Saturday, 30 November 2013

Waiting For a Kingfisher

Recently I have made a couple of visits to Yarrow Valley Country Park near Coppull.This is a well known location to see kingfishers.There is one particular area where the kingfisher is a daily visitor.On one of my visits I just missed a sighting and the kingfisher didn't return in the three hour wait on a very cold day.A subsequent visit was more successful and the kingfisher stayed on view for around twenty minutes.The lighting was however poor and the images shown above of the kingfisher can be certainly improved upon and hopefully on another day I should get the images I am looking for.
However whilst waiting for the kingfisher to show I attracted other birds to the surrounding area with some bird seed. I was quite pleased with these images of robin,chaffinch and nuthatch. Present nearby was a grey wagtail which also provided opportunities for some shots.I can recommend Yarrow Valley Country Park for a pleasant afternoon out with maybe a sighting of  one of our special birds,the kingfisher.Thanks for looking in and I will be out and about next month to bring you more accounts from my days with the camera. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

A Day At The Seaside

Last week I had a day visiting Rossall,Fleetwood and Blackpool.There was a reasonable high tide which would be ok for the waders at Rossall and Fleetwood and I planned to watch the starlings come in to roost at Blackpool's North Pier.Things didn't quite go to plan however and the waders didn't show at their usual roosting spot on the beach at Rossall Point.Maybe the tide wasn't high enough or they have now moved elsewhere.All was not lost however and I amused myself photographing  dogs,ships and general scenery.A juvenile lesser blackback ( I think ) provided an image or two as it fed on a thornback ray { I think } brought in on the tide.The highlight however was as I was leaving to discover a female stonechat feeding on the edge of the golf course.This bird was very obliging and gave great opportunities for some nice portrait shots.These are ones which should please PW !!
I then called in at Fleetwood Marine Lake where there was a nice group of Red Breasted Mergansers patrolling the lake.Another nice surprise here was to find a purple sandpiper roosting in the sun with the turnstones on the island.My final port of call was the North Pier at Blackpool to wait for the arrival of the starling roost.They did eventually arrive but there were not many birds,this may improve over the next month or so as more birds arrive.The lack of starlings was compensated however by a lovely sunset painting the sea and sky.Hope you enjoy the various images above from my day out at the seaside and thanks for looking in.   

Sunday, 17 November 2013

More Salmon

I have made a few visits over the last few weeks to the upper River Ribble to try and capture the salmon as they leap the falls on the way to the spawning grounds.It is not easy to capture the action and on my visit last Friday with Paul we sat at the rverside for over three hours without seeing a single fish.Maybe the run is now over till next Autumn so I have decided to post a few more images from my previous visits.
Nearly all the fish are very dark in colour sporting their breeding colours having lost the silvery look as they have travelled many miles since leaving the sea off the Lancashire Coast.It has been a very interesting time trying to capture the leaping salmon and some of my better efforts are posted above.Martin and Paul are also shown perched on the rocks above the falls with cameras at the ready to capture the action.Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy my efforts shown above.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Salmon Watching

Recently I have visited the upper River Ribble near Settle to watch and try to photograph the migrating salmon as they make their way upstream to the spawning grounds.There has been a lot of rain over recent weeks and this has aided the salmon on their long journey.A few years ago I would have been trying to catch them on rod and line but these days I prefer the camera to record the action.
I joined numbers of fellow photographers and onlookers as we watched for leaping salmon trying to negotiate the falls on the River Ribble.It was not easy to anticipate the leap and be fast enough with the shutter to capture the action.Perseverance and concentration was the solution and eventually we all managed to grab some decent images.
It was very enjoyable on this beautiful stretch of the Ribble and we all had a great time trying to get some memorable shots.I have shown above some of my efforts and was reasonably pleased with the results.As usual though I will probably return to this delightful spot to try and capture some more action.I think there will be more salmon yet trying to negotiate these upper reaches of the Ribble in a bid to reach their birthplace high up in the hill country. Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Shapes In The Sky

As you will be aware the BBC Autumnwatch programme recently came from the RSPB Reserve at Leighton Moss in Lancashire.We all enjoyed nightly the various topics and live footage from the reserve.One aspect that featured was the murmurations of the starlings as they flew in to roost in the reed beds.These murmurations can provide some exciting viewing as the starlings take evading action as they are pusued by sparrowhawks and peregrine falcons looking for an evening meal.
I joined the assembled "crowds" surrounding the reserve to await the arrival of the starlings.It was a beautiful evening with a spectacular sunset and about thirty thousand starlings duly arrived.They didn't disappoint us and performed some wonderful aerobatics before settling down for the night.I have shown above some of my images taken in fading light but which still hopefully show some of the wonderful shapes that were drawn in the skies above Leighton Moss.Hope you enjoy my efforts to convey this spectacle and if you get the opportunity to visit Leighton Moss in the next month or so you should be guaranteed a memorable experience.Thanks for looking in and my next installment will be about the salmon which are currently running up our northern rivers to spawn in their birthplaces high up in the headwaters.