Storm Desmond has got a lot to answer for not least that it bought a lot of coastal birds in land, so who would have thought it when 5 Juvenile Shags turned up at Carr Vale N.R. Mark who found them also saw them fly off in a South Easterly direction and thought that was that, but due to his view being blocked he had no idea that they had dropped into a smaller fishing pond less than a quarter of a mile away.
This gave me the opportunity to do something I have not done for a while and do a bit of 'birding' and try to get some pictures.
I have been spending a fair bit of time down at the feeding station despite some of the weather we have been having.
In fairness things don't seem to get going until the cold weather arrives, but never the less I have continued to feed all year round, and steadily the number of birds have increased.
One of the most common species is in-fact a bird that is struggling country wide and that is the Tree Sparrow, I can get 30+ on a regular basis but strangely no House Sparrows!!
Along with most members of the 'Tit' family the resident Great spotted Woodpecker usually makes 4-5 visits a day, and with the Chaffinches, Yellowhammers, Goldfinches, Robins, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Collared Dove........ I could go on, and not forgetting the local Sparrowhawk.
I have never had the male Sparrowhawk land, as yet! As for the female she can put in an appearance at any time during the day and if she does not go straight through she will inevertably land on one of the perches looking round trying to find what she has just missed before flying off to have a go at finding lunch somewhere else.
The Autumn leaves giving some nice backgrounds.
A new bird species for the reflection pool.. Grey Wagtail
The ever faithful....Woody
And of course with all these small birds about there has to be one of these!!
If you are interested in booking a day or half a day in the reflection pool/feeding station hide then contact me on
I know I have fallen into the same old trap as most people I know who start off with a Blog and with all good intentions try to keep it up to date but I really have been busy and could not find the time. But now the clocks have gone back and the long nights are setting in I am going to push myself to really try and catch up.
And for starters I have just had a week off and at the start I decided on a whim to take Anne up onto the High Moors and have a go at Mountain Hares.
Not a promising start to the day as we parked up there was a lot of mist about and visibility was around 100mtrs, but going on the mountain weather report this would lift around 09:00 and visibility should be good.
As we made our way up to the higher ground I think we disturbed up to four individuals and I could see that some transformation in their coats was happening, albeit not a lot.
As the day went on and the walking seemed to get harder one thing was missing...... that's right the Hares; there were none showing, so I made a decision that we turn back and head to a certain point and have lunch. This would probably be the best move I made but at the time I was thinking we were going to be out of luck and it would be a long walk back to the car!
A quick lunch was had and by now I had resigned to the fact that we were going to draw a blank when Anne said " look whats this here", to my surprise right under where we had been having our lunch there sat a Hare, and you can say the rest is now history!!
As you can see it would not do a great deal other than now and then it would have a clean and a good stretch!
This gave me a chance to try for a few different shots.
This last shot is slightly cropped but for me it sums the day up for me as it has got to be to date my best time spent with one of these creatures, he never moved until after nearly two hours when all of a sudden he stretched and walked off right passed me without even a look or nothing....incredible!!
I have always dabbled in landscape shots that include water but I have never seen it through. Not getting fed up with 'wildlife' I decided to shove the boat out and get myself some ND grad filters and set myself a task!!
I had a trip out with a good friend of mine and we tried somewhere I had only been to once before and that was not to photograph, and so for both of us we did not really know what we were letting ourselves in for.
As you can see we were spoilt for choice and we both agreed that further visits would be needed.
I was joined on this trip out by Anne (the boss)!! Things have changed over the last couple of months at home and this has now given Anne the opportunity to join me on this trip and hopefully more in the future.
I wanted to catch the Grouse in the heather and as always things never go to plan!
We have three types of Heather in Derbyshire; Ling Heather which is the most popular and makes our hills and moorlands look as though they have been carpeted in purple.
Bell Heather which is less common and has slightly larger flowers.
And lastly the least common Cross leaved Heather which favours more wetter ground and is usually found in bogs.
Unfortunately for me on this visit it looks as though it is a couple of weeks from it's best showing.
I visited this part of moorland three days before the Grouse season starts and the first thing I noticed was the large numbers of young Grouse, still mainly in their family parties. We even came across an adult pair with seven very small young!
female Red Grouse looking grumpy!
male Red Grouse
As you can see below the Heather in managed areas was very sparse in coming through.
Eventually I did manage a few shots but looks like another visit is on the cards!!