct lack of water at the Morecambe hide and only redshanks at the Allen Hide.Four very nice looking snipe were close to the Morecambe Hide and made for some nice images which I will post at a later date.

Mike and I returned to the Grizedale Hide where after a two hour wait the purple heron duly returned.I made the most of this opportunity and took many images of this very scarce visitor to Lancashire.Some of my better efforts are shown below.The local moorland in Bowland has also been turning purple recently and a couple of trips looking for grouse posing in the heather proved difficult.It was of course the beginning of the grouse shooting season and the birds were keeping their heads down and were difficult to find.I did eventually come across a couple of birds after many miles of moorland roads and made the best of the opportunity for some images.

The garden buddleia had also turned a nice purple colour and was attracting many red admirals.It was nice to see a number of butterflies again as they seem to have been absent this summer.I have also shown some images of the Bowland moorland which was looking lovely in it's purple covering.I intend to visit some more heather moorland over the next few weeks still looking for the perfect red grouse image posing amongst the purple heather.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.










Saturday, 19 August 2017

Lots of Knots

At the beginning of August I like to visit a favourite wader roost near to Southport.Around this time the waders are beginning to return from their Arctic breeding grounds.A couple of weeks ago there was a favourable tide and I was looking forward to a return to the coast hopefully to catch up with the returning waders.I arrived about an hour before high water and I could see in the distance the unmistakeable flocks of waders as they flew around  as the tide advanced up the beach.

It was quite a long walk to reach this quiet part of the coastline and as access was difficult it meant that there was not a lot of disturbance from the usual dog walkers etc.It turned out to be an excellent session with many thousands of waders present most of these being knot.A lot of the knot were still in summer plumage and looked splendid in their summer finery.I was able with a careful and quiet approach to get quite close to the large concentrations of knot and obtain some excellent images.A man approached from the opposite direction with an Alsatian dog but they were both well behaved and there was little disturbance.A good number of grey plovers and bar tailed godwits and one or two groups of sanderling were also present.The birds gradually moved away as the tide began to ebb and I left them to enjoy the peace and the food waiting on this rich stretch of the Lancashire coastline.Thanks for looking in and I will return soon with more from my travels.