Wednesday, 23 October 2013

WWT Martin Mere

The first 'winter' visit to Martin Mere for me, I just adore this place and the winter for me is the best time to visit to see the Whooper Swans that migrate here every year to spend the winter on the Mere and the surrounding fields. They are quite majestic birds, and I look forward to many visits over the coming winter months. When we went Sunday there wasn't many birds on the Mere, the trust were quoting about 300 had arrived back, but probably saw about 50. But there was still lots of activity on the Mere, stacks of Greylags which were very vocal as normal, not many Pink Foots about, I guess they were still out feeding in the fields. But an enjoyable visit, and I look forward to the next visit..... maybe next week, a whole week off work yay!!














Friday, 18 October 2013

Red Deer Rut

Its that time of year when the Red Deer begin their annual rut, and hoping to see some stags in action I took a couple of trips to see the herds of Deer at Tatton Park, although not quite as timid as true wild Deer, trust me when they are really bellowing and spraying urine all over themselves you do keep your distance, but great to see these big guys close up.














Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Mountains and Birds.....perfect!!

The weeks since our visit to the Lakes seem to have flashed by, since then we have been out and about taking in one of our favourite mountains....Cadair Idris and really enjoying a Bird of Prey Experience.

Firstly Cadair Idris, standing at 2930ft, at the southern end of Snowdonia, this is a majestic mountain, and climbing it from Minffordd I think is by far the best way. The path snakes it way up through a glorious woodland, opening out to heather covered fell side, before coming to one of the nicest lakes I know of...Llyn Cau. Then its a nice scrambly climb to the summit, Penygadar. A few shots below of the walk.

the waterfalls are stunning


Approaching Llyn Cau, I am stood on top of a Roche moutonnee, a rock formation formed by the passing ice during the ice age.


The outlet stream from Llyn Cau


Looking down on Llyn Cau as we climb higher


Looking back down as we start our final climb to the summit


The summit trig point


Zoomed in view down to Barmouth Bay


one of the best mountain views, on the descent there is amazing views back into Llyn Cau, 



Nearly 2 years ago I bid in a charity auction for a Bird of Prey Experience with the Welsh Bird of Prey Centre. It has been cancelled 4 times over the last 2 years due to bad weather, so at last we travelled down to the Ty Mawr Mansion, near Lampeter, Ceredigion to meet Mike and his birds. He talked us through the equipment etc, and we got to fly Harris Hawks and a beautiful 5 month old female kestrel.








Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Birthday weekend, lots of rain... but lots of Deer!!

Last weekend was my birthday...yes 21 again!! Traditionally now Sharon and I try and spend this time up in The Lakes, around our favourite mountain Blencathra. The forecast for the weekend was 'mixed' and that is how it ended up, Friday and Saturday were very nice, but as we slept in our tent Saturday night / Sunday morning the forecast change in weather arrived and it poured down with storm force winds behind it. But our tent held firm, and when the rain and wind eased on Sunday we escaped  into Keswick.
Due to our recent hospital stays we have not been walking properly for ages now, and it felt so good to be back out on the fells again, and Saturdays walk into Martindale was a mixture of a great walk with some wildlife thrown in, in the form of the wild Red Deer that roam this part of the Lakes.
Unlike the previous post where the Red Deer at Tatton Park are relatively approachable, these are truly wild and can sense you miles off, we didn't see any Stags but lots of hinds and this years fawns. All the shots I got were using the full 500mm, and a small crop as they were a long way across the valley from us, getting any closer was impossible.
Despite the weather the long weekend was brilliant, and it was with great reluctance we both returned to work!!





Blencathra from the Castlerigg Stone Circle, just down the road from where we camped


and looking the other way to the Helvelyn ridge


Monday, 16 September 2013

Red Deer

It is nearly that time of year that I enjoy so much, Autumn is slowly creeping up on us and that means the annual Red Deer rut will be starting soon. The stags have been feeding well all summer whilst growing a new set of antlers in preparation for seeing off other stags after their hinds. With this in mind I took a quick trip to Tatton Park last week to see how the deer were faring ahead of the rut, and they looked magnificent.