Monday, 20 October 2014

The Red Deer at RSPB Leighton Moss

One of my favourite places to visit is RSPB Leighton Moss, in the beautiful Silverdale area of north Lancashire. For the first time in all the years I have been visiting, this visit was the first time I have seen all the species that the reserve is reknowned for on one day..... Red Deer, Bearded Tit, Otter and Marsh Harrier. More about the latter three later, but this post concentrates on the Red Deer that inhabit the reed beds, there was no sign of any Deer in the morning but upon returning to the Grisedale Hide in the afternoon, two nice stags and a group of hinds appeared out of the reeds.

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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Back blogging !!! Red Deer Rut

My blog seems to have taken a back seat for far too long, so much else going on that needs updating Facebook, Twitter and the website, but I am determined to now keep it updated and link it to the website.

First post back will focus on Red Deer, it is that time of year when the Red Deer are rutting, and I have spent some time recently at Tatton Park, there is a lot of Deer that roam the park, with quite a few big Stags, and being more used to people getting closer shots is a little more easier. But they are still very much wild animals and getting too close to the stags at this time of year is not advisable.

Sadly over two trip I never got the shots of rutting stags that I was after, but still managed some nice shots.

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Hopefully I will get the opportunity to get back there before the Rut finishes, but this weekend we are off up to The Lakes to try and get some shots of the Salmon that are running up the rivers and leaping up the waterfalls.


Saturday, 19 April 2014

Black Grouse

For the last week or so I have visited the Black Grouse Lek up at Worlds End, all have been early morning starts and in differing weather all have been great experiences.
These enigmatic birds are a delight to sit and observe whilst they are lekking, they each have their own little patch of the moor and any other birds that come into it are quickly challenged, and this ranges from a lot of posturing and strutting about with all their bright white tail feathers displayed, or to full combat where it is all claws and beaks.
I visited early on Wednesday morning, the forecasted clear sunny morning materialised and this resulted in my best photos of the week. It has been a great little project, one I had never experienced before, and I count myself very lucky to have seen it.

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Great to see the Wheatears back from their migtration.

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Black Grouse Lek.....revisited

A third visit to the Black Grouse Lek up at Worlds End near Minera, the forecast was spot on and for once it was a stunning clear morning as we left. In place at the Lek at 6am, lots of birds already lekking in the early morning light, great to sit and watch whilst waiting for the rising sun to lift the light levels and get the camera going.
The sun was perfect coming in over our shoulders and lighting the birds up beautifully, started to get some nice shots, then the birds suddenly stopped, all went quiet, they hunkered down in the heather, and the reason soon became apparent. A peregrine had come through the Lek and perched on a ridge close by, the birds stayed still for a while but soon vacated as the Peregrine settled in on its perch. Couldnt believe the bad luck, its took three visits to get the right light and then a Peregrine spoils the party, but still great to see it. Below are some of the shots I managed before they vacated....

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Black Grouse Lek

A very early start before sunrise on Sunday to get up onto Llandegla Moors before daylight to see the Black Grouse lekking. I have seen Black Grouse before but never witnessed them lekking, and upon reaching the area I hadn't turned the car engine off and could hear the birds out in the darkness.
Photos were not an option at first as it was still almost dark and all we could see through the binoculars was their white tail displays, but it was just brilliant listening to the birds. and as the light started to increase we could see the males starting to square up to each other.
Photography wasn't great as it turned into a very grey, overcast and damp morning with frequent heavy showers, and most of the birds disappeared by 8am, but what a great spectacle to witness, and I will be back hopefully on a brighter morning for better photographs, but hopefully these shots give you an idea.

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Friday, 4 April 2014

Peregrine Falcons

A great opportunity today to photograph Peregrine Falcons, I do not really want to disclose where the birds where as they are obviously getting ready to breed, but it was a massive thrill to be able to photograph these stunning birds, in the environment where they are the apex predator, truly the king of the skies.

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