Singing Flycatchers

April 26, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Pied Flycatcher
There is no doubt that one of the highlights of spring is when the male Pied Flycatchers arrive and fill the Pennine woodlands with song. It doesn’t last long for as soon as the females arrive and he pairs off he becomes less vocal as she builds their nest. The active song period may be as short as one week and the splendid weather of this last week has been perfect to capture the male in action.

The dry and warm weather during the week has meant that many of our garden birds have been thirsty. I have had several sessions filming a variety of our garden birds drinking and bathing. This weeks gallery includes some of those birds including an ever increasing number of Redpolls. click here.

Sandpiper Surprise

April 19, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Green Sandpiper
An old filming colleague of mine always reckoned that when I went into a hide the bird that we were filming would stand on its head for me whereas he got very few photos. My standard answer to this, apart from smiling, was to point out that I spent more time in the hide than he did so eventually luck would come my way. In wildlife photography your results are directly proportionate to the time you put in. A good example of this occured this week with the Kingfisher photo that appeared on BBC television. The day before the successful session I got nothing and the day after I got one photo. Not to be put off I went again the day after that and while the Kingfishers were illusive what should come walking down the stream was a bird I had never filmed before – a Green Sandpiper! This weeks blog and gallery include some of the photos I took of that magical bird plus some more of the Kingfisher food-pass photos. In wildlife photography there is no such day as tomorrow, you always have to capitalise on the moment in hand because seldom do you get a repeat performance. Click here

In the last week I have spent time searching for Woodcock but so far luck has not come my way. I did find a Mallard incubating nine eggs and twenty yards away another Mallard was incubating nine Mallard eggs and nine Pheasant eggs! Even more surprising fifty yards away from that was a Pheasants nest containing twenty four eggs! Clearly there are some confused birds in that wood.


April 10, 2015 at 8:52 am


Just wanted to share this photo I took yesterday morning of the male Kingfisher presenting the female with a fish. For once everything came together. Well worth the early morning start. It was shown on BBC Look North at 6.30 last night.

Where Eagles Fly

April 9, 2015 at 7:38 pm

Golden Eagle
With the fabulous weather recently lots of wildlife enthusiasts will have gone to Scotland with one thing in mind – to see an Eagle. In 1974 I sat in my hide on a windswept Hebridean ledge and filmed a female Golden Eagle feeding her one offspring. It was a moment that I shall treasure forever and the cine film that I took on that memorable day has subsequently been watched and enjoyed by thousands of people ever the last 40 years. Some of those people are now working full time in wildlife conservation so my ten minutes of film taken all those years ago may have helped to protect the species.

I have only recently been converted to digital wildlife photography and the whole of this weeks gallery was taken nine years ago with my first digital camera, a Canon 350D.It would have been almost impossible to envisage such flight shots with the equipment of old. Click here

Digging In

April 4, 2015 at 8:30 pm

During the last two weeks most Kingfisher pairs have been busy digging out their nesting tunnels. This weeks gallery photos (Click here) were taken last week of one of my regular pairs engaged in the digging process. Unfortunately events have overtaken them when last Tuesday  Rochdale was the wettest place in Britain with more than one and a half inches of rain. The result was the flooding of the Kingfishers nesting hole and the early failure of this first breeding attempt of the year. Lets hope that this is not repeated in the ensuing months.

A visit to the hills during the week found Long Eared Owls back in their breeding sites and a Green Woodpecker digging out a new hole in an Oak tree. I am always amazed that any bird can dig out a hole in a living Oak tree. There are now more Chiff Chaffs singing in the woods and along the Ribble I saw my first Sand Martins of the year. The general feeling so far is that it is going to be a late breeding season.

In the garden we had a record six Wood Pigeons together on the 2nd.