19th-23rd August 2017

August 23, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The Colour Purple

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

Steller's Sea EagleSteller's Sea Eagle Steller's Sea EagleSteller's Sea Eagle

Yellow-billed kite [if my memory serves me well!] Yellow-billed KiteYellow-billed Kite Yellow-billed KiteYellow-billed Kite

Griffon vulture Griffon VultureGriffon Vulture Snowy owl

Snowy OwlSnowy Owl Common buzzard BuzzardBuzzard Flight shots of a race of eagle owl Eagle Owl sp.Eagle Owl sp. Eagle Owl sp.Eagle Owl sp. Eagle Owl sp.Eagle Owl sp. Eagle Owl sp.Eagle Owl sp. Eagle Owl sp.Eagle Owl sp. Eagle Owl sp.Eagle Owl sp. Eagle Owl sp.Eagle Owl sp. Eagle Owl sp.Eagle Owl sp. Eagle Owl sp.Eagle Owl sp. Barn owl Barn OwlBarn Owl Barn OwlBarn Owl Harris hawk Harris HawkHarris 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.

Back to the real thing - wild birds!

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. Black-tailed GodwitsBlack-tailed Godwits 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. Purple HeronPurple Heron Purple HeronPurple Heron Purple HeronPurple Heron Purple HeronPurple Heron Purple HeronPurple Heron Purple HeronPurple Heron

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.

StonechatStonechat StonechatStonechat StonechatStonechat 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

Common BlueCommon Blue Small CopperSmall Copper Red AdmiralRed Admiral WallWall 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. KittiwakeKittiwake A very nervous wheatear [my first autumn sighting this year] lingered along the fence line behind the dunes. WheatearWheatear

248 UK 2017


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