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Friday, 19 March 2010

Starlings on the beach

Early evening, as it was going dark and leaving Bispham for Preston, I decided on a different way home, hoping to catch up with an old chum, so for a change it was a run down the prom. Approaching Talbot Road near the Cenotaph I noticed small flocks of starlings, and the road being quite was able to stop and find somewhere close by to park, checking restrictions carefully... they are always in double-dutch and keen on enforcement!
     Approaching north pier from the north there were small flocks of birds dropping in around the pier itself. However workmen... WERE AT WORK! around north pier and the esplanade, pneumatic drills a go go, large wagons and plant, very noisy (it was after 5.00pm!). I took a few images from the north and decided to see if I could achieve any better shots from further away, 'swooping flocks' and all that. The big problem was the light had faded and lessening by the minute. No chance of anything  from further away. For some reason I drifted down to the south side of north pier, only yo be confronted with 'barricade' fencing restricting public access because of the works being undertaken. However there was a six foot gap before the barricade.
     Amazing. One couldn't see from anywhere else but the starlings were landing on the beach before flying up to roost on the pier. I don't know if this is known or common behaviour but something I have not seen or heard of before. The natural light faded and the street lights came on and it was time to go. Quite a sight! Needless to say I happened to be there late-on, under a grey leaden sky... if only there had been clear skies and a sunset. Mental note to return... I didn't get chance. Oh well!...
I can't help about the shape I'm in
I can't sing, I ain't pretty and my legs are thin
But don't ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to
Oh well
Now, when I talked to God I knew he'd understand
He said, "Stick by me and I'll be your guiding hand
But don't ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to"
Oh well
Peter Green
Performed by Fleetwood Mac

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Barn Owl, Pellets, Bones and Bird

Along the way...

Barn Owl at last

Hours of patience for these record shots, but a great sighting.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Knott End Turnstones

Another grey overcast winters day. Stretching my legs at Knott End I ended up at the jetty. It was blowing 'a whoolie' and a bit brass around the nether regions. The tide was in and not wanting to call out the Coastguard I didn't venture too close to the waters edge and moved slowly making sure of my footing with each step... too many past adventures thank you very much. Working my way back up to the esplanade a small flock of Turnstones decided to drop in. I must have created great amusement to others passers-by as I did slow motion impressions not wanting to disturb these lovely birds – a favourite of mine (but there are so many); the colours are so fab and when you see them in their natural environment – what great plumage. The tide turned and uncovered enough of the beach and pebbles for the birds to do as their name – Turn stone. With my photos and frossen to the core, it was time to go.  A flock of 58 Redshank were feeding in the receding water's edge.
On the way to Knott End a Kestrel and 2 Grey Heron at Carr Hill Common and on Pilling Moss, another pair of Kestrels, two Red-Legged Partridge. On the way home Goldeneye at Pilling and a small flock of Greylags at Eagland Hill.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Newton Marsh – Wigeon

Popped down to Newton Marsh at first light... relatively quiet, plenty of Wigeon were in evidence both on the water and feeding on the meadow. A Mute Swan swam majestically by as they tend to do, at least six Shelduck, Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Redshank far off on the marsh, so numbers difficult for me to establish. A small number of Teal were also on site. A female Reed Bunting popped into the nearest Hawthorn tree.

Up at Clifton Marsh a pair of Kestrels were consummating their relationship and similarly two Grey Partridge while a single male Pheasant was feeding in the field.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Newton Marsh... brrrrr

'Twas a cold and frosty morn...

I'm asleep

No I'm not!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Barn Owl hunting

After hours of perseverance... poor recod shots, the problem with barn owls is they come out in the dark*, which makes photography 'interesting'!

*Barn Owls can be sen hunting during the day, particularly during the winter months when the days are much shorter, and frequently hunt at dusk, the point I was attempting to make was there is frequently poor light conditions making image capture, aperture and speed difficult for decent photographs.