Tuesday, 30th December. An afternoon visit to the coast to find the Shore Lark at Rossall Point, Fleetwood didn’t start well when I realised I’d left the binoculars at home. Thankfully even after a couple of weeks or so the bird is still drawing in a small audience so it was just a case of finding the photographers and then you’ll find your bird.
The Shore Lark is a winter visitor from Scandinavia that normally favours the east coast, not the west as is the case here.
It wasn’t long before the bird took off and flew further along the shore line and out of sight but not before the sun came out from behind the clouds to illuminate the last few frames.
I’d love to know if any of the birds you hear about that unexpectedly arrive in the wrong place actually get back on course and find there way to where they should actually be?? Hopefully some do.
Saturday 27th, December. A crisp winters morning made a welcome change to the recent endless rain endured over the last few days. The dip in temperatures almost gave us a white Christmas but the snow fell on Boxing Day and sub zero overnight temperatures gifted us with some picture postcard winter scenery.
As far as birds go, it was a quiet morning. In fact the only birds I saw on Pendle this morning were Red Grouse. After crouching and staying low I got into a decent position to try and take a few photographs. My camera’s “quiet” shutter mode actually works quite well and I should have continued to use it but I decided to switch to continuous burst mode and as soon as the first few frames fired off then so did the birds – lesson learned for the next time!
Thanks for reading!
Saturday 13th December, 2014. At last, a decent morning weather wise prompted me to take a hike up Pendle Hill. A covering of snow and hard frost made the trek a slow and tentative affair but the summit was eventually reached unscathed!
Red Grouse are a common sight on Pendle and today was no exception. Lots of male birds could be seen both on the ground and in flight, although some distance away. Also on view were three Ravens heading north over the plateau (two of the three below)..
As the trig point came in to view, a flock of small birds coming in to land caught my eye. A closer look revealed that these were Snow Buntings, a quick count revealed about 20 birds. Snow Buntings, like Dotterel are a Pendle speciality that drop in on passage at certain times of year. I’d guess that this particular flock had just arrived as they didn’t seem too worried about my presence and were keen to commence feeding in the grasses.
How glad was I to choose this particular day to go up Pendle! This was the first time I’ve managed to see Snow Buntings anywhere, never mind on the doorstep. The next hour and a half was spent watching and photographing these little gems feasting, taking in the calories. Eventually, I called it a day and left them still busily feeding.
Saturday the 13th of December turned out to be a lucky day, Snow Buntings, in snow and near perfect light – and I had them all to myself!
Here’s a selection of photographs from the morning..
Thanks for dropping in!
Yes that’s true, cute as they may be these birds are not as innocent as they may seem. If you used to get your daily pinta delivered on your doorstep in a milk bottle (maybe still do), you will probably be familiar with the pecked holes in the foil top.
You open your door looking forward to a bit of nice fresh cream in your coffee and it seems something has been there before you. Of course you have no chance of spotting the culprit, because he will off like a ‘flash’ as soon as he hears you coming. Probably be watching you from a safe distance content in the knowledge he has had your breakfast before you have. That likely culprit is the Blue Tit, although the Robin also did it to a small degree the Tit was far more adept at it.
Although slightly irritating, it shows just how clever these little birds can be. This is learned behaviour that they have managed to communicate between themselves over a period of time. During the second world war milk deliveries in England stopped but as soon as they started again the birds were straight back at it. The Tits don’t live that long so somehow this knowledge has been ingrained in their offspring, very interesting.
From an artistic point of view these are a wonderful bird, with their colourful feathers and their acrobatic antics on the garden feeder they are delightful to observe and re create. They will build their nest in the usual places of holes in trees, walls and banks, but like the Robin also favour more unusual spots. Whilst in the garage or shed you may be lucky to spot one in an old flower pot on a shelf or tucked into a watering can in a quite corner. They lay quite a lot of eggs 8 -12 which are white with reddish brown speckles.
It was a joy to make this little bird and I enjoyed using the subtle blues, yellow, and green paper to create his beautiful plumage. He may not be happy that I could only fit one little egg in this picture!
I decided a nice colourful yellow frame on this one would set the colours off perfectly, hope you like it and the lovely photographs by Dave of course.
Thanks for reading my blog til next time.