Sunday, 27 February 2011

Spring is Here

Yes its official,Spring is here, frogs cavorting as only frogs can in my pond Saturday 16/02/11

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


Great Crested Grebe

Not long to go now for our warbler invasion, hopefully this year will be a little more normal, having had apart from one cold snap a relatively mild winter. If memory serves me well (I don't keep records) I saw and photographed my first wheatear around the 15th of March in our milder winters. Then all hell breaks lose, well lets hope so anyway.
One species returning to our inland lakes and ponds now the ice has melted is the great-crested grebe, I photographed the one above last week, quite artistic as its wake created some lens flare. Although some dick-head commented on Birdguides accusing me of photoshoping it! My short fuse burst, I was livid and insulted. I can assure you I haven't doctored it in any way, its the genuine article. I can also assure you I've put the guy straight.

Elegance personified

This is simply one of my favorite birds, it personifies elegance, and love with its ritual courtship greeting, and exuberance with its weed dance.

Ritual Greeting

Electrifying the Weed Dance

What more could one ask for, from a common bird.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Lazy Sunday Afternoon



Great Northern Diver

Should have gone for the high tide 10m+ today, but it's grey and miserable so been doing a bit of editing instead, plus a spot of baby sitting.
Our grandson Harry brightens up the dullest of days and there's always tomorrow for the high tide.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Tea and Biscuits

Steve Dolan commonly known as SD, because he's a bit of a card you know,( get it "SD" card ) I know that's terrible "I'll get mi coat"
Anyhow he invited me down to his shack for a spot of garden birding, brilliant day brilliant company, brilliant birds......and tea and biscuits to boot.




Monday, 7 February 2011

In the Mists of Time

A trip up to Leighton Moss has been long overdue, but my, what a surprise, as all the lakes were frozen over still. I thought that this would be a great opportunity to get a glimpse of a bittern or two, but a long couple of hours in the public hide proved fruitless.
So an early return home.....well not quite, might as well cut off on the the Fylde and see whats around Pilling.
When I arrived I couldn't see anything quite literally, as a dense blanket of fog engulfed the scene.
I decided to go and have a chat with a local farmer who I have bumped into from time to time. While we were chatting the mist rolled back and the day was transformed, suddenly I was drenched in glorious winter sunshine. Things got even better as a barn owl decided to land on a post about thirty foot away. This was an every day occurrence for the farmer, but I was trembling with excitement. "Back in a jiffy" I whispered as I left him rather unceremoniously.
The owl was in a small thicket and although it could be seen there was all manner of twigs and small branches obstructing it, but some careful maneuvering brought it face to face with the obstruction now framing the owl perfectly.

If I thought that was going to be the end of things I was wrong. After leaving the farmer I thought I would explore the some of the lanes before going home. Down by a hedgerow I could make out a raptor perching on a disused wagon. At first I took it to be a kestrel, but as I approached closer I couldn't believe my eyes, it was a short-eared owl. I couldn't get close as there was no cover, so it had to be a long distance shot with a heavy crop and simply hope for the best.

So two owls in a couple of hours, not a bad result and it was enough to entice me back a few days later. I pulled the car into a field and got out to have a look round, but as a hot air balloon was descending to land in the same field I decided that nothing was going to be flying with that monster around so I retired to the car for a coffee.
As I was drinking my beverage a barn owl appeared from behind a hedgerow and hovered not ten foot away from the car while the balloon was touching down some fifty foot away. This can't be happening, I grabbed the camera and jumped out of the car and fired of a few shots, but disappointingly I had missed the money shot.

As I was inspecting another field David and Jackie Moreton turned up and as we were chatting a barn owl flew across the road and we were off in hot pursuit apart from David who was suffering a back injury. We lost the owl behind a house, but discovered a little owl sunning itself in on the window ledge of a garden shed, although it wasn't close enough I had to try and get a shot as did Jackie.
While we were busy concentrating on the little owl the observant Mr David announced that the barn owl had flown into an adjacent shed. Well two sheds in the same garden one with a little owl and one with barn owl, now that's a place to live.

So three owl species within a few hundred yards, OK, where's the long-eared and snowy owls then????

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Better Get Down To Business.

Amongst other things I have been messing about with this Blog trying to get larger images on my posts, with help from Matt Latham I think I am getting there, but it is still a bit hit and miss.

The bad weather over Christmas and into January kept me confined to home quarters, but I did make it out to Kinmel Bay to photograph snow buntings.

A couple of meadow pipits flitted into view and I came home more pleased with the shots of these than anything else.

Even if I returned home without a shot I would have come home happy, just being out in the fresh air and with good company was a wonderful tonic after being cooped up for so long.
Also I have given my website a bit of a makeover please take a look sometime,
Cheers David

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Runner-up in Birdguides POTY competition

This image of a cuckoo taken at Cockers Dyke near Pilling in August 2010 has been voted a runner-up in Birdguides POTY competition, needles to say I'm pretty chuffed with the outcome. You can view the competition results by clicking here.