Tuesday, 30 November 2010

He Who Waits

I've spent a bit of time of late building what I call my "Theater of Dreams". Basically it's a platform about a meter square with various ad-dons, it can be moved and adjusted in height. I can dress the top with dead leaves for an Autumn scene, or boulders and gravel, logs, in fact anything I want within reason.
I was beginning to wonder if all had been in vain, as all of the above is pretty useless without birds on it.
Some birds did eventually start to use it, but in pretty atrocious light although this stood me in good stead as it gave me a chance to evaluate the various backdrops.
So, all I needed now was good light and good birds.
Well all comes to he who waits.

This week also brought something of the high-life. After returning from a great weekend in Manchester watching "The John Wilson Orchestra" playing music from the MGM films (very few dates left, so if you have a chance to get a ticket, don't pay for it, DIE for it! its that good), Cheshire Life dropped through the letter box with a couple of my images adorning the wildlife section. I don't urge you to buy it, unless your in the market for a house for around Three Million quid.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Fleetwood Mac...luckily no.

Saturday dawned to a cloudless sky and beautiful sunshine with a slight breeze that chilled the the air as it does at this time of year. It wasn't at all what was forecast. So I decided to head north to Fleetwood, where a Great-northern Diver had been reported on the Marine lake.

Red Breasted Mergansers departing the lake
A few months earlier I had made the same journey in search of a Cuckoo on a similar start to the day only to see it change to black skies and torrential downpours, well a repeat prescription was on the cards. By the time I had got to Preston, black skies,heavy rain and brightly coloured rainbows festooned the air. Great for landscape, but not for what I was intending to do. However, as I arrived at Fleetwood the sun was shinning again, although large black clouds swirled around menacingly threatening to put a damper on the day.
The main thing was that the diver was still present. The bird was very obliging at times, as was the light, but getting both at the same time was a lottery, so alertness had to be the order of the day. The water was a bit choppy so mirror images were out of the question, but all told I had a pretty good day.

I nipped down to Rossall Point in the hope of a few sanderling, the tide was pretty full and I saw none, but half a dozen turnstone kept me busy, before I returned to the Marine lake to capture the diver in some late afternoon light.

And to finish a picture postcard view of Breezy Blackpool my no option holiday destination as a child.

Monday, 8 November 2010

I love M&Ms

Common Buzzard

Whooper Swan Preening
After a busy day around Southport I tend to work my way back and call in at Martin Mere. Even a brief visit can bring in a photo opportunity, and Sundays visit was no exception. After that I can take a variety of routes home with a keen eye for a Barn Owl maybe. Well not on this occasion although a lovely marked Buzzard put in an appearance.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Great Birds Great Company

The waxwing invasion got underway at Barrow this week, although I didn't intend going there I am so glad I did. Not only were the birds stunning, it was great to meet up with so many old friends.

Friday, 29 October 2010



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Tuesday, 12 October 2010

10/10/10 Lucky for Some

10/10/10 Weasel
A gorgeous Sunday in October a bit of an Indian summer I suppose and a lucky day as far as the date was concerned. So where to go? Well it had to be the coast as a high tide was on the cards about midday. Southport or The Wirral? Well why not both.
I intended being up early and although the mind was willing I'm afraid the body was not, absolutely not, it was nailed to the bed. Eventually I was up and at em and on the road by nine thirty heading for Liverpool and the Mersey tunnel. Had I had enough time I would have made for West Kirby then made my way back to finish at Wallasey, but as time didn't permit I went instead directly to Leasowe.

Little Egret
After parking the car I walked along the promenade looking for a likely spot where a wader or two might be forced ashore, when suddenly a six inch squiggle passed me at a rate of knots.
The squiggle was a weasel scurrying along and then, instinctively, there was I scurrying after it, well sort of. It went down the sea-wall ramp along the seaweed at the waters edge, then back up onto the prom, then back past me and all the while I was trying to get my lens on it, quite unsuccessfully I might add. Then it came back past me once more, and made several attempts to scale the last two foot of the sea defences, but amazingly it couldn't manage it, so onwards it pounded until I couldn't make it out anymore. Undeterred I went in the direction it had headed and suddenly saw a bit of movement in a crack between the ground and the sea wall, I got down on one knee and lay aim, bingo it was in the can. Then "Pop goes the weasel" off it went, the last I saw of it, it was scurrying along the seaweed once more.
That little episode lasted three quarters of an hour and once the adrenalin had departed my body I was knackered, so I climbed over the sea wall and sat on a nearby bench to rest up for a while. I sat facing away from the sea looking down to the meadow when a wheatear appeared and landed on a fence......ho no here we go again.

I ended the day at Marshside watching pink footed geese and other mixed waders in some beautiful evening light managing a snap or two, but the day will always be remembered for that weasel.

Pink footed Geese at Marshside

Monday, 4 October 2010

A Good Week On The Home Front

A loud bang on the dinning room window meant only one thing, a bird had crashed into it. I went round to investigate as a sparrowhawk was flying to the fence, luckily for me it had its back to me giving me time to dart backwards. My camera was in the room and I crawled to get it, then gingerly got up and fired a few shots before it spotted me and flew off. I went outside and found its intended victim a chaffinch frozen under my car, latter it flew off unscathed. All this before breakfast, starting work on an empty stomach isn't recommended.
But it hasn't been a bad week on the home front, BEAKY turned up out of the blue, and few days ago I had a visiting willow tit for about four hours, it was pouring down at the time but I managed a half decent snap before it left.

Saturday, 2 October 2010


We first saw this blackbird at the backend of the hard winter and have been amazed at its ability to feed with such a deformed beak. About six weeks ago it moulted almost to a skeleton on its wings and vanished, we naturally thought it had succumbed, but not so today it reappeared at our bird table, quite a survivor.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Cocker Hoop

As Margaret and I arrive in Coquetdale for our summer holiday, we are invariably greeted by the sound of a cuckoo calling for a mate, but try as I might I have never located the source. A few years back a fisherman in the next cottage, who didn't eat fish brought us a freshly caught trout, you'll never believe he said, but all the while I've been fishing, I've had a cuckoo for company it was sitting on the fence post behind me, I dashed out to see it fly off into oblivion.
Friends tell me to go to Scotland to see them and a grand variety of other species also, but that is out of the question for the foreseeable future.
Last year I heard about a juvenile on the car park at Parkgate, but circumstances prevailed and I couldn't make the trip down there. Then out of the blue I get to hear of a juvenile fattening itself up on caterpillars in at Cockers Dyke near Pilling before making it's long journey to Africa, as my desk was clear I decided to go for it.

I set off on a beautiful morning with the sun rising over the Pennines and the mist hanging in the valleys, but sods law was to prevail. As I headed north heavy cloud drifted in from the Atlantic and by the the time I arrived it started to pour down, it was 7am, it was going to be a long day. There was nothing for it, I had to sit it out in the car and drink my coffee. An hour and a half past and I had already eaten my lunch and still no cuckoo, its gone I thought, its buggered off to Africa. Damn!!!

Then through the gloom "my" bird arrived and landed on a post forty foot or so away, my heart skipped a beat, even though it was too dark to photograph, well now it really was going to be a long day, cause I wasn't going to budge before sunset - that's if the sun were to ever rise!

Well it did awake from it's slumbers and put it's hat on, and the weather and light slowly improved as the day progressed. The cuckoo returned every half hour or so feeding from various fence posts and electric wires, before being disturbed by dog walkers.

I was amazed by it's ability to hunt for caterpillars. From wires thirty foot or so above the ground, it would perform a variety of acrobatic dismounts, then free fall parachute, before twisting into a full head on dive, hawk fashion, vanishing into the nettle covered ground and immediately emerge with its pray and return to a perch on the wire. From fence post it would launch similarly horizontal attacks as far as twenty foot away, in both instances I never saw it miss. But should I be surprised with this bird's ability, when, from the moment it hatches its inbuilt genetics instruct it to remove its adopted parents eggs from the nest, then after feeding its self up it will journey to Africa all on it own some.

All in all I put in thirteen hours on site that day, but eager for more I returned a couple of days later, in a seven hour stint the cuckoo never showed at all, I wrongly assumed it had moved on, only to be told later that it had turned up that evening. I went back the next day only to get a fleeting glimpse in very bad light.

My mate Steve took up the gauntlet the next day, he phoned me at two o' clock to say it had just turned up and the light was good, so I immediately jumped in the car and set off once more. I took up a position behind a WW2 bunker hoping the cuckoo would land on the fence post directly in front of me. Although my strategy held a bit of a risk, the cuckoo might stay in it's favorite corner and not come to my desired post, had that been the case I would have returned home empty handed once more. But I needn't have worried after twenty minutes the cuckoo duly obliged and I returned home a very happy man, cocker-hoop you might say.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Longest Day the Home Run

As the boat approached the steps in Dunbar harbour I was geared up to disembark, the boatman had barely got the boat secure when I hopped onto the steps, I said my goodbyes to everyone, it had just gone 6.15. It must have seemed awfully discourteous but I was on a mission to get to the station for the 6.28 train to Newcastle, if I missed it, it would mean an overnight stay in Dunbar or Edinburgh. I wouldn’t have minded that, but the weather forecast for the next day was atrocious, so it made sense to me to get home, my only regret, I would have to pass the chippy instead of going into it.
I made a steady plod up the hill and through the town and made it to the station with two minutes to spare, I was sweaty my pants were dirty even though I had over-trousers on – it was muddy in places on Bass Rock – I pitied the person who was going to sit next to me, indeed if I were the train manager I wouldn’t have let me on!
I needn’t have worried as the carriage was empty, I got my favourite seat next to the luggage rack, and as the train pulled out of the station I went to the toilet and cleaned myself up.
The train manager was a charming lady; I explained my predicament at having a wrong ticket and she wasn’t bothered one jot,” enjoy your journey, the catering trolley will be along shortly”, how civilised I thought. She advised me to go through to Darlington, where my connecting train to Manchester would arrive on the same platform, brilliant.
My connecting train to Manchester was eight minutes late, I know that because a passenger opposite told me so, he wasn’t best pleased as that was going to make him late for an appointment in Leeds. That got me thinking if it was running late would I make my connection on the last train of the day home to Wigan. I decided it best to ask the manager.
“Tickets from Darlington” the manager bellowed, he was at the far end of the carriage, mine was ready on the table for inspection. As he arrived I immediately asked if we were going to be late arriving at Manchester. “Ant a clue..... am dun ut Leeds” he replied arrogantly in his thick Yorkshire droll, picking up my ticket at the same time “What’s this”? “It’s a ticket” I said rather sarcastically, as I didn’t care much for his manner. My manner was to cost me, “I, bur its u rung un”, I started to explain, but he cut me short “Il tell thee haw much thy owes”. £11.80 was how much I owed, still, cheaper than a B&B I thought.
“He wants reporting” said the gent opposite, when the manager had gone. It takes all sorts I thought. My new companion and I set the world to rights on the rest of the journey to Leeds, where we shook hands as we bid each other goodbye.
Apart from the run-in with the manager, things had gone pretty well and passengers, who had up to that point been a bit thin on the ground, had all been polite. Alas all that was about to change. At the huge metropolis of Leeds, the train flooded with an influx of a more yobbish and discourteous class of passenger. Of course the train had now become a late night local commuter train between Leeds and Manchester. People thought it right and proper to sprawl about wherever they liked. Outstretched legs under tables with dirty trainers on the opposite seat, sitting on tables hunched up over their mates, trainers on seats yet again , most with phones glued to their ears or IPods playing – tsss tut tsss tut tsss – or some such rhythmic nonsense blurting out. The public address system announcements changed also. Previously they had been advising on catering arrangements and approaching stations, and “Mind the step on leaving the train” Now it changed to “Passengers are reminded that CCTV cameras are in operation”. Some comfort I thought, if I were to be mugged, at least it would be recorded for posterity.
The train had made up some time and I was only five minutes late arriving at Manchester Piccadilly Station. Once again I was geared up for a fast departure as I knew it to be quite slog over to platform 14. But the impoliteness was to prevail, as the doors opened a crowd of about thirty people rushed to gain access, while those of us onboard tried to get off, it was disgraceful and an utter shambles. The public address was repeating the message “Passengers are reminded that CCTV.................
If that’s City living then I want no part of it. Mind don’t we see bad behaviour every day on our roads, drivers overtaking at speed, cutting-in, parking abysmally, complete disregard for anyone only themselves and oblivious to the dangers caused to others – I really don’t mind if they kill themselves it’s the innocents I care for. (Sorry for the rant it just came over me)
My last train of the day left Piccadilly at 10.50 a typical bone- shaker of a commuter train, I think everyone was just as tired as I, it was thankfully, quiet an uneventful.
At 11.50 Sue arrived to pick me up. At midnight I was sitting in my lounge with a large whisky reflecting on one hell of a day trip.
Number Crunching
Rise Time 4.40am
Bed byes 1.15am
Two short car trips 3 miles total
Six connecting trains 494 miles total
Footslogging 2 miles
One return boat trip 16 miles total
Total mileage 515
That’s an average of 25.1 miles per hour awake (that’s a stupid statistic)
Food - packed lunch plus 4 cups of coffee
Cost of trains £58.60 plus £11.80 for being sarcastic (spit)
Bass Rock trip normally £98 provided free of charge by the Scottish Sea Bird Centre in lieu of photographs (many thanks)
Photographs about 800 images - still plodding through them they will appear in the the Spotlight section on my web site when completed.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Longest Day Bass Rock

I met a couple of photographers making the trip by the fast food stall on the harbour about 12.30, when Maggie turned up and ushered us to the boat where the rest of our party was gathered. After a quick briefing we were on board a heading out of the harbour past the kittiwake colony by 12.45.
The weather by this time was fair, but with clouds bunching up from our landward side, while out to sea towards The Isle of May it was wall to wall blue, the sea although not a mill pond, it was quite calm.

I busied myself setting up my equipment, putting my 70-200 f2.8 onto my canon MK3 and my 28mm lens in my pocket ready for a quick changeover, this was in anticipation of the chumming that was about to commence as we approached Bass Rock. This is normally a superb spectacle, but Maggie had warned us that the gannets hadn’t been performing that well of late; she reckoned that there was an abundance of food in the sea and the gannets wouldn’t trouble themselves for a few scraps. Sadly she was right, scores of gull’s descended upon our boat instantly, but I counted only eight gannets which circled the boat a few times before landing on the water and attacked there food in a doggy paddle fashion instead of their more illustrious eighty mile an hour kamikaze dive.

I tend to struggle with the light at sea, and it was no exception here, to make matters worse as the boat circled the sea colour changed from dark inky blue and a grey day aspect backdrop to a Caribbean setting of blue sea and skies. I was also mindful that I was photographing a white bird and didn’t want to blow the highlights thus burning out the bird; the process was also exacerbated with differing amounts of cloud drifting across the sun.
In general though the light was good to brilliant, but for the most part it was against me, so for the technically minded here are the settings I used :- ISO 200 all the time to get as much detail out of the whites with little to no noise / 3200sec was about right for the gannet with sun directly shining on it but a little underexposed on the bird against the light, but this was easily recoverable as I was shooting in RAW, when it shaded over I dropped down to 2000sec although I sometimes forgot in the heat of the moment, but found I could still recover the image without adding too much noise, I put this down the fact of keeping the ISO at 200 / I kept the aperture at f 5.6 throughout. Although I could have upped the ISO or opened up to F4 to achieve a faster speed I was happy with the balance I set myself as I could still hand hold the 500mm lens at these speeds.

And so onto Bass Rock, I am fortunate as this is my second visit to the rock so I knew what to expect, but even so it still took my breath away to be in the presence of such a colossal number of fantastic seabirds. The last time I was here I could walk a little way beyond the chapel, this time the gannets had claimed the ground right down to the chapel with a few pairs nesting on it, not only that they had also occupied part of the pathway approaching the chapel and with many more on the banks either side the concrete path/steps than previously encountered.
Time to start shooting, with only a light southerly breeze the gannets weren’t hovering above me as I would have hoped for, indeed, the majority zoomed in quite quickly from right to left as I looked out to sea, and this direction was against the light, so I immediately concentrated on the masses banked up on the terraces in good light. Searching for clean birds not too mudded up by the previous days rain. I noticed a pattern of bird approaching from the north some flying straight over me, but a few hover- landing on the perimeter rock, this meant using the500mm prime to get close shots; I might mention that although I had my converters with me I never felt the need to use them.

Some time was spent on getting images of chicks, but for the majority of time I tried to get intimate and behavioural images of paired gannets, but believe me three hours passed like three minutes and guess who was last man standing? – yep me.
The light had started to dim as the next weather front rolled in so I packed and joined the others on the jetty and tried to reflect on whether or not I had got all the images I wanted, I don’t think a photographer worth his salt would be happy with his days work without saying “If only this” or “if only that” but on the whole I thought that I had a pretty good shoot.

I was hoping for some shots on the way back to the harbour but the light had completely gone, May Island couldn’t be seen at all and the sea was quite choppy, so I packed everything for a fast getaway. We had left the rock by 5.15 and I reckoned we would dock by 6.15.
My thoughts turned to 6.28 train to Newcastle, wrong ticket or not could I make it..... I’ll tell you in the concluding report on the Longest Day......that’s a bit of a giveaway really.

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Longest Day

Sorry to pinch the name of such an epic event as D-day for the title of this piece, but Tuesday 20th July 2010 was my personal “longest day” in more ways than one and will forever be etched on my mind till the day my maker calls on me. It was a day that had been anticipated with relish for a couple of months, it was the day full of promise, it was the day I was due to make a visit to Bass Rock.
Although the trip had been organised for several weeks I still wasn’t sure that I would make it right until the last possible moment. In fact the trip was still in doubt just ten hours before the train was due to leave Wigan station at 6.28 am on Tuesday 20th July. I had two major obstacles, one was a complicated family matter, and the other was the vagaries of the good old British weather. Britain was sinking under a huge low depression with the rain bucketing down and flooding many areas of the country in the process (just as well then that United Utilities had a hosepipe ban in force). Surprisingly the only bright spot on the weather map for the 20th was East Lothian the very place I wanted to go. So I rang Maggie who manages the trips, she confirmed that the weather was set fair and the skipper had said the sailing was going ahead.
The Plan - I hadn’t booked my train ticket nor had I arranged any digs. I had downloaded as many train timetables that I thought useful and a few B&Bs and hostel telephone numbers in Dunbar and Edinburgh. It wasn’t going to be a problem getting to Dunbar in time for the one o clock sailing, but there were major problems in getting home as the boat was only due back at the harbour at 6.30pm thirty-five minutes after the last train left for Edinburgh which in turn would get me the last connecting train back home to Wigan. As far as I could make out a later train out of Dunbar would afford me a grand tour of Scotland before depositing me back in Wigan around five in the morning. I decided to get there, and then work out the best way to get back or go for an overnight stay.
So there was a plan of sorts, but the plan was so flexible it was pure improvisation.
5am Tuesday - The alarm was going off on the phone, but I was already up and dressed and preparing breakfast. Sue my neighbour picked me up at six and drove me to the station in plenty of time for the 6.28, but I still wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing as dark threatening storm clouds billowed overhead. However, there was no time for second thoughts and before I knew it I was onboard my first of six trains that day heading for Lancaster. I had arrived at Lancaster on a very palatial and empty Virgin train, my connecting train to Edinburgh was a two coach Trans Pennine commuter job and although comfortable it was a little overcrowded with no space for my bulky camera bag, my only luggage by the way. Eventually I found a space between back to back seats and managed to squeeze it in, but not before knocking other passenger’s belongings off their tables, I felt a bit like a bumbling Mr. Bean, but everyone took it in good spirits. The rest of the trip was uneventful as I drifted in and out of some welcome sleep. Edinburgh Waverly Street is a huge station, a city within a city, as I had half an hour spare before the 10 o clock to Dunbar I went for a wash and brush up, grabbed a coffee and sat on a bench and phoned home to give a progress report, Margaret asked if it was still raining, but when I looked up through the glass canopy all I could see was blue sky and it was surprisingly warm. I was the only passenger on the Scots Rail commuter train to Dunbar so the guard sat and chatted with me, he told me the weather was going to be wall to wall sunshine in-between the thunder storms, he was joking – I think. I took advantage of my new found friend to see if he could work out a route for me to get home after 6.45pm, I reckoned it would take me quarter of an hour to get from the harbour to the station; the best he could come up with was the 6.28pm going down the east coast to Newcastle, but I had the wrong ticket for that trip and it was too late anyway, so it looked odds on that I would be staying in Dunbar for the night.
10.45 found me walking down the high street of Dunbar towards the harbour with a couple of hours to spare before the sail to Bass Rock. I have lots of images to process, but not a lot of time, they will appear here and my web site in due course, along with a report on the trip out to the rock.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Shopping Again

"Can we go to Southport to do a bit of shopping" asked her ladyship. "Not a problem" I replied. I love shopping at Southport, I'll rephrase that, I love my wife shopping at Southport. Now lets get this straight, what actually happens is that I drop Margaret off in Lord Street then I head off for Marshside, after five expensive hours or so I meet her at the Swan chippy and we've both had a good time. Margaret has a few bag from M&S and I have a few images of Sedge Warblers.
Simply put I love shopping at Southport.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Within Ear Shot

It was a very hot day and I didn't fancy traveling any distance so I was out and about locally. After crossing a field alive with six-spot Burnets and all manner of flying objects, I scurried down a dried up ditch to find some shade in a nearby small woodland. Plenty of chiffchaff calling so decided to get some shots, even though they are a bit ragged with there manic feeding process. Sitting quietly in the dell, I was suddenly aware of a presents, something lurking, something watching me. Then behind a bramble I saw an ear sticking up, my heart skipped a beat, it was a fox. It stayed quite motionless for about twenty seconds, enough time for me to slowly bring my camera to bare. "Come on, come on" I whispered under my breath, "show yourself". But it nonchalantly turned tail and melted into the undergrowth, and with it went my hopes for a sensational photograph.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


Avocets are to my mind are a vicious bird, they don't tolerate neighbours kindly, seeing off all and sundry on "their" territory. Marshside is worse off since they decided to take up residence in my opinion. I remember when dozens of Godwits in brilliant breeding plumage would jostle for position right outside the hide, now it's almost a barren dessert with a couple of pair of Avocet ruling the roost. Godwits and other species are still on the reserve, but they shelter in the backwater gullies and are hard to see. It was good to see their dominance broken by this Shelduck, it had young to guard also and stood no hackling, giving the Avocet a taste of it's own medicine.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Close To Home

Been a bit busy of late with family matters plus the hot weather has kept computer work down to a minimum, can't stand being indoors when the Gods are shinning on us, that said I also can't stand the heat - but one has to suffer for his cause, and its much better than upping the ISO in dull conditions to get some speed.
One thing that has been a priority in the editing room has been sorting images out from a recent trip to North Berwick for the Scottish Seabird Center, I'm thrilled to bits that they are going to use some of my images and they have invited me up for a trip onto Bass Rock. Trying to sort out a date to visit though has been problematic, June was suggested, but my daughter is expecting and is due to present us with a brand new offspring June / early July (what timing) anyhow due to go at the end of July, so something to look forward to - oh, as well as the kiddy-winkle I might add (I think I'd better). This has meant other holiday images lay languishing on the hard drive, not only that more images are added to the list faster than I can process them, it's a problem but a nice one to have. So if you see images appearing weeks (months) late forgive me, it will be down to my chaotic way of sifting through them.
My "system" is a far cry from my days photographing the Latics in the early 80's, when I would cover the matches home or away and have to have the pics ready for the early evening editions - mind the editor was only interested in the goals and they didn't score that many in those days (no change there then). Although I do remember an evening kick off at Scunthorpe giving me a sleepless night when the boys went berserk on a goal spree banging in SEVEN and that against an opposition who's captain was Ian Botham no less - yes he played football as well as cricket - but not quite so well.
Anyhow lets get up to speed, most of my time of late has been spent at Yarrow Valley Country Park photographing Great Crested Grebes and Dippers. The Grebes are on the main lodge and I love the water at the top end given calm conditions and flat water. Sitting in the middle of that end, the water to the left is light green mirrored from reed covered bank, dead ahead reflects the blue sky and to the right it's very dark green, almost black, but the light picks out the birds beautifully, that's my preferred angle to shoot. The best part of photographing at Yarrow is that I'm outside and right on the waters edge and at eye level with the birds, unlike Mere Sands Wood although good I don't relish being cooped up in a hide. A pair of Common Terns have nested on the pontoon and have been out feeding but alas not close enough to snap them YET. The river Yarrow flows through the park and a pair of Dippers can be seen regularly on this stretch as well as Grey Wagtails and the odd Kingfisher. Patients and luck is needed to get the Dippers on camera, it is no Lathkilldale, but more satisfaction is gained from a shoot when I pull it off and another plus, it's a lot cheaper.
At another location on one of my patrols I got a cracking view of a Little Ringed Plover, I didn't miss the chance to snap it........see you soon, Cheers David