July 2021 - Coll Update
A quick collection of photos from the Hebrides. I haven't had time to edit any of them, other than a quick crop, but I will add more when I'm home and can sort through all my images. 
If you don't know anything about Coll try this link - https://tnmcoll.com/pdf/IloveColl.pdf
June 2021
Life, or more correctly work, has been a little chaotic so I haven't been out with a camera as much as I would like. There are lots of baby birds around but at this time of year a lot of wildlife remains quite hidden, protecting their young. July and August can often be the worst time of year for wildlife photography but I have a trip to Scotland planned and a break will hopefully recharge my batteries.
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Rhiwargor Falls
Rhiwargor Falls
Nuthatch
Nuthatch
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
Mute Swan
Mute Swan
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Four-spotted Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Goosanders
Goosanders
Meadow Pippit
Meadow Pippit
Oystercatchers
Oystercatchers
Four-spotted Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Meadow Pippit
Meadow Pippit
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Rabbit
Rabbit
May 2021
My usual walk from the front door is about 5 miles and carrying a heavy camera and lens has been giving me a lot of pain in by back and neck. I've tried various different straps and bags but even the lighter micro 4/3 equipment has left me struggling. After a lot of searching online I've bought a Sony RX-10 iv bridge camera with 24-600mm zoom. So far I've been very impressed and even used it on my first big day out to Dumfries and Galloway, leaving the Canon in the car. I've split the photo grids below into bridge camera photos and DSLR/mirrorless. See if you can work out which is which.
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Swallow
Swallow
Swift
Swift
Cotton Grass
Cotton Grass
Oystercatcher
Oystercatcher
Goldfinch
Goldfinch
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Meadow Pippit
Meadow Pippit
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Osprey
Osprey
Skylark
Skylark
Treecreeper
Treecreeper
Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover
Herdwick
Herdwick
Heron
Heron
Red Kite
Red Kite
Red Kite
Red Kite
Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Wren
Wren
Skylark
Skylark
Brown Hare
Brown Hare
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Common Lizard
Common Lizard
Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Wheater
Wheater
Cow
Cow
Great Tit
Great Tit
Heron
Heron
Young Long-tailed Tit
Young Long-tailed Tit
Swallow
Swallow
Swallow
Swallow
Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting
Bluebell
Bluebell
Whitethroat
Whitethroat
Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Snow in May
Snow in May
Goosander with young
Goosander with young
April 2021
The highlight of the month has to be an early morning during the Easter break. A lovely sunrise, rabbits and roe deer in the fields, and then an otter. As a child I never thought I would see an otter in the wild so to see one on a walk from my front door was a dream come true.
As lockdown restrictions have slowly eased I've started to venture a little further afield. The trails are all open at Leighton Moss but none of the hides. I'm not sure why you can visit the hairdressers but not sit in a draughty wooden building with all the windows and doors open, but I'm sure the RSPB have guidance to follow. After resisting the temptations of the Lake District for 3 months my wife and I drove 15 minutes up the road for a walk near Coniston. The first car park we passed was already full at 9:30am so we found somewhere quieter and walked up Beacon Fell. It may be a very busy summer in Cumbria.
Otter
Otter
Otter
Otter
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Rabbit
Rabbit
Sunrise from home
Sunrise from home
Little Egret
Little Egret
Coot
Coot
Tufted Duck
Tufted Duck
Greylag
Greylag
Greylag
Greylag
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Heron
Heron
Tufted Duck
Tufted Duck
Siskin
Siskin
Crossbill
Crossbill
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Nuthatch
Nuthatch
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Little Egret
Little Egret
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Blackcap
Blackcap
Robin
Robin
Robin
Robin
Goldfinch
Goldfinch
Goldfinch
Goldfinch
Heron
Heron
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Rabbit
Rabbit
Beacon Tarn
Beacon Tarn
Beacon Fell
Beacon Fell
March 2021        New Home - New patch 
65 bird and mammal species in the first month, just walking from the front door. Local habitats include: estuary, saltmarsh, raised bog, river, farmland, birch wood, coppiced wood, and conifer plantation. I have a six mile walk that takes in all the different areas and I usually set off just after dawn with my Panasonic G9 and 100-400mm (the Canon kit is just too heavy). The local ospreys should arrive soon and the adders and lizards will start to emerge so lots to look forward to.
Stonechat
Stonechat
Robin
Robin
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Long-tailed Tit
Long-tailed Tit
Heron
Heron
Goldfinch
Goldfinch
Goosander
Goosander
Goldeneye
Goldeneye
Skylark
Skylark
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Pink-footed Geese
Pink-footed Geese
Over the moss I
Over the moss I
Over the Moss II
Over the Moss II
Barn Owl
Barn Owl
Heron
Heron
Catkins
Catkins
Goosander
Goosander
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Barn Owl v Carrion Crow
Barn Owl v Carrion Crow
Stonechat
Stonechat
Heron
Heron
February 2021
We're about to move, in the middle of lockdown, to a house overlooking a nature reserve. I've bought a new Swarovski scope ready to watch the wildlife from the window and I thought I'd try digiscoping. You can buy kits to attach a DSLR to the scope but I've just been using my iPhone held up to the eyepiece. 
The 2 photos below were taken at Foulshaw Moss, about a mile from my current house for anyone worried I've been ignoring restrictions. The picture on the left is taken from the viewing area for the osprey nest. The orange rectangle in the middle shows the section covered by the picture on the right taken through the scope. I think it is a couple of peregrines in one of the dead trees. I'm very impressed!
January 2021
So, we start the year with Lockdown 3.0. I managed one quick trip to Leighton Moss at the very start of the month before everything closed down again. There were a few bearded tits in the reeds along the causeway but, with the pools frozen, not much else to see.
The middle of the month brought a bit of snow so I enjoyed a morning photographing the birds in the garden and then a nice walk in the afternoon to keep up my daily exercise. I don't remember seeing a blackcap in January before so catching one in the snow was nice. It turned up a week later to be included in my RSPB Garden Birdwatch, with 14 species in total. 
Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit
Blackcap
Blackcap
Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting
Robin
Robin
Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting
Chaffinch
Chaffinch
Robin
Robin
Dunnock
Dunnock
Chaffinch
Chaffinch
Buzzard
Buzzard
Robin
Robin
Sheep
Sheep
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit
Bearded Tit
Wren
Wren
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
December 2020
The year ends in Tier 4, which feels a lot like Lockdown 1.0 and 2.0. Just before the new restrictions were imposed I managed a few trips out, to South Walney to watch the seals, to Coniston for a bit of landscape photography and along the Solway Estuary on the north coast of Cumbria.
Who knows what 2021 will bring but short walks from home may become the norm again.
Blackpool
Blackpool
Grey Seal
Grey Seal
Coniston
Coniston
Coniston sunset
Coniston sunset
Kestrel
Kestrel
Kestrel
Kestrel
Kestrel
Kestrel
Kestrel
Kestrel
Mute Swan
Mute Swan
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Coal Tit
Coal Tit
Coal Tit
Coal Tit
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Robin
Robin
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Grey Heron
Grey Heron
Young Coot
Young Coot
Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier
Early December 2020
You wait all year for an otter and then three turn up at once. I had a brief view of an otter at Leighton Moss late on Saturday afternoon. When I returned early on Sunday morning there were two out, fishing and fighting, and they hung around for about half an hour. They were a long way off on both occasions but cheered me up almost as much as the vaccine news.
Otter
Otter
Otter
Otter
Otters
Otters
Otter
Otter
Otters
Otters
November 2020
In November 2015 I didn't take a single photo I was happy with so at least 2020 has been slightly better. England has been in lockdown for 4 weeks, with a ban on non-essential journeys, so everything below was taken locally. The last of the autumn leaves have gone but many of our winter birds have arrived. Maybe December will bring a little sunshine and happiness after a year that has been miserable for many.
Nuthatch
Nuthatch
Nuthatch
Nuthatch
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Robin
Robin
Black-headed Gull
Black-headed Gull
Treecreeper
Treecreeper
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
Shoveler
Shoveler
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Nuthatch
Nuthatch
Fieldfare
Fieldfare
Nuthatch
Nuthatch
Lapwings
Lapwings
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Fieldfare
Fieldfare
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
October 2020
Be careful what you wish for. After my rant at the end of September I had a positive test for Covid 19 in October and have just spent 2 weeks in self-isolation. Thankfully I didn't become as ill as many people have but I still feel very tired and breathless when I exercise. 
I did manage a few trips out before and after my mid-month isolation but none of the photos are great. With another 4 week national lockdown starting this week it doesn't look like November will be any better. Back to walks in the local area but without the spring sunshine.
Goosander
Goosander
Little Egret & Redshank
Little Egret & Redshank
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Marsh Harrier
Marsh Harrier
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
Coot
Coot
Little Egret
Little Egret
Little Egret
Little Egret
Morecambe Bay
Morecambe Bay
Goosander
Goosander
Goosander
Goosander
Goosander
Goosander
Goosander
Goosander
Great White Egrets
Great White Egrets
Great White Egret
Great White Egret
Little Egret
Little Egret
Great White & Little Egret
Great White & Little Egret
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
September 2020
I hate to say it but I think I preferred life under lockdown. Maybe I'm not a people person but three trips to Leighton Moss have been ruined by other visitors with no idea of social distancing. The staff have tried really hard to mark out the floor and remove some of the benches but when strangers sit next to you and start shooting through the same window they're clearly less than a metre away. I've watched others ignore the signs and just move the furniture. Hand-sanitiser goes unused and masks are either missing completely or worn under the chin. Rant over!
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Ennerdale
Ennerdale
Little Egret
Little Egret
Little Egret
Little Egret
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Kingfisher
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Jay
Jay
Red Admiral
Red Admiral
Redshank
Redshank
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
August 2020
The Lake District is very busy with people taking holidays in the UK so we've been trying to avoid the crowds. Still not much wildlife about locally but the second collection of photos below are mostly taken at Leighton Moss.
The final week of the month was spent at RSPB Mersehead, in Dumfries and Galloway. We had booked a cottage there at Easter but managed to move the trip to August instead. Unfortunately the hides were still shut but it was lovely to have the whole nature reserve to ourselves at 6am. Storm Francis caused flooding on the access road so we were trapped for 36 hours but I can think of far worse place to be stuck. There were plenty of Roe Deer, Buzzards and Rabbits about and I was lucky enough to see an Osprey fly along the beach with it's catch. Most mornings there were otter prints on the beach but unfortunately we never saw any.
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Mersehead Beach
Mersehead Beach
Rabbit
Rabbit
Carrick Lane
Carrick Lane
Black Water of Dee
Black Water of Dee
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Sunrise
Sunrise
Buzzard
Buzzard
Buzzard
Buzzard
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Kestrel
Kestrel
Portling Bay
Portling Bay
Sandyhills Bay
Sandyhills Bay
Solway
Solway
Port Warren
Port Warren
Doach Wood viewpoint
Doach Wood viewpoint
Red Squirrel
Red Squirrel
Osprey
Osprey
Osprey
Osprey
Buzzard
Buzzard
Ringed Plovers
Ringed Plovers
Mersehead Beach
Mersehead Beach
Otter Prints
Otter Prints
Otter
Otter
Rabbit
Rabbit
RSPB Mersehead
RSPB Mersehead
Wheatear
Wheatear
Meadow Pippit
Meadow Pippit
Big Water of Fleet Viaduct
Big Water of Fleet Viaduct
Merlin
Merlin
Beach Barcode
Beach Barcode
Mersehead beach
Mersehead beach
Roe Deer
Roe Deer
Great Tit
Great Tit
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Cormorants
Cormorants
Cormorant
Cormorant
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
The other Borrowdale
The other Borrowdale
Robin
Robin
Robin
Robin
Brown Rat
Brown Rat
Brown Rat
Brown Rat
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
July 2020
The summer months are never the best time for wildlife or landscape photography. Sunrise and sunset are too early and late, the light in the middle of the day is very harsh and all the birds and mammals seem to go into hiding. I've been out and about a lot more, and had some nice wildlife encounters, but all too brief for a decent photo. I've seen fox, stoat, red deer, roe deer and hedgehog but didn't manage to get a picture of any of them. 
Leighton Moss now has 2 hides open during the day but there isn't much to see on the water. South Walney also has a couple of hides open but with so many people walking or fishing on the beach there wasn't much about. I drove up to Langholm Moor for a change of scenery and saw a few raptors but all too distant for photography. 
Maybe August will be better.
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Treecreeper
Treecreeper
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Chiff Chaff
Chiff Chaff
Tufted Duck
Tufted Duck
Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Sedge Warler
Sedge Warler
Grey Squirrel
Grey Squirrel
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Jay
Jay
Little Grebe
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Linnet
Linnet
Meadow Pippit
Meadow Pippit
Blackpool
Blackpool
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Robin
Robin
Treecreeper
Treecreeper
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Coal Tit
Coal Tit
Chiff Chaff
Chiff Chaff
Buzzard
Buzzard
Hen Harrier
Hen Harrier
Langholm Moor
Langholm Moor
Marsh Tit
Marsh Tit
Moorhen
Moorhen
Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting
Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Back to Top