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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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Dippers

A bird that I have longed to photograph for a long time is the Dipper, I got some information of a pair that had a territory on a local river, and on Sunday morning we spent a delightful few hours watching the pair avidly building their new nest. It was enthralling watching these delightful birds gathering mouthfuls of moss and taking it back to their nest site, sometimes resting a few metres in front of us as we sat quietly at the river side. A few shots to follow from the many I took, the only downside was the weather was a bit overcast and the light wasn't great under the trees along the river side.

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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Back to Blogging!!

Wow I cant believe it is October since I last posted on my blog, no excuses really other than we have been setting up a new website and I have been concentrating on building up a very nice following on my facebook wildlife photography page, if you are interested in taking a look the links are below.

Gary Jones Wildlife Photography Facebook page
Portraits of Nature - My Website

My last trip out with the camera was one of my favourite sites, RSPB Leighton Moss. We had taken the long drive up to hopefully see the Otters and Marsh Harriers, and hopefully some of the Red Deer. Sadly we only got to see one of the three, but we had some great views of a Male Marsh Harrier and two females, not close enough for great Photos, but it was magical watching them hunt over the reed beds.

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lost of flight action with the Greylag Geese

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rarely get a chance to get Lapwing shots as they are rarely still, but this one posed nicely

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Common and noisy, but I still love photographing Greylags

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Lots of Black Headed Gulls, and lots of bickering going on

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Another bird I really enjoy seeing in front of the camera are Pheasants, lots of lovely vibrant colours

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Great Crested Grebe, just surfaced from a feeding dive

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Cormorant perched a drying out

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A great few hours spent up in Silverdale, whats next on the agenda.......Dippers!!