Peregrine Surprise

January 13, 2019 at 8:16 pm

RN2A4084Its always a nice surprise when a Peregrine appears from nowhere and flies past you at breakneck speed. This happened during the week when I was exercising our two dogs along the local canal. It had its sights on a Canada Goose but veered off at the last minute and gave a high pitched call that I have never heard before.
During the last week Lapwings have returned to our local industrial estate to roost on the warm roof. They peaked at 350 on the 8th and this is one of the largest flocks I have ever seen at this site. A few photos are in this weeks gallery.Click here

Bird Watching 2019

January 5, 2019 at 9:17 pm

IMG_4249What better way to start the new year than watching Kites from a Hot Tub in the valley of the River Dee in Wales. Its that time of the year again when I look back and choose my ten favourite photos from 2018. Every year it becomes more difficult and no excuses from the weather which was exceptional last year.
The photos are in the gallery with the clear winner being a male Long Eared Owl bringing a vole to its fledged young. It is a photo I have dreamt of capturing for fifty years and last July it all came good with the male Long Eared Owl hunting before dark for three weeks in evening sunshine to feed five fledged young. I don’t ever expect to be presented with this opportunity again.
Among the other photos are my favourites on Hen Harriers, Osprey, Short Eared Owl, Sea Eagle, Parrot Crossbill, Fieldfare and a Mountain Hare at full speed over a snowfield. Bittern is now the only bird missing from my gallery and preventing me from more time in the Hot Tub!! Click here for my favourite photos.

Xmas Lunch

December 28, 2018 at 9:40 pm


On Christmas eve, flying against the back-drop of Manchester flats, my local Barn Owl is carrying its lunch back to the barn to devour. This was its second attempt as 30 minutes before this it had been dispossessed of its vole by the local Kestrel! Not every pair of Barn Owls hunt during the day and before I was able to obtain todays distant photos I had to endure twelve hours hidden away under hedges hoping for some sun and Owl activity. And to think that all this may be a distant memory next year if the Greater Manchester Spacial Development Plan goes ahead. click here

Waxwings Are On Their Way

December 22, 2018 at 7:32 pm

RN2A8342If there is one bird species that excites bird-watchers it is the Waxwing. None came to us last winter as there was an abundance of berries in Scandinavia so they stayed over there, but this winter the situation is different. At present there are hundreds of Waxwings in Scotland eating their way south . This week seven have reached the Burnley area so Christmas may bring the best present of all – a Waxwing in your own garden! So start checking your own berries today! click here for gallery of photos from previous Waxwing visits.

Acrobatic Goldfinches

December 16, 2018 at 5:48 pm



The long hot summer has produced an abundance of thistles which have been an absolute bonus for our Goldfinches. During the many hours that I have been waiting for Long and Short-Eared Owls to appear the charms of Goldfinches have kept me entertained with their acrobatics as in this weeks blog photo. click here
All our winter visitors are now with us and I flushed two Woodcock today and had a third highest count ever of seven Jack Snipe on the 7th December.

To Intervene Or Not To Intervene?

December 8, 2018 at 5:56 pm

RN2A9248Much has been said in recent weeks about the BBC cameraman’s declared policy of not intervening in any wildlife event that they are filming. That rule was broken last week when Emperor Penguins were helped out of a glacier to enable them to return to their rookery. Death would have followed if the cameramen had not stepped in.
This week’s blog photo is of a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker in the talons of a female Sparrowhawk on my lawn this last summer. I make no apologies for taking one photo before rushing outside to liberate the Woodpecker. It was a lucky bird being so large that the Sparrowhawk could not fly off with it when it initially pounced. As far as I am concerned I put lots of food out to attract a variety of birds and the Sparrowhawk can hunt in someone elses garden!! However, lets not forget that when I photographed my first Sparrowhawks at the nest in 1975 they were as rare as the Merlin is today and have already started to decline again.

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