Saturday, 11 July 2009

Leighton Moss, A farm yard and Mere Sands wood.

Firstly i want to apologise for this posting. For some unknown reason I cannot move the pictures around as I would normally so they are as uploaded and thus the story around them is disjointed. I am not a technical whizz so there you go.

I went to Leighton Moss as you know and intended to stay in the area for a day or two at Carnforth. However I felt that there were great opportunities for photography there and I ended up staying for 5 days. I was amazed by some of the sightings of the Marsh Harriers that I'd had. I'd seen red deer in the wild, something that I'd only seen in Scotland before. I also had seen, albeit distantly, a hobby and really wanted to try and get a decent close picture of that too.

Having spent the first three nights on an expensive and far too large site I went to the opposite extreme. A site with electric hook up and nothing else. Had I known how much wildlife there was going to be there I'd have booked for the whole five nights. Red deer, Goldfinch, Rabbit, Green Woodpecker, Swallow, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Sparrowhawk. I was in my element. I could only wish that the weather had been better.

I have posted the pictures of the Harrier to show the best that I got, I wish I could have acheived better. The Green Woodpecker was taken at the second site I stayed at, the Sedge Warbler was also from Leighton Moss.

The Corn Bunting was a bird I'd not seen until recently. I had fleeting glimpses of them at a site near Martin mere a week or so before, but on leaving Leighton Moss I went back there. I believe that I have some cracking shots of the bird. I'm amazed by this little brown job, its got a beautiful song.

I also saw and photographed a Yellow Wagtail at the same spot. I will go back and get better shots soon, but again I'm happy with what I have for a first attempt. A Hare was a bonus. It's always the way isn't it? I'd driven onto the lane in question and was sitting with the camera out of the window of my motorhome waiting for the CB. My dog started to whine and I could see that she was interested in something at the front of the van, I couldn't see it at first but bugger me if a Hare didn't come almost all the way up to the front of the van. I tried to shoot it through the front windscreen but I couldn't. I did get a shot of another from the side of the van. I'll post it next time.

From another site near to Martin mere called Mere Sands wood I got shots of a Kingfisher and Heron, I also got shots of Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe too.

I hope you like the following shots.

I hope I have them better on my website, I know that they are good shots.

The Yellow Wagtail is a bit of a crop.

I just love the Corn Bunting.

The Green Woodpecker was a bonus too, I was amazed when I looked out of my van window and saw it on the rocks about 40 yds from me.

Sedge Warbler:

This picture is so much better in larger format, You can see the eyes are sharp it gives a good contrast with the blurred wings.

This Harrier is a real killer, it took four Moorhen chicks from a nest opposite the Griesdale hide at Leighton Moss while myself and a group of people were watching, then it sat in this bush about 20 feet from the nest and slept.

Here is a poor shot of it carrying one chick away.

I also went to Wharton Cragg and saw the peregrines I have some very distant shots of an adult and two Juveniles which I may post next time. The thing that struck me about this place though was that there were four people who I hope wont mind me saying were all very senior citizens who were there purely to watch over the birds. They, and others, had watched the nest since its conception and seen the three eggs lain and two chicks hatch. Why? Because they care. No financial reward, no thanks from the majority of people, only because they care.
These are the type of people I admire the most, I only wish I could devote myself like they do.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Leighton Moss and Morecambe

I've been staying at the Bay View Holiday Park in Carnforth. A large site overlooking Morecambe bay. Great facilities but too large a site really for my liking. That may not have been a problem if I'd been able to get out and about a bit more but the weather has been a little restricting. A tad expensive too. 19.00 pounds for electric hook-up pitch. However thats a problem that I can now rectify as I am a bonefide member of the caravan club and with a little planning I should be able to find sites for less than 12.00 a night. Still intend to make use of laybys where possible.

So why here? I am a spit and a fart from Leighton Moss RSPB reserve. I've only been once so far but I'm impressed. I was told that the Eric Morecambe hide was the best and I have to say that although I have not yet done them all it is pretty good. That said the scrape it overlooks is low on water now so it's not at its best.

Redshanks, Greenshanks, Little Gulls, Little Egrets, Dunlin, Lapwing, Heron, Greylag, Mallard, Great black backed gull, Coot, and Black Tailed Godwit were there on my visit.

I managed pictures of these,




Little Egret:

I've also seen the Marsh Harriers and a Hobby. The hobby was way, way away so no shots but I got to see him so thats a bonus, he was sitting at the top of a dead tree, a few hundred yards closer and it would have been an ideal shot.
There are a lot of Black headed Gulls with chicks and also Coots.
Moving on monday morning, so will update asap.