Thursday, 5 September 2013

31st Aug-2Sept 2013, More research and a Leighton Moss trip

The research began early on Saturday and the camera and binoculars were packed and I was out before 6.00am. A quiet entry into the owl site was successfully achieved and I settled in to a good but not close vantage point for the little owls, a couple of unmistakeable views through the binocs before the sun was anywhere near high enough for photographs were early rewards, made my way silently through the fields hoping to see the tawnies.

The sky just before sunrise, tranquil and peaceful.

There was no sign of the tawny owls on this occasion and as I was now not too far from the canal I took the opportunity for a walk along the towpath.

My ever friendly heron looked surprised to see me so early!

Mist rose from the canal as the warmth of the sun arrived...

...and the water took on the beautiful soft colours and tranquillity of a late summer sunrise.

Back in the fields the early birds were out looking for food...a juvenile mistle thrush and a blackbird.

Another attempt at watching the little owls was somewhat ruined as a herd of unruly young bullocks took an interest in me, they were no threat and just being playful but they seemed to be taking it turns to come and inspect me so there was little chance of being un-noticed!

Time for home and an appointment in town beckoned, there would be time for another walk later in the day.

In early afternoon I ventured up towards the top of our local hills, pleasant wandering through lanes and fields, with the occasional challenge of the ancient squeeze stiles.

There was not much subject matter for my camera but the weather was warm and going was easy, nice to relax and just enjoy the exercise and fresh air sometimes.

Descending down a lovely lane I found a speckled wood butterfly..

I dropped down to the canal just in time to see a lovely fluffy duckling...

I had a good look for kingfishers but my luck seems to out with those at the moment, the grey heron however seems to look for me!

With the number of mallards in the area a number of crossbreeds occur, the lighter colours of this one are quite striking...

The swans have been quite successful with five of their cygnets surviving, this one came ultra close to investigate me!

Not a spectacular day but still a very enjoyable one.

Sunday was spent on necessary jobs at home, to be honest the weather was a little dull and would have done little to entice me out anyway.

A work related visit to Lancashire on Monday took me quite close to Leighton Moss RSPB reserve, a quicker than expected conclusion to business left me with a couple of hours to easy decision to make!

And what a surprise when my first photo opportunity was a heron!

A quick wander round some of the hides brought me a bonus as I found a red deer grazing in an adjacent field.

A chat to a fellow visitor disclosed that there were some good sightings down at the tidal ponds and we both headed off down there.

A curlew sandpiper and a spotted redshank, both relatively difficult birds to see so a real bonus to photograph them together..

There was a ruff...

A curlew sandpiper came in close...

And the black tailed godwits fed steadily...

Well worthwhile the short diversion and another great visit here.

The migration of autumn is almost upon us, birds will leave and others will arrive, I hope to continue getting out and photographing what I can.

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  1. Great sunrise photo to start, set the atmosphere for some lovely clear bird shots again. I am beginning to think you are being 'stalked' by your heron friend !1

  2. These canal views are so familiar yet you bring out their exquisite beauty. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous shots.