Friday, 6 November 2015

Settling into Autumn

Living near water is important for wildlife watchers, being a reasonable distance from both coasts the becks, rivers and canal form a large part of the areas I concentrate on. With woodlands plentiful around here it is relatively easy to think of short walks which combine the two to increase the chance of good sightings.

One of the species I have got to know well is the grey heron, fascinating creatures and their range of food is amazing. They can be skittish but spending time with them can pay dividends, very slow careful movement and keeping very quiet can get you quite close!

Taking a trip to our red kite site proved OK though the light could have been kinder...

Standing at my local raptor watchpoint a delightful male chaffinch called in...

At the same place...a very long distance view of a female hen harrier

Very long distance maybe but confirmed by experts, the enjoyment at this viewpoint is mainly gained through binoculars and telescope but the joy is not diluted, seeing such a magnificent array of birds of prey is a priviledge.

Kingfishers are just a delight, take a look around the various sites available on the internet and you will find offers of...diving...hovering...posing...often done with tanks of minnows or sticklebacks and a fake perch, as you would expect that is not my way. I walk miles along the canal and riverbank making notes of sightings and any perched birds I see, knowledge builds and then pays off unfortunately in poor light, still a joy to see...

Same stretch of river and a dipper...

We like to support Rodley Nature Reserve near Leeds, run entirely by volunteers it is a superb example of what can be done close to urban areas to help wildlife.

A kestrel we were watching took off and we approached very carefully, closer and closer and maybe it trusted me!

Little grebes are easy to see here

Fieldfares and redwings are arriving in big numbers from northern Europe, tough to get close to when they first fieldfare for me so far!

Jays stock up with food at this time of year, acorns and nuts are stored in their crop then regurgitated and stored away, a lot are never re-discovered which means more trees, good birds! And so photogenic too.

It is the season of the deer rut and though I photograph them year round given the opportunity the rut has a special appeal. We drove up to Cumbria, parking at roadside we walked to near Boredale Hause and the grunting and bolving noises were all around us, always a special occasion.

And finally for this post we had a drive up our favourite valley of Wharfedale for Josie's birthday, a splendid meal was enjoyed and some beautiful views....

The beauty of the natural world continues to fascinate and draw me, photographs taken of subjects behaving in a totally natural way. Many of the photographs you may see on the internet are staged, and to the photographers dishonour few disclose that, mine are what I saw on the day... or as close as my skills will capture!

Many thanks to all who read and comment, please don't forget if you comment that they come to me first for moderation.

Cheers !!!