Saturday, 24 January 2015

Dee Estuary High Tide

This week saw the first big 10m+ tides of the year, so on Friday we went up to the North Wirral coast at Hoylake, here when the tide is big enough it pushes the huge flocks of wading birds right up close to the beach front. And so it turned out, massive flocks of Sanderling, Knot and Dunlin could be seen on the water line as we arrived and hour before high water, and it was brilliant watching them get closer as the tide advanced. Then we scooted down the coast to Parkgate where the salt marsh floods during the big high tides, here we got distant views of Short eared Owls, lots of corvids, Gulls and Herons all feeding on the rodents fleeing the incoming water.
The light was not great, the weather overcast and very grey, big ISO's order of the day, hoping to get back for the next high tides on a sunnier day!

Firstly to Hoylake....











and to Parkgate, distant shots of the Short eared Owls only on this visit





Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The North Wales Coast

The coastal areas of North Wales are a brilliant place for the Wildlife Photographer, having spent a few hours at Criccieth Beach the previous week and forgetting the battery for the camera, I returned last Friday and we had a great walk down the beach, spending a lot of time photographing the many Turnstones that were working the tide line.Up close they are lovely birds, and as I found they are rarely still.






An unexpected bonus was seeing a Heron, also searching the rock pools for food, it caught this large fish that I think is either a Blennie or Shanny.





down it goes!!


Then we headed off to The Spinnies nature reserve, owned by the North Wales Wildlife Trust it is a delightful little reserve right at the mouth of the Menai Strait. Looks great for Kingfisher, and much more, will be going back for sure!

This Buzzard was sat on a hedge for ages, when it took off it was beautifully lit by the setting sun



A lovely Blue Tit from the main hide


and a Great Tit


and finally roosting Starlings


Monday, 12 January 2015

New year at the Zoo

My first blog post for 2015, and where better place to start than my favorite Chester Zoo.
I have previously said I would much prefer to be photographing all animals in their natural habitat not in a Zoo or Safari park, and there are many 'Zoos' that I will not visit.... but Chester is very much an exception, over the years the improvements in the conditions and environment in which the animals are kept have drastically improved, and the Zoo is leading the way in many conservation and reintroduction initiatives.
below are some of my favourite images from my recent visit...

Asiatic Elephant





Rothschild Giraffe


2 week old youngster







Black Jaguar




Asiatic Lion











Sumatran Tiger




Spectacled Bear