A Season Of Red Berries

December 23, 2016 at 5:33 pm

During the last few weeks of searching for Waxwings I have had some incredible encounters with Bullfinches and Redwings. This years crop of Rowan berries was exceptional and made for some impressive seasonal photos. Enjoy the gallery. Click here

In the garden this week we had our first day this winter with more than twenty species of birds feeding. It was good to see Nuthatch, Long Tailed Tits and a male Great Spotted Woodpecker making an appearance. Along our local canal Grey Wagtails and Goosanders are still present.

Garden Jays

December 17, 2016 at 2:41 pm

For the last three months Jays have been feeding in the garden on a regular supply of peanuts put out especially for them. Three at once is the most that we have had but together with the late Autumn leaves they have produced some colourful photos. click here
Having featured Goosanders in a recent blog last week we had a record nine males and two females on our local canal. Whilst in Hopwood woods today I heard the unmistakeable call of a Willow Tit in the foggy surroundings – lets hope it was making its way to our garden like it did for eight consecutive winters.

Waxwings At Last

December 11, 2016 at 6:04 pm

After weeks of searching last Monday I finally found four of my favourite birds, Waxwings, feeding on a Rowan in the Ribble valley. I had them all to myself and spent ninety minutes taking whatever photos I could in the poor light. Hopefully in future weeks more will move down from Scotland and we can all watch them devouring our local berries.
As if the Waxwings weren’t good enough the week got better on Thursday when, at dusk, a cracking female Hen Harrier hunted close to me at Hopwood. She settled on a fence post to give prolonged views and as it was dusk looked to be selecting a roosting place for the night in the long grass. This was only my second local Hen Harrier sighting in the last forty years and needlessly to say there have been no repeat performances. Click here

Dumfries Weir

December 4, 2016 at 5:55 pm

Every year in November the weir on the river Annan in the centre of Dumfries is the place to go to film Goosanders. With a little rain Lamprey move up the river and they are a big attraction for the Goosanders. When I was there recently the rain one morning encouraged thirty Goosanders to feed. I spent some hours filming but during the whole time I was never able to capture a photo of a Goosander with a Lamprey in its mouth. Other birds fishing the weir were Gulls, Herons and Cormorants and I understand that Otters are regular visitors so it is well worth a return visit.Click here
Back home we are now awaiting the arrival of Waxwings. In the meantime I had a record local count of more than five hundred Redwings on the 3rd Dec. with three hundred and ten Lapwings on the roof of an Industrial Unit on the same date.