Before we get to the purple bit I took Sheila on Saturday 19/8 to Helmsley to see some owls. We just took Sheila's Canon with a modest zoom lens and set on automatic. Here are some of the shots...
Steller's sea eagle
Yellow-billed kite [if my memory serves me well!]
Griffon vulture Snowy owl
Common buzzard Flight shots of a race of eagle owl Barn owl Harris hawk
These place certainly provide a good opportunity to practice flight shots with several flight sessions per day with a variety of birds. On our visit the eagle owl was relatively easy to photograph, the barn owl was faster in flight, the buzzard flew into a tree and refused to co-operate [!] and the lanner falcon was impossible without a big lens as it flew out a long way at incredible speed.
Next day we went up to Silverdale to try to photograph the purple heron at Leighton Moss. The Grizedale hide was packed but we waited and stared at a patch of thistles and I got really frustrated as people said they could see the bird's head and I couldn't see anything even though I knew I was looking in the precise place!! Some black-tailed godwits dropped in. After an hour or so we were promoted to the front row as people left either in exasperation or to get lunch. We stayed on. After about two and a half hours the heron walked into full view.
So here it is.
Monday 21st August: a trip up to Saltholme area hoping for whinchat and maybe a roseate tern. Neither seen. Phil Stead hide was quiet and the reserve wasn't yet open. I drove slowly down the Zinc Works road. Plenty of young stonechats [about 15 stonechats seen!] but no whinchat.
The dell at the end of the road held a good range of butterflies: painted lady, whites, peacock and these...
Common blue; small copper; red admiral; wall
Out at Seaton Snook there were plenty of sandwich and common tern. The light was difficult. I approached the birds carefully but a couple with a dog scared everything off. I did snap this young kittiwake on the water's edge. A very nervous wheatear [my first autumn sighting this year] lingered along the fence line behind the dunes.