Monday, 31 October 2011

Speckles In The Sky...

Yesterday morning at Marshside, looking out towards Marton Mere (not to be confused with Martin Mere) and Blackpool, I was treated to a preview of an amazing spectacle which would occur later in the day at dusk...

A flock of around 30,000 to 40,000 Starlings were darkening which was already at that time in the morning a very dull sky.
Reports from Marton Mere suggest more than twice this number of birds performed their amazing display at dusk and I'm kicking myself that I didn't hang around to witness it!
I'm not too downbeat though because over the next couple of months, these displays are fairly commonplace at this location.

I felt quite privileged to be present at this smaller daytime display and even more so when several thousand Starlings landed about 100 yards from where I was watching...

 I was treated to a close and very noisey flypass...

Why Starlings perform theses incredible mesmerizing feats has always been somewhat of a mystery and has baffled scientists and ornithologists for years.
It really is one of the true wonders of nature...

Sunday, 30 October 2011

More Whoopers

A couple  more Whooper Swan images, taken today at Martin Mere in bright midday sunshine...

Whooper Swan

Last week, the first 500 Whooper Swans arrived from Iceland to spend the winter at the WWT centre at Martin Mere in Lancashire.
These birds are the first of up to 2000 Whoopers which are expected to take up residency at the site.
Thousands more of these beautiful Swans will settle at other sites on the coastline of North West England  and many other locations around the UK.                                                           

 I love this time of the year when Migrant species leave the harsh environments of the far north of Europe and lower Arctic to descend on our 'warmer' shores.
Other notable species that arrive in Britain in great numbers to escape the bleak conditions include Pink Footed Geese and on a good year Waxwings.

I fully recommend a visit to Martin Mere at this time of year because the scene played out by the masses of Whoopers is nothing short of spectacular and there probably isn't a better place in the UK to get close up views of the birds before they make the long flight back to Iceland around March.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Happy Grazing

Young Red Deer on a crisp morning...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Autumn Colours

Autumnal tree canopy captured at Etherow Park, Greater Manchester...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Following On...

Well last night's image of a dead Grey Seal Pup certainly provoked a certain degree of feedback.
I'm pleased to say that the general reaction was of a positive nature and I'm glad that most understand my reasons for posting the image.

Being a wildlife lover, I of course gain no pleasure from photographing or witnessing that sort of dreadful scene, but I do believe that sometimes it is necessary to highlight certain issues.

Like I said last night, I don't want to go into any great detail on this particular subject right now, because I believe that there are many out there who know exactly what I was talking about...I may revisit the subject in a more general manner at a later date though.

I thought I'd leave you tonight with a couple of altogether happier images of the way I'm sure we'd all prefer to see these beautiful animals...

Monday, 24 October 2011


The heartbreaking sight of a dead Grey Seal pup at Donna Nook....

Not by any means a pleasant image and one I thought long and hard about publishing.
To be honest, it's not really the kind of image I would normally have taken, but I did take it and I did so for a very good reason...To highlight what can happen to a wild and vulnerable animal when not given the respect it's deserved by humans.
The first rule of photographing wildlife should always be The Welfare Of The Subject Comes First!!
Sadly, there is no other place in Britain where I have seen this rule broken so many times than at this Lincolnshire Seal colony.
The lengths some so-called photographers will go to get their 'shot' is not only disturbing, but quite frankly disgusting.
Sorry for the rant, I'm not going to go into any great detail on this matter. I know there are many great photographers who have the up most respect for their subjects and environment that read my posts...This is really aimed at the ones who perhaps don't.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Where's Mummy?

A light hearted image that I took at the globally important Donna Nook Seal colony in Lincolnshire a couple of years back.
We're nearing that time of year when the Seals will be descending on our shores to breed and in the next few days I feel I have to get certain issues off my chest regarding the etiquette of photographing these beautiful animals...