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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Turnstone and bits...

Back in the middle of November, the 17th to be exact I crossed the Fylde to Knott End, starting off bright enough but then on what yet again was a dismal day with low light and hence low apertures and speed. I called at the jetty at Knott End and was repaid with half a dozen Turnstones knocking about – but you know Turnstones always on the move, bobbing and weaving, dipping and diving... and with slow shutter speeds I could not 'stop' them – hence the blurred images, yet I managed to get a focus on them somewhere. And strangely they were foraging on the sloping sea wall and one popped up onto the top of the sea wall and with the building-site hoarding in the background provided an unusual blue backdrop. Otherwise disappointingly quiet.

A skein of Pink Footed Geese passed overhead, which they tend not to do if they can help it and on Pilling Lane I spotted a buzzard hiding in the roadside hedgerow. Nothing too unusual in that but if you look carefully there is a blue tag on the right shoulder. I managed to slow down and get off the road to rattle a few shots off through the windscreen but passing traffic soon had it off and away.

I called at Bradshaw Lane feeding station but it was very quiet as I drew up, so checking the camera settings I looked up to see a pheasant making a dash for the hedge while a raptor flashed in, up and away before I knew what had happened – again having camera in hand I rattled off some photos, as you can see somewhat blurred but one I thought captured the speed of the attack and about as much as I saw, while the other identified the culprit – a Kestrel. I was a little surprised as I hadn't realised Kestrel employ ambushing tactics like Sparrowhawks – you learn something new every day!

And finally I had to stop at Carr House Green Common to catch the setting sun. It was also the same day, I think, then again maybe not, that I had clocked all the Starlings on the moss, as seen in an earlier post... I'm still trying to catch up and brain dead!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Wigeon and stuff

Again I am afraid these are historical images, the Wigeon taken on 13 November...

 Juvenile Pied Wagtail – in a tree?

'burning bush'


chasing Hilda Ogden

fly by

more fly by

whoops by fly

before settling.... eventually

bathed in morning light

male wigeon

chas and dave

one small step...

More images from me travels...

Something you don't see very often – a Pied Wagtail in a tree, while over at Newton Marsh one evening I came across the 'burning bush' and very little else. 

One day I was up at the crack of dawn at Newton Marsh just as the sun rose and again the images are more or less in reverse order. It was generally very quiet on the marsh apart from all the usual suspects but the ducks appeared to be particularly nervous and kept their distance – unusual. A Great Black Backed Gull made an appearance and then the wildfowl were spooked by something but I didn't see what – but it led to the air filling with wheeling wildfowl before eventually settling back down on the water.

While most are Wigeon, I find it fun to see what else you can spot (sad eh!)Teal, Shoveler... Because the light was awful by this time the pics aren't very good, but the 'flatness' has its own merits and looks to me like it could be wallpaper of something... and one day I will get Hilda Ogden's three ducks on the wall! Thanks to Martin who turned up he spotted a distant Peregrine sat on one of the Pylons, I had missed it flying across the marsh but clearly what had put the wildfowl up.

As the sun rose above the horizon there was a very brief interlude where the sun shone almost horizontally across the marsh and I managed to sneak up on two Wigeon and managed the two decent photos.

Similarly one day I managed to sneak up on a Chas and Dave (rabbit) lit by the evening light. And I don't know if any of you have noticed but a big white thing appears in the evening sky from time to time – in this case I was looking for and found Jupiter – which I couldn't photograph so made do with this evening picture.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Starlings on the moss

These are in reverse order, that is evening photos first where as I had taken some earlier...

I've simply tried to capture the enormity of the flock... bleedin hundreds and hundreds of 'em!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Bits and Pieces (again)

I have been somewhat remiss in not keeping up-to-date, but days pass and become weeks and I'm sure you don't want to be bored with the same old subject. Anyhoo here are a selection of images from recent weeks from me on me travels. A Linnet at Knott End is enclosed as I have seen several reports of Twite, yet I have seen non, but I have seen Linnets – but no sighting reports of Linnet and thought it odd. On 20 October over at Eagland HiIll I saw my first influx of Pink Footed Geese estimated at about 6,000 and the sky was full of skeins of about 150 dropping in, hence the photos, taken as always as the light was failing. A Sparrowhawk flew past hunting the hedgerows and about 2,000 Starling were flocking before moving on to roost in Blackpool no doubt.

On my local patch I came across a buzzard being harassed as they so often are, sadly I haven't seen it since and those wing tips are so distinctive. Autumn is the time for reaping the nut harvest and windfall, this Jay was reasonably obliging while a Great Spotted Woodpecker has set about stripping the bark off one of the trees.

The Pied Wagtail I caught just taking-off along the esplanade at Knott End (on a very miserable day, but the flat light produced an almost monochromatic Japanese print effect) and included the Chaffinch as the colours of the bird reflected the colours of autumn and the moss and lichen on the branch.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Photographic Competition – National Geographic

hello dear reader

i wondered if you might be interested in entering... if not still worth a look as some stunning photography

deadline for entries 30 November 2011

(i only just found out too)


and some crackers at


Monday, 7 November 2011

Gold and Gold

the heady day that was summer... 
golden prarie...?

misty mornings return

although you can't see too well when the Pink Footed Geese start arriving...
winter will be soon upon us

Preston City Centre... home of the Black Redstart and Peregrine falcons!

I awoke to a pretty chilly morning – a sign of things to come (winter).

All my attempts at capturing Goldfinch on camera, have on the whole failed miserably, normally the black eye disappearing into the black around it without any definition; however I recently concentrated on the subject and with the sun out and behind me for once I managed a few photos so bashed 'em out on here. The few 'action' images are a bit blurred, but I felt captured the movements sufficiently well to include them.

And for my antipodean chums and those from not around these 'ere parts a couple of images of the area where I do some of my birding... and a couple that remind me of that week that was summer... those golden ears of wheat.

I have often wondered about the bright colour on Goldfinch, but I think I commented on an early post, while watching Goldfinch feed on roadside dandelion, they soon disappear into the background. I also recall wandering around a certain capital town of a Mediterranean island and hearing Goldfinch sing... kept in cages outside people's apartment windows.