Friday, 30 October 2009
This is a rare sight for me a Bearded Tit not at the gritting trays at Leighton Moss.
I was perched in the Lower Hide photographing a Bittern and could hear the Bearded Tits call in the quivering reed-mace suddenly this male appeared for all of five seconds, thankfully giving me enough time to get a snap.
Unfortunately, it is as they all are at LM heavily manacled. As far as I know these birds don’t leave the site, so why this barbaric practice (in my opinion) exists here is quite beyond me. I did manage see one without rings last year and was overjoyed, as was one of the staff as he exclaimed “We’ll have him netted and ringed by tomorrow”! Sad.
As I have already stated I bobbed down to the Lower Hide with the intention of photographing the Bittern, I always make this pilgrimage in hope rather than expectancy, but this time my luck was in. With an empty hide at my disposal I paraded up and down on sentry duty inspecting both ends at regular intervals. Suddenly there she was appearing out of the reeds, of course my camera gear was at the wrong window. I retrieved my gear and hurriedly took some images thinking the Bittern would fly off at any moment, but no she stood bolt upright for about five minuets before spearing her head down into the shallows and spiking a pike. She then ran off with it gave it a bashing Kingfisher style and swallowed it. Then unbelievably she sat in front of the reed-bed for over one and a half hours. So much for the elusive bittern, mind will it ever happen again?
Friday, 23 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
It was one of those days when all my best made plans went down the drain. My original intention was to finish up at Blackpool's North Pier to investigate the Starling roost after having a look around the Fylde. Things started to go wrong soon after leaving the motorway when I encountered one traffic incident hold up after another, three in total with one hefty detour that eventually found me at Fluke Hall lane at a quarter past one, that after setting out at just gone ten in the morning.
I had my lunch overlooking the mud flats at low water and although it was good to be out of the car there was no reason to disturb the camera resting on the passenger seat.
Then I set off for Blackpool but as I entered the resort I was again engulfed in horrendous traffic, a sense of foreboding came over me and I couldn't wait to get out of the place, this feeling was encouraged by the astronomical parking fees on display. Soon I was on the M56 heading for home, but at the junction to the M6 I had a brainstorm - "Why not go to Leighton Moss" after all I was half way there.
So eventually I entered the Eric Morecambe hide in late afternoon. Things can only get better I thought and they did.
The hide was surprisingly full, but I bumped into Paul Foster a friend of Brian Rafferty, we had a good chin-wag in between taking shots of a Little Egret that was showing well right outside the hide. Paul went off to photograph the deer, and one by one people left the hide to head for home. I was in no hurry to leave as sunset was looming fast, and this was going to be a good-un.
I took some shots in wonderful golden light, but the most stunning light came after the sun dipped over the horizon, illuminating the birds in all kinds of extraordinary hues. As darkness approached the waders gathered into groups and quietened down with just the occasional call that echoed and reverberated around in the stillness. It was in a word magical - I think I tripped The Light Fantastic.