Monday, 18 July 2011

Coot At Sunrise

Obviously not taken recently, due to the lack of sunshine!
It was actually taken a couple of winters ago on a frozen lake somewhere in Lancashire...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Natures Colours

I was looking through some nature shots in my archives and thought I'd share them with you.
Not a great deal to say about them other than it's a bit of a mixed bag taken at different locations in different light conditions...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A Little Bit Of Cuteness...

Canada Goose Gosling...

Monday, 11 July 2011


Due to my recent photographic inactivity, I've missed out on a number of seasonal highlights and I can't help feeling a little disappointed that this year I haven't visited the Gannet colony at Bempton Cliffs on the North East Yorkshire coast.
This site is without doubt one of the best places on earth to see these spectacular Sea Birds at close quarters...
A visit in late may or early June is recommended because the birds are very active in courtship and nest building activities, not to mention some amazing aerial displays...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Freshwater Monsters!

In the pecking order of British wildlife it is debatable who owns the crown of top predator.
Foxes, Stoats and Weasels are perhaps the top mammals while Birds of prey all have their own special skills that would make them contenders.
Underwater in the freshwater fish kingdom there is only one winner though...The Pike!
Since childhood, I've always had a curious fascination with these supreme hunters and as a child I always enjoyed hearing the many myths and legends surrounding these fish.
I find it strange but not altogether surprising that some people seem to have a naive fear of the Pike.
Firstly, as fish go the Pike with it's pre-historic looks is quite a scary looking creature compared to other fish in our waters.
Secondly, some of the legends are actually true! Yes the Pike does sometimes eat Ducklings, as well as Water Voles and just about any other fish that crosses it's path...Including other Pike!
The Pike has always been a persecuted species in the UK...
In the past I've seen anglers cut them off their lines for fear of handling these large tooth 'monsters'.
The owner of a large fishing lake close to my home used to blast basking Pike with his shotgun fearing they would destroy too much of his stocks.
Thankfully this man eventually realized that there is a place for Pike and the lake has now become a well respected Pike fishing venue.
So why do I hold the Pike in such high esteem?
Well I guess for some of the same reasons that some people fear them, with the exception that I believe for these are the exact reasons they should be respected...
The Pike is a true wonder of British wildlife.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Little Ringed Plover

Once a very rare spot, the Little Ringed Plover has become something of a success story in recent years. Although still almost exclusively confined to the reservoirs and gravel pits of England and a few small areas of Wales, UK breeding numbers are now around the 1000 pair mark.
These beautiful little Waders arrive on our shores in March and have usually bred and migrated by early July.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Blue Tit Portrait

I was just looking through some old shots, that I took a couple of years ago and thought I'd share an image of one of Britain's more common garden birds, the Blue Tit.
These charismatic and busy little birds are a firm favourite of mine and I expect many others...

Monday, 4 July 2011

Meadow Rabbit...

A couple of posts back I shared some shots of Rabbits taken at a picnic area close to the River Goyt in Stockport.
You may recall I mentioned a wild flower meadow which is the usual place to spot these creatures in this particular area and this reminded me of a shot I took a few years ago of a Bunny hiding amongst the wild flowers.
I've always been quite fond of this picture because it proved very tricky to get somewhere near the effect I was after and I must have shot 50 frames to achieve it!
I was trying to focus on the Rabbits eye which was easier said than done because I was shooting through tall grass and flora.
Everytime I thought I had the focus right, the auto-focus would decided otherwise and it became a very frustrating business!
In the end I switched to manual focus and got this shot...

Ok, it's not by any means the greatest photograph in the world, but I like the colours and everytime I see it, it reminds me of the troubles I had getting it!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Moorhen Family

This morning I visited a small pond which is covered in Lily pads and home to a pair of Moorhens and their brood of 5 youngsters.
It was a lovely morning, the pond was bathed in bright sunshine and the youngsters seemed to enjoying themselves exploring their surroundings...

The parents while still keeping a watchful eye on the little ones were busy collecting materials for a new nest site, right in the middle of the pond...

Friday, 1 July 2011

Bold Bunnies!

Wildlife is always all around us, but so wary is it of human beings it can quite easily go unnoticed.
There is an old saying about siting still and quiet in some wild place and within 15 minutes everything will return to normal...That is nature will carry on with it's business.
A good case in point occurred on my travels this morning...
I took a walk to a spot along the River Goyt close to my home which is usually a good vantage point for species such as Kingfisher, Dipper and Grey Wagtail to name just a few.
To gain access to this spot, I have to walk by meadows full of tall wild flower and grasses before passing through a mowed picnic area by the rivers edge.
The tall meadows play host to a variety of species and are a favourite feeding place for Rabbits because of the excellent cover it provides against predators such as Foxes and Buzzards which are plentiful in this area.
I arrived at the riverbank at around 8am after spending two hours trying to motivate myself to actually get out with the camera!
After spending 20 or so fruitless minutes scanning the river for the before mentioned target species I decided to try my luck elsewhere and headed back towards the picnic area which I had walked through before.
To my surprise the place had come to life and a dozen or so Rabbits were spread around busily feeding on the plentiful Clover flowers that were thriving on this patch of maintained land.
The Clover certainly was proving irresistible to the Bunnies, because these usually most timid of creatures were so intensely eating that they didn't seem to mind my presence and even allowed me to get within a few feet of them on open ground!