Saturday, 28 March 2015

Back up to date - Kestrels, Grouse and much more !

My last post didn't seem that long ago, but I must have been out a fair bit since as the images to process have stacked up.... here is a selection from my recent wanderings...

Dee Estuary High Tide

Last weekend saw a few days of 10m+ high tides, and there is no better place to be than down on the Dee Estuary at Parkgate. Lots on view as the incoming tide lifted the bird life off the salt marsh.

The Kestrels that live along this stretch are kept really busy picking off rodents fleeing the incoming water.







My last post concentrated on Great Crested Grebes where I was lucky enough to photograph them in their courtship weed dance, well I returned to try again, sadly they did not dance on my visit but were very busy mating!






There is nothing better than having a wander along our local river, especially when the Dippers are obliging!



The Grey Wagtails are always difficult to get close too, always very flighty


This was my first visit this year up onto the moors outside of Llangollen at Worlds End to photograph the Black Grouse Lek, I always look forward to seeing this enigmatic birds, it is just great to sit and watch as they strut their stuff







Below is a short video clip of two males sparring!

Bringing you right up to date, yesterday we had a lovely wander across Conwy Mountain just on the North Wales coast, an area that is really rich in bird life, lost count of the number of buzzards we saw, plus Peregrine and Kestrels, and rather pleasingly saw at least 5 different pairs of Stonechat





Raven sitting on the cliff edge


one of the stacks of Meadow Pipits around


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Great Crested Grebes

For many years I have hoped to photograph Great Crested Grebes performing their courtship 'Weed dancce'....I realised this hope this weekend just gone, when I finally got a pair dancing in the viewfinder.
Pairs of Great Crested Grebes perform elaborate courtship displays, shaking their heads, dipping their necks, diving under the water emerging with beak fulls of weed before coming together raised out of the water for their beautiful weed dance.
A few shots from the early morning session below;













can't resist photographing Herons, this one nicely perched beyond the Grebes in a tree low to the water


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

WWT Martin Mere

I have been longing to get back to Martin Mere to photograph the Whooper Swans before they start their long migration back to their summer breeding grounds in Iceland. I have been going to Martin  Mere for a long time now and never tire of seeing these stunning birds. But as well as the Whoopers, Martin Mere is home to many other waterfowl and birds... here is a selection from this visit

Firstly the Whooper Swans

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other Waterfowl included....

its that time of year for the mallards

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Others included Little Egret





friendly Robin


female Reed Bunting


Long Tailed Tit


The tractors were busy in the fields around Burscough, and ever the opportunists lots of Gulls picking up the exposed earthworms and other goodies