Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Distance is a problem

Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) quite a distance from the Eric Morecambe Hide Leighton Moss

A little bit more obliging , not a lot.
     

I know you didn't think I was a Spoon, so I had to prove it, I really have got a spoon shaped bill.
    I need a bigger lens !!


                   

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Lancashire, and a few Gulls.

Black-headed Gulls nesting, and some chicks on show, at the Allen hide Leighton Moss



Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) lets make some noise.

sitting tight on nest.



Lots more on another island.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Giving the feathers a service.




A bit of yoga thrown in.

What big feet you have.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Lord's Island Derwenteater.

As my mate Les steered the launch past Lord's Island on Derwentwater He slowed the boat down slightly to see if there was anything to be seen. Now in a previous post visitors  may remember seeing photos of , and reading about the Barnacle geese that come to the Island to breed , which in itself is quite an unusual thing as normally they breed way up near the Arctic. Well a couple where showing again and realising it had been some time since we saw the last pair, we were expecting maybe some goslings.

As I have pointed out before we can't get any closer because the boat needs a certain depth of water, so I have to rely on my lens to help out. and can anyone see the gosling.



Now we can , amazingly blending in with the boulders.
Also on the Island a lone Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

And at the top end of the Lake a Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) on the lookout for anything edible.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Derwentwater shore, being stalked.

Continuing my walk around the Isthmus, one path brought me to the shore of the lake, and out of the trees I'm back in the full sun, very nice. Also at this point I'm enjoying a very nice and juicy Pear. Now then, you know that feeling when you know someone is watching you, or you think you are being followed, I know spooky , well you wouldn't expect to get that feeling in broad daylight and by the lake shore would you, I did, I just got that feeling, and the next thing a shadow passed over me, and I followed it as it floated silently across the shore in front of me, then suddenly disappearing to blend in with the shadows cast by the trees. At this point I had more or less finished my Pear, and in anticipation of something interesting going to happen, I threw the remains of the pear ahead of me, and in a split second the shadow reemerged onto the shore, and increased in size until shadow and shadow maker became one, and began to devour the remains of my pear.
    The culprit----------------

Carrion crow (Corvus corone)



It became so engrossed in enjoying the juiciness of the pear it didn't notice that the tables had turned, and now I was stalking it, allowing me to get closer.

It must have thought it was its birthday.

Part of the stringy stalk hanging out of its mouth.

Going down a treat.

There was no rushing or gulping down, it just seemed to be taking its time and savouring the moment.



Yum Yum.

As the last went down it looked at me as if to say that was good any more.

Later when I rejoined the Lads at the workshop and related to what I had just witnessed, they said , oh yes if we sit outside for lunch  a pair of Crows sit in the trees above us watching and waiting for any scraps. That then explained the stalking.
     Don't forget to click on photo to enlarge, hope you enjoyed.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Sunbathing between feeds

While on my visit to Keswick to spend some time with friend Les, I always have a wonder round the Isthmus to see whats about. The Isthmus by the way is like a small peninsular of land jutting out into Derwentwater, and is covered with a variety of mainly deciduous trees. It is completely open to the public and it is criss crossed with footpaths, some bordering the lake. It is home to the Keswick Launch company work shops, where all repairs are undertaken, and new rowing boats are built there, the whole area is owned by the National trust, as is a lot of land in the valley of  Borrowdale.

Typical of the trees on the Isthmus, photo from a previous Autumn.
another part of the woodland.

and taken a few winters back, a view of the Isthmus from the boat landings, with Grisedale Pike covered in snow in the background.

Anyway to get back to the present, on a wonder ! the first thing I came across was this female Blackbird taking a break from feeding her family.

When I say taking a break, she was actually sunbathing.

Sunbathing when there is a family to feed

Some would say she's not sunbathing, she's warming the food, sorry I'm not buying that, she is just being  lazy.

A close up reveals a variety of food including a worm trying to escape over the top of her beak.
More from Derwentwater next time.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Keswick, Derwentwater.

Derwentwater, situated at the Northern end of the Lake District National Park North West England. It sits in the valley of Borrowdale, and is inextricably linked to the market town of Keswick
Mountains rise on nearly all sides, the lower slops of which are covered in mainly Oak woods with a mix of Silver Birch (Betula pendula), Hawthorn (Cartaegus), Alder (Alnus). Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia),Hazel (Corylus avellana ), and a sprinkling of others. Some areas have been planted artificially with Spruce and Larch, and in such plantings particularly Spruce there is very little wildlife due to the fact that there is hardly any light penetration, so no undergrowth.
     The lake its self is approximately 3 miles in length by about one and a half mile wide at its widest,  and roughly just over 70 feet deep. In 1975 I swam it at its widest part, and was gearing up to attempt the length of it , when the weather changed bringing heavy rain and with it a rapid drop in water temperature.
   I've always considered it to be my favourite out of all the lakes, and it is certainly the most picturesque of the lakes.  From 1974 to 1982  I was lucky enough to live right by the shore of the lake at a place called Derwent Bay, which is on the private estate of Lingholm,(owned at the time by Lord Rochdale) near the village of Portinscale, on the west side of the lake, they are memorable years.
 
Greylag geese (Anser anser) and young.
It was an idyllic place to live, surrounded by wildlife. there are woodlands on three sides of the house, and  open views to and across the lake. From my kitchen window I could watch ducks and geese on the lake, and also shore birds, waders and wagtails. Then there was all the woodland birds, and Roe deer , Foxes, Badgers, again Fox and Roe deer regularly seen from the house, not to mention Red squirrels, as many as six different individuals coming to the feeder at my kitchen window, and a Heronry at the back  of the house.

One of the Greylag goslings
My mate Les was born at  Derwent Bay in the house I ended up living in, his Farther built a new house across the yard. We soon became friends and over the years good mates, and we very often reminisce about those years at the Bay, good years, happy times mostly.
 

All enjoying the sun.

Keeping an eye on the lake traffic.

Time for a rest.
Les hard at work, launch driving, HARD ?