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.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Sunderland Point

I recently had a couple of visits to Sunderland Point on the Lune Estuary.This is a remote and beautiful part of Lancashire and requires an amount of planning before any visit.It is a finger of land surrounded on one side by the estuary of the River Lune and on the other by part of Morecambe Bay.Access is very much dependant on the tides and on most high tides the only access road is impassable.Consequently it is an unspoilt and very peaceful area to visit.

It is an excellent area to visit with the camera as just as the tide is beginning to uncover the access road waders can be seen feeding very close to the road and can be photographed from the comfort of the car.At the end of the road parking is available on the shingle beach.I made a couple of very enjoyable visits recently and came away with a nice selection of images to remind me of this very special location.

Before visiting Sunderland Point I called in at Middleton Sands high tide wader roost.A tricky walk out onto the salt marsh got me within range of some of the flocks of waders and I managed some shots before making my way to Sunderland Point as the tide was ebbing fast.The road into Sunderland Point was very wet and muddy but I managed to get the hoped for shots of redshanks,curlews and egrets posing by the roadside.As the tide ebbed more of the mud was exposed  numbers of redshanks,egrets and herons came into feed in the pools left by the tide.The local fisherfolk who live and work in this delightful spot were busy loading their catch of whitebait onto their trailer and quad bike.They told me later the catch was destined for Blackpool Zoo.The egrets particularly were very busy and up to a dozen birds were present.

Shown below are a selection of images from my visits to remind me of this wonderful part of the Lancashire coastline.I am looking forward to returning again soon,tides and weather permitting. Thanks for looking in and as I write this account the weather is clearing up after a day of heavy rain and prospects are good for warmer and settled weather for the weekend.

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.