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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fylde Swans

It's been a funny old winter, or maybe it's just me (more likely) and I don't seem to have 'done the rounds' quite the same as previous years – either way I haven't 'been in touch' with quite as many Fylde Swans as I would have liked, maybe there is time and I'm afraid I'm not in the mood to wax lyical on this post either, a bit weary – so quite simply here are some images of Swans taken from across the Fylde from the beginning of December over Wyre Whoopers and more recently the Mutes at Newton Marsh (12 at lat count). I'm disappointed I haven't seen any Bewicks this year.. perhaps Pete or somone might tell us all about their migration et al... we are so lucky here on the Fylde and all too often take it for granted. The one thing I will say is considering how big these birds are it is no wonder they have such a large wingspan! Magic.

not great pics but hopefully 'capture' the essence... (as alwyas double-click for larger images in slide show)

distant fly past, that came in overhead

Whooper over Lancaster Road

and away...

minor swabble

Mute Swans coming in... Newton Marsh 
in sychronisation

bath time

I just loved the light on the spray

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

More from Newton Marsh

I haven't been out for over a week or so, and I wanted to check my images again as I'm not sure these do it justice, but what the heck, I did say I wanted might post again on the basis of trying to capture the 'chaos' that 'the beast' of Newton Marsh creates at times... (Great Black Backed Gull attack, see previous post). For what they are worth...

again probably best viewed by double clicking and opening the 'slideshow'... they're not great.

the 'herd' of grazing wigeon 
some idea of the chaos

as above

not great but liked 'the pattern'

as above

normally out of focus mess – just low light this time 
Black-tailed Godwit fly past 
from a better day – example of 'chaos' 
not great  but what's all the fuss?

this went wrong when exploring noise... but like its 'art' quality
Martin popped by to say hello today, 'hello' and while stood chatting outside on the front... 5 bullfinches, 3 male and 2 female... what a bonus – made my day... made my week! Call again Martin.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Beast of Newton Marsh?

I'll try and keep this succinct.

My prayers have been answered, it's stopped raining, the sun even shone (one day) and I have some images to archive and something to post.

Many of you hopefully have seen Martin's blog about Great Black-Backed Gull attacking a male wigeon about two weeks ago  (see here) ... well Newton Marsh is also on 'my patch'... hours of fun sat doing nowt (meditation and putting the world to rights... only thing that has kept me sane... well maybe not).

There have been a few (couple of hundred) Wigeon about for a few months but numbers appear to have increased recently (or more have come into view) and there have been upwards of 1500+ at times. The place is chaos! Especially when you throw in a demonic Great Black-Backed Gull, which does appear to be venomous in it's disruption of the Wigeon. (double click image for enlarged slide show)

spot the shoveler in with the wigeon

the culprit – the beast of Newton Marsh!

wigeon in flight


too often, we overlook the beauty of what's in front of us - female mallard

male wigeon

male wigeon

flying wigeon

Anyway, here a selection of images in an attempt to capture what's going on... I fear I may have more to follow, so expect more than one post on the subject.

And if you are wondering about the map... I have an interest in history and this flood map of the Fylde from the Environment Agency seemed to suggest and reminded me of what the area may have looked like perhaps around the time of the Conqueror (1066) when much of it was all mine before man intervened and drained so much of it ... only trouble is, this is what it might look like soon – I hope you aren't the ones under water. Now switch off everything you're not using and save the planet!

you may wish to visit

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

There is a 'Jay' in January

Albeit one I photographed last autumn! I just never got around to posting these, (I was busy archiving and deleting nonsense, of which there was a great deal... a bit like the internet, some interesting stuff but 90% rubbish!).

Anyhooo, as usual, years in the making and hours and hours spent twiddling my err, thumbs (arthritis). 

(As always double-click the image for enlarged slide show)

The first image, not great but I liked the way half the bird was in sun and half in shadow... a perfect example in one photo of the variation in plumage created by the light; it's breast a 'warm-pink' and back a 'grey-pink'.

The second image again taken on an overcast day and so we have a dull 'grey-pink'. I watched this character burying its autumn booty, here underneath some moss. Normally the Jay is an elusive creature and you do well getting a glimpse... did I mention all the hours sitting around doing nowt? This amiable fellow(ess) spent a couple of minutes hopping around just in range of the lense although I'd have preferred it a bit closer.

Photos 3 and 4 speak for themselves and I was there at the right time. Did I mention all the hours sitting around doing nowt? (Also partly why the posts on here diminished, I was spending days and hours sat waiting for this rascal... which first began around 2008 I think). The last two photos were captured just as the sun was setting and the sunlight cast a warm orange glow across everything. What do they call it 'the magic hour', morning and evening? I also couldn't believe my luck as this Jay sat there cocking it's head, I do believe at the sound of the shutter noise as I rattled of some photos, and the two images seem to capture this 'listening'. 

If you half close your eyes or squint at picture four you can understand why Jays are pink: amazingly a perfect colour for disappearing into the autumnal background colours – I don't know about the rest of the year! And sadly recently I have only caught the odd glimpse of the Jay despite the fruitless hours spent over the last four weeks or so. All in all worth the effort and I hope worth the wait for the post. 

Soon be spring... did I say this weather is driving me mad? I feel a roadtrip coming on... anything to get away from this bloddy awful Lancashire weather. 

Friday, 6 January 2012

A Car Park Surprise

Greetings for a enjoyable, safe and prosperous 2012 dear reader.

For once in the right place at the right time as these photos of a Grey Wagtail were actually taken in an 'unfinished' private car park. As always (nearly always) I had the camera with me and was able to creep up on this Grey Wagtail in the car. An unexpected pleasure. (Again low light levels meant 99% of the photos were soft, out of focus and or blurred, especially as you know Wagtails are just that, wagging their tails  and for ever bobbing and weaving – bah humbug. Must do better this year).

(I think everyone now knows, that by double clicking an image opens larger photos slide show).

reflection – nearly
turning leaves - soft and out of focus... gggrrrgghhhhh

These images are all the same bird and it was 'paddling' in some puddles, turrning over damp leaves – I have no idea what it was finding to feed upon, if anything. I was attempting to capture it with it's own reflection in the water to illustrate the bright yellow under-belly etc. 

As you can see, the sun came out once and what a difference it makes! Of course what I should add is, the photography is a bonus, just watching and being so close to this character was a joy to behold and lightens the heart: however...

This constant local wet, miserable, grey, overcast weather is driving me nuts... now I understand why people sod off to Spain and the like. Personally I have always fancied Baja (California) but I see there are proposals for large scale developments even down there. Bah humbug! Perhaps Manley Beach (Sydney) or Freetown or somewhere... (hopefully somewhere where there are no mobile telephones or the internet, "hello, HELLO, HELLO can you hear me? I'll be home in two minutes"... garump! I blame it on the weather... when of course it's just me, miserable old sod).