Friday, 30 January 2015

Orrell Water Park

Whilst still being unable to walk long distances, I decided to go to Orrell Water Park where you can bird from the car park if necessary. Here I spotted this Cormorant which for some reason didn't seem to bothered about people getting close.

There was also a Mandarin Duck on the water, associating with Mallards but keeping it's distance from me!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Common Buzzard on Lower Green Lane

I photographed this beauty just before my day and the next four weeks were going to take a turn for the worse.  It's a Common Buzzard and nowadays they are getting very common.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Just Swanning About ...

I'd had a tip off that there were some Bewick Swans amongst the Whooper Swans at Hundred Lane End in Banks and as I've never seen a wild one, I headed off for the darkest depths of Lancashire today.  The flock was quite well mixed, but the Bewicks are slightly smaller with a shorter neck and more black on the bill.  Pick them out if you can!

Here are some Whooper Swans doing the Hokey Cokey:

Actually, there may be a Bewick in there (back right).

Friday, 16 January 2015

Shrikey !!!

The long-staying Great Grey Shrike at Lytham Moss was my target for today as I'd missed it previously on my way back from seeing the Shore Lark at Rossall Point.  I saw the bird as soon as I got to the traffic lights on the main road and so I was fumbling with excitement as I parked up and grabbed my camera. This is one of the first shots I got:

I'm quite pleased with this photo as it's pretty close and shows the eye and beak detail quite well, despite all the flipping branches in the way.  But after about 30 seconds the bird flew off and unfortunately never came close again. Here's the only other I shot that's any good.

Although distant, this one shows the typical habitat it's been frequenting here.  The Great Grey Shrike is actually our smallest bird of prey, although you would hardly think of it as a raptor.  It eats insects and rodents and sometime even small birds such as Wrens.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A Grand Day Out at Knott-End-On-Sea

I had a grand day out at Knott-End-On-Sea at the most northerly point on the Fylde in Lancashire today where I saw Twite, Eider Duck, Curlew, Little Egret, and Redshank. My target bird was the Twite as I'd never seen one clearly before today, so mission accomplished and all the rest, especially the drake Eider Duck, were a bonus. I also met bird photographer Susan Wilson and her husband Peter who are friends of photographers Pauline Mellor-Greenhalgh and David Shallcross, both members of the Leigh Ornithological Society for which I do the website and run the Facebook group.

There was talk of a Pomeraine Skua being in the area but I'd left it too late to look for it today. However, on my way home through Pilling I did meet a birder who pointed out two Barn Owls to me along Bradshaw Lane and there were also some Tree Sparrows, Yellowhammer and Chaffinches on the feeding track there and a Corn Bunting on some telephone wires.

Like I said at the top of the post, it was a Grand Day Out.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Okay, Okay, Okay ....

I haven't posted anything here or on Flickr since September 2014. There are many reasons for this including the rise of the L.O.S. Facebook group that I set up, my dissatisfaction with the quality of the photos I've been taking and lack of time due to returning to work after a brief period of early retirement.

All the decent photos I've taken since my last post here have been posted on the L.O.S. Facebook group along with any brief reports I've done. This has become the main place I currently use on the internet because I get a lot of feedback from other birders and comments from interested people, much more than I have ever had on this blog.

I like my blog posts to be in chronological order as they are a diary of what I get up to, but as time passed it became harder and harder to resume posting and keep things in the right sequence - therefore I stopped altogether.  However, I've now decided I'll do some 'back-posting', by which I mean I'll post the reports and photos which I took last year, leave them at the top of the blog for a while and then arrange them into chronological order at a later date just to satisfy my OCD.

So now I'm going to get started again, watch this space ....