Monday, 27 May 2013

Bowland..Ups and Downs.

This last week has been a bit up and down,what with the still cool weather and I am having problems with the car.The weather has been very nice over the holiday weekend and hopefully the car will be restored to full health by the weekend.I have managed a couple of trips into Bowland one very early, leaving home at 4.45a.m and one during normal daytime hours.

The early morning one was productive with a roe deer buck in flight across the fields as I disturbed  his peace and quiet.A lapwing chick soaked in dew and a little owl were nice to see.The great crested grebes had nested and I spotted three eggs in the nest as the parents changed duties.  Early mornings are very good for sightings of the numerous hares in Bowland . The daytime trip was also good  with my first sightings for the year of pied flycatchers with a couple of males singing at their Bowland nesting sites

The images above are not of my best but will serve as a record of my travels during the last week or so.Hope you enjoy them and thanks for looking in.Hopefully normal service will be resumed soon when I can get out more to capture the wildlife at this wonderful time of the year.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Dotterel Time

This week has seen me make two trips up Pendle Hill looking for dotterel.From the end of April to about the middle of May is a good time to visit Pendle as trips of dotterel stop over on their way north.The reports came through on Monday evening that five dotterel were on Pendle.On the Tuesday with the weather still very wintry and unsettled I thought that the birds may stay another day or so before moving on.On the way up the steep climb towards the summit I met a birder who informed me that there were still two females showing well near to the summit cairn.

It was certainly very cold and wintry on the summit plateau.I soon spotted another photographer down on his knees with his camera and obviously photographing the dotterel .Very soon I was set up and together with about four other birders enjoyed the company of the two female dotterel present.They were very inquisitive and allowed a close approach.The weather also began to improve and blue skies appeared to brighten up the scene.We all enjoyed the wonderful views of these enigmatic mountain top birds which are totally at home in very often harsh conditions.I have shown a few of my better efforts from the day above.

I visited again again on the Friday but despite much searching no further dotterel could be found.I understand that they were seen around 08.15 but I didn't arrive until nearer lunchtime and by then they must have moved on.I also discovered later that two dotterel had been seen on Fairsnape Fell in Bowland and they were possibly the birds from Pendle having a change of scene.  It will probably be another twelve months or so before another opportunity occurs to see these very special birds. Hope you enjoy my images of the dotterel and scenery from Pendle Hill. Thanks for looking in and let's hope that soon we get some decent weather,we certainly deserve it!!!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Golden Crested Wren

Not often heard is another name for the Goldcrest..the Golden Crested Wren.This is Britain's smallest bird and it is not an easy bird to observe .When seen,usually in and amongst conifers,it is hyperactive as it hunts for insect food in and amongst the foliage.For photographers it is also an extremely difficult bird to capture.

Previously I have had goldcrests visiting the conifers in my garden but more often than not it has been very poor light making the task extremely difficult.Last week however I was about to set off on a walk down the River Wenning from the car park in Hornby village.As I was putting my boots on I was aware of a movement in the hawthorn hedge bordering the car park.I watched and waited and eventually a foraging goldcrest briefly showed itself..The camera was handy and for the next ten minutes or so I was able to grab some shots of this little beauty as it popped out of the hedge from time to time.

I was reasonably pleased with the results and some of the images are shown above.The goldcrest is not a wren but I do like the alternative name which is not in common use.As the wren it is tiny and always on the move and I was pleased to have captured what is Britain's smallest bird.Hope you enjoy looking at my efforts and thanks for looking in.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Mainly Dunlin

I recently visited Rossall Point at Fleetwood to watch the wader roost at high tide.Martin was already there when I arrived about an hour before high tide.A good number of dunlin were present along with a scattering of sanderling,ringed plover and turnstones.The weather was bright and clear but a strong north westerly wind  was driving the waves and the waders up the beach towards the waiting lenses.Over the next two hours or so we enjoyed super close up views of the waders. Many of the dunlin were sporting their breeding colours with black bellies and rich brown plumage.I concentrated on flight shots whilst Martin was down at beach level to get some nice close up shots.It was a very enjoyable session and we left well pleased with our efforts the better ones of which I have shown above.We then went to Pilling to look for wheatears along the sea wall and were lucky to find one very brightly coloured female bird posing on the rocks.Very soon however the skies darkened and rain was moving in and we left for home.We had however enjoyed the best of the weather and I hope you enjoy the images above and thanks for looking in.