Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

 I Would Like To Wish All My Followers, And Visitors To My Blog
                A Very Merry Christmas And

                                                      A Happy New Year
All The Very Best, Gordon. 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Swans and Geese

Another keen frost last night with another sunny day to follow, wall to wall blue sky, but bitter cold. After a quick walk with the Westies and a look in at the flood area, where there was a few hundred Lapwings, and Fieldfare & Redwings in the nearby field. I decided to head up to Cardurnock area to see if there was any signs of the Red-breasted Goose that is being seen with the Barnacle Geese. I decided to go via Skinburness to give the marsh a quick scan, as it happened there was nothing doing there, but what I found as I drove along the Calvo road more than made up for that, because I found two fields full of these----

Whooper Swans, with the odd one or two Mutes with them. Its pointless doing any cropping of these pics because the spectacle of such a mass would be lost.

It was an awesome sight, I've never seen so many Whoopers in such a concentration, I estimate there was a least 500 possibly more.

Now as if this spectacle wasn't enough, the next thing the sky is filled with geese, and amazingly not Barnacle geese but Pink-footed Geese thousands of them. I have had reports from other people that there are a lot hanging round Cumbria, normally they would be much further South in Lancashire.
Some of the pinkies were landing which gave me the chance of a couple of flight shots

Next I moved on to Cardurnock where there was thousands of  Barnacle Geese, a Conservative estimate would put the figure at around 6000 +

Foreground Barnacle Geese, small dots mid pic. are Golden Plover

Again Golden Plover mixing in with the Barnies.
More Golden Plover , this time with sheep, each time they where too far away for decent shots, and I didn't have my digi equipment with me.  
 By now I'm shivering , so it time to head home, and not a  Res-breasted goose to be found by anyone while I was there.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Penrith Light Festival

I'm a bit behind with this set of photos as the festival was last Sunday, plus its a bit of change from birding pics I hope you like the few pics I took.

There was a few samba bands playing , and lots of festive stalls in the square.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A brief visit to Lancashire

The forecast was for a sunny day, and that's what we got. unfortunately we also got a hard frost, so it was a very cold day.
          Nevertheless not wanting to waste a sunny day, I was up bright and early and soon heading South into lancashire, and Leighton Moss. First off a walk along the causeway where I had my first encounter----

A Robin practically begging for food.

I had to keep backing away from it as it was too close for my lens.
Also this Magpie foraging, they don't usually let you get this close.

Quite a bit of the meres where covered with ice but there was still areas of open water made so by the likes of these Swans and other wild fowl and Coots.

Two distant Swans keeping the water moving.
I had a quick look in at Lillian's hide plenty of Teal, Tufted Duck, some Shoveler, and a few Wigeon.
  There was nothing from the other hides, even the marsh pools where dead.
      So I move on to the Silverdale shore, where I found a couple of pair of Mergansers, some distant Wigeon, ditto Shell Duck , and Goldeneye.

Male Red-breasted Merganser.

A pair of Mergansers.

Looking across a misty Morecambe Bay at Heysham nuclear power station.
Back home I paid a call on Kieth at Flusco , where there was good views of  Blencathera half covered in snow.

Blencathra, the sun now starting to disappear behind the cloud that was beginning to roll in.
As I was stood talking to Kieth these two male pheasants started to face off and spar, I think they must have their seasons mixed up.

Thanks for looking in , all the best.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

West coast surprises

The weather forecast for the North West part of the country said Sunny, and first thing it looked like they had got it right, although it was more like sun through cloud, plus a cold wind blowing.
     Anyway after walking the Westies and a couple of chores, I set off for the West coast,  heading  for Workington first, the tide was in and a first scan with bins didn't reveal much. The harbour entrance had a large flock of mixed gulls, no sign of Stumpy the Med gull. After a while I made my way along the jetty where I saw a few --------

Cormorants fly by in small groups,   and one

swimming around just off the jetty.

I was just about to leave when this flock of waders appeared from the end of the jetty, I couldn't tell whether they were Dunlin or Purple Sandpiper. after asking Craig Shaw (VIB) He told me they were Purps. so that came in handy for the year list.
 I was beginning to feel the cold, so headed off  to the relative shelter of Siddick ponds, after getting out of the car, I always check the small pond first, it being nearest to the car.  I couldn't believe the first thing my eyes alighted on, only an -------

Otter calmly swimming around and diving hunting for food

Its just unfortunate it wasn't closer to the camera, but even these shots where stretching my lens a bit.

 Unfortunately the Otter turned out to be the only thing of interest, so I moved on up the coast to Maryport, where I got good views across the outer Solway to Scotland ---

Looking over to Scotland

Close by the car a Black-headed Gull preened, and

Looking South along the coast.
At this stage I decided I'd had enough of the cold and headed in the direction of home, but couldn't resist calling in at Soddy Gap on the way. It turned out there was more activity there than anywhere, as soon as I parked the car I had fleeting glimpses of Tree Sparrow, a Wren, and this little beauty---

Reed Bunting and it didn't seem to mind my presence
As I headed along the track towards the pond, I came across a flock of Goldfinch, unfortunately just as I was getting into them, from behind me came a jogger and the whole lot lifted never to be seen again. It was only when the whole flock lifted I realised how many there was, at least 200

Just a few of the flock, pre-jogger.
 Just after this I heard the sound of Geese calling, and what a sight when I looked up----

One of two batches of Pink footed Geese, these where in front of me, and there was another batch of equal size behind me, what a sight.
Good numbers of  Tufted Duck on the pond .
And Goosander numbers are building again.

Quite an enjoyable day.

Friday, 23 November 2012

A few Corvids

Carrion Crow
By 10-30 this morning we had almost a clear blue sky, just the odd white cloud. So I thought too good to miss, and grabbing camera and bins I set off.  I decided to head off down to the Eamont river to see what state it was in after yesterdays storm, unfortunately this meant a long plod through town on account I didn't have the car. However it was nice to have the sun on my face and pic up a little vitamin D. Ha.

Just on the edge of town I found a few Crows .
Then I crossed the A66 and went down into Emont Bridge, the path by the river was a bit muddy to start off but it got worse as I plodded on. In a grazing field by the river I found more Crows and quite a few Rooks, some on the ground feeding others perched up in trees .


Tree full of Rooks

And one lone Rook keeping guard

The river was in full flood and in places had been over the bank earlier.

At other times of the year it is possible to walk across the weir but to day the speed of the water was terrific.

The force of the water hear was unbelievable

A mixed group of  Gulls  Common and Black-headed where making the most of the flood.
Just after I took this photo I looked to the South-West and was shocked to see the sky was black, and heading my way. the next thing it poured down and continued till I got home, I was soaked.