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.
June 2020 - Staying Local
With the lifting of some of the lockdown measures a number of local nature reserves have partially reopened. Some of the footpaths are open at Leighton Moss although the visitors centre and all the hides are still closed. It is very difficult to access any of the water but there is still plenty of wildlife to see, especially the young birds in the trees and shrubs. Foulshaw Moss has a one way system on the boardwalks to avoid passing people but it can be quite slow going walking around. Lovely to get out and about a bit more though.
May 2020 - Lockdown Walks
April 2020 - Lockdown Walks
All the pictures above have been taken on walks during lockdown. I'm very lucky to have countryside on my doorstep and I've carried a Panasonic G9 with a 100-400mm lens during my daily exercise.
Self-isolation and Lockdown - Stay safe, sane and sanitised!
All the pictures below were taken from my back window during 14 days of self-isolation.
A strange month, I don't really know what to say. There are photos below from a couple of trips to Leighton Moss at the start of the month and pictures above taken during 2 weeks of self-isolation when my wife was ill.
Very mixed weather. Three weekends of storms with very strong winds, some local flooding and a day of snow. The footpaths at Leighton Moss have been a foot deep in water for the last two weeks and wildlife has been very hard to find. There are still lots of small birds in the patches of woodland but most of the pools have been very quiet. There are still marsh harriers around and voles are easier to see as they scurry around on the bits of dry ground. I also found a pair of peregrines trying to drive crows away from a cliff face near my house. It isn't a site I know they use for nesting so I'll keep an eye on that. Maybe March will be better if the storms ever stop.
Not a great month. The weather has been mild, but dull and cloudy, and the wildlife seems a bit confused. The local nature reserves have been very quiet and the only real highlight has been watching the marsh harriers grapple at Leighton Moss. I haven't seen an otter for over 6 weeks, which I hope indicates a female has young as they are always more secretive until the cubs emerge to explore the wider world.
I'm experimenting with a new noise reduction tool from Topaz Labs. The dull weather has meant I've taken plenty of photos at high ISO but results from the software have been a bit hit and miss. The first two photos in the gallery below were taken at ISO 3200 and cleaned in Topaz DeNoise AI. The rest have all been processed using Lightroom for noise reduction. Let me know what you think.