Monday, 31 August 2015

Godwit Gathering

Last week I visited Leighton Moss with Mike. I hadn't been to Leighton for a long time.Mike on a recent visit had great views of waders from the Eric Morecambe hide and I was keen to visit. As we arrived the heavens opened and we managed to get into the hide just before the very heavy rain arrived.We were very surprised to find the pools deserted of bird life apart from a single black tailed godwit ,two redshanks and a dunlin.The birds were near the hide and I managed some nice close ups,shown above. The black tailed godwit particularly looked stunning as it was still in partial breeding plumage. The heavy rain eventually moved on and so did we.

We moved to the main part of the reserve and spent the remainder of our time in Lilian's Hide and on top of the new skytower.The skytower has been opened recently and gives splendid views over the reserve.The main flock of black tailed godwits numbering around seven hundred birds was present in the right hand corner of Lilian's pool.It was again quiet birdwise with fleeting views of a water rail,distant views of spotted redshanks and a few swans. The godwit flock eventually all took to the air and gave me the flight shots I had been hoping for.We had a trip up the tower and enjoyed the views in the lovely afternoon sunshine before heading back to the car for the journey home. I have shown above my best efforts from the visit and I will be returning to Leighton Moss when hopefully more birds will be on view.Thanks for looking in and I will be back soon with more from my travels. 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Deer and Ospreys

I have just made another visit to the area of the Lake District where there has been much activity recently with breeding and prospecting ospreys. Previous posts concentrated on one of the nesting locations. This week I visited a part of Cumbria where a young pair of ospreys are showing interest in taking up residence.The young male has been bringing fish back to the female to demonstrate his fishing prowess. Hopefully both birds will survive the winter and their hazardous migrations to and from West Africa and return to breed next year.

Whilst waiting for the ospreys to show I was treated to lovely views of a female roe deer with her two young fawns.Also a good number of red deer hinds and their young were on view as they fed on the edge of the birch woodland.I have shown some of my images above of the deer and ospreys.They are taken at distance but are still a nice record of my visit to this delightful area of South Lakeland.

Whether I will return again is uncertain at the moment as the ospreys will very soon be departing on their long migrations.I would have liked some images of the birds catching fish but a visit to a popular location proved fruitless.If the birds delay their departures I may well return for a last look at these magnificent birds.If not I look forward to next Spring when they hopefully return and continue their expansion into Northern England.Thanks for looking in and keep tuned for more from my travels.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Flying Free

Since my pelagic trip out from Liverpool I have visited the Cumbrian osprey site again.On my previous visit the young ospreys were flexing their wings in preparation for their first flights.I discovered that they have now fully fledged and have left the confines of the nest.They were still in the area and I could hear their calls on my arrival.I did have a very brief sighting of a bird but then I had to wait for over four hours for a further sighting.My only views were of the nest and the surrounding scenery.

They still use the nest as a meeting place and the male osprey will return from time to time with food for the young ospreys.They are not yet capable of catching their own fish and rely on the male to supply them with their meals.As previously mentioned I had a very long wait for any birds to show.I was in fact about to pack up when the male arrived with the remains of a large trout.He would have eaten some of the fish before bringing the rest for the young birds.As you will see from my images above there was still a substantial part of the large trout left to keep the young ospreys well fed. I hurriedly fired off a salvo of shots to capture the action and was well pleased with the results.

I will probably return for one last time before the ospreys depart for their winter quarters in West Africa.It would be nice to see them fishing on the nearby lake if I am very lucky.Failing that I will have to wait for the return of the adults next spring to hopefully rear another brood of youngsters.The Lake District ospreys have had an excellent breeding season and it is looking good for the further colonisation of Northern England.Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy my images above as much as I certainly did in taking them.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Liverpool Pelagic...A Few More

Just thought I would post a few more images from last week's super trip out from Liverpool aboard Discovery.As previously reported it was mostly gannets that posed for the camera and they figure again in this latest posting. Also shown, good friend Paul as we headed out early morning from Liverpool.Richard,the organizer is also shown taking in the atmosphere from the back of the boat. Gary Flint,the skipper of The Discovery is shown playing a large tope which unfortunately managed to get away.

It was a memorable trip and we enjoyed super weather with plenty of action for the cameras.I understand we may have two or three pelagics next year and I for one can't wait to meet up again with fellow enthusiastic bird  photographers.The weather does now seem to be settling down and hopefully I will be able to post some more images of the Lake District ospreys  before they set off on their long migration to West Africa.Thanks for lookijng in and enjoy the weekend.