Source Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer

Dozens of Dunlins

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A couple of weeks ago I visited one of my favourite locations.Rossall Point has easy access and is a favoured roosting site for waders.There were good numbers of dunlin present and most of them were wearing their summer finery.They will have now probably departed for their Arctic breeding grounds with the current warm and settled weather conditions.

On one of my visits they were constantly disturbed by a party of schoolchildren doing a fieldwork exercise on measuring the groynes !! I returned another day to find the birds nicely settled and photographic conditions were excellent.Hope you enjoy my selection and tune in again for more from my travels


















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Source Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer

Black Necked Grebe….Kincraig Lake

Posted on - In Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer
A week or so ago it was a nice surprise to discover that a black necked grebe in breeding plumage had appeared on a lake at Bispham Blackpool.This is a very uncommon bird in Lancashire and nationally only a few pairs breed in Britain.In breeding plumage it is a stunning looking bird and I was anxious to add some images to my portfolio.

I went with Mike and it was not easy to find Kincraig Lake but we did eventually, tucked away in the middle of a large housing estate in Bispham.It was only a short walk to the viewing area and this pleased me as I was still having troublesome mobility problems.It was a while before the grebe came out of hiding to show itself to the waiting photographers.It was well worth the wait as we saw it in its breeding finery with wonderful golden ear tufts and a hypnotic fabulous red and yellow eye. I obviously filled my boots with images of this splendid bird and vowed to return later in the week.

Fortunately the grebe was still showing well and giving excellent views to it's admirers.Mike and I did return and met up with Graham and Dave and Jackie Moreton.Once more I got my share of wonderful images and it was an encounter that will live long in the memory.As I write this on Sunday I understand the grebe has departed. Hopefully it may return one day to once more delight those fortunate to see this gorgeous bird.






































Source Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer

Return to Bowland

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At long last the weather had warmed up and Spring was well and truly on the way in fact for a few days it was more like Summer with temperatures soaring into the seventies!! Nature responded and migrants started arriving and spring flowers were blooming.I decided therefore to visit Bowland where I hadn't been for some time to see if the birds that favour this beautiful part of Lancashire had returned to their breeding haunts on the high moors.

It was very nice to revisit some of my favourite parts of Bowland and good to see that the waders and grouse that breed up there had returned.Numbers were on the low side and I travelled many miles to capture some images for the blog.Lapwings did seem to be in good numbers and I enjoyed myself photographing at close range a male bird which was using a roadside rainwater pool to bathe and drink.A pair of oystercatchers posed obligingly on the roadside walls overlooking their moorland breeding location.Grouse were not easy to find but perseverance paid off with a nice male posing for me in the afternoon sun.Curlews were a bit scarce and I only managed to get close enough to one bird for photographs as I returned home through Calder Vale.

Nice to get back to Bowland again and I hope to do a few early morning visits in due course.Hope you enjoy my selection from Bowland and I am looking forward to see more birds in the coming weeks.It has actually turned colder again as I write this blog and this will hold up the breeding process yet again..














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Source Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer

March Mix

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I haven't done much birding or photography this month.This has been due to lack of mobility and poor weather.I did however manage a few rides in the car to one or two favourite locations and returned with some reasonable images for you to see.

First up is the well known little owl near Southport which was enjoying some morning sunshine.The goldeneye and goosander which follow were from an earlier trip to Glasson Dock Marina photographed on a very cold and windy day.A nice cold and bright day at Rossall was good for the ringed plover and oystercatcher images.Rides into the fell country round Chipping found one or two early curlew returning to the breeding grounds. Finally a visit to a flooded Marshside found Little Grebe and Pintail close to Nel's Hide.Everything else was a long way off out of camera range.It was nice to see a number of avocets had returned.

It is Good Friday as I write this account and it is still very cold and wintry,typical Easter weather!!Hopefully soon it will warm up and the spring migrants will arrive in numbers.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the Easter break.














Source Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer

Feeding Time

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It is a while since I posted.The weather has not been good and I am currently restricted as to how far I can walk.I did however last week manage a couple of trips to Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.I could manage to get to the Discovery Centre where at Feeding Time there was plenty of action from the thousands of birds present.

It was difficult knowing where to point the lens as there was a lot going on as the seed was dished out to the birds.Whooper Swans were very much in evidence and certainly dominated the feeding frenzy.Lots of other waders and wildfowl were present and gave some great opportunities for the camera.I have never seen as many black tailed godwits and ruff joining in the feast.There were many hundreds of shelduck providing colour to the scene and  also a challenge for the camera trying to capture close up flight shots.A number of pochard were also present,a scarce bird these days and nice to see

Hope you enjoy my selection from Martin Mere.I will hopefully be out and about again soon as Spring does at long last seem to be on the way.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the coming Spring.
















Source Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer

Glasson Dock…Goldeneye

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Three years ago about this time there were a good number of goldeneye duck on the marina at Glasson Dock.I think there were around fifty birds present and I remember having a good day with the camera.A few goldeneye had been reported recently so last week I went for a look.

Sure enough there were around a dozen or so goldeneye consisting mostly of males but a couple of females were also present.From time to tim e they would all make their way to the entrance to the Lancaster canal end of the marina and were busy diving for food which seems abundant in the vicinity of the retaining walls of the yacht basin.I visited on a couple of afternoons and enjoyed a couple of sessions with the camera.

On my first visit it was calm and the males were displaying to the females present and throwing their heads back making for interesting images.On the next visit it was very cold and windy and the goldeneye were surfing the waves and again provided some nice images.The drakes in particular are handsome birds with bottle green heads and striking black and white plumage.This first post was on the calm day and next time I will post images from the my second visit and also show images of a male goosander present on the canal. Thanks for looking in and despite today's snow I hope Spring is not too far away.









Source Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer

New Year…Barn Owl

It had been a long time since I had seen a barn owl so it was a nice surprise to find a hunting barn owl during my recent travels.I was travelling the back roads and quiet lanes in the Pilling and Cockerham area.The barn owl was very active and it was a challenge to follow and anticipate where it might perch in between flights.

I was quite pleased with my efforts the best of which are shown below.The weather recently has been awful with very dull conditions and very cold as well.I was lucky with the lighting on the day below and the barn owl was also taking advantage of the dry and bright conditions.I will definitely be back to see the owl again but meantime am confined to barracks as it has once again turned very wintry.Thanks for looking in and lets hope for a happy and healthy New Year.











Source Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer

Christmas Geese

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For my last post of 2017 it is more of the same!!  Pink footed geese have definitely been on my menu this Christmas.Each time I have been out this holiday period I have come across some large flocks of pink footed geese.They were all in the Pilling area and I suspect that it is probably the same large flock feeding in a different area when I have visited.My latest visit was on Boxing Day and when most folks were tucking into yet more turkey I was enjoying the sight of thousands of geese tucking into Pilling potatoes.

Pilling is famous for it's potatoes but this year as a consequence of the very wet weather a lot of potatoes have remained in the ground unharvested.This has meant a bonanza for the geese with many potatoes left in the fields and providing easy pickings for the pinkfeet.On Boxing Day I found the geese at Eagland Hill,a favourite area for geese and whooper swans throughout the winter months.The light was good for a change,brighter and sunnier conditions,much better than the dark and dismal weather of late.

I enjoyed myself with the camera from the comfort of the car and some of my better efforts are shown below.Hope you enjoy the images of the pink footed geese at Eagland Hill and this will more than likely be my last posting for 2017.Thanks to everybody who has followed my travels through the year and let's hope we all enjoy a happy and healthy New Year.


















Source Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer

Pilling Pinks

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Happy Christmas Day to all my followers.Hopefully none of the thousands of pink footed geese shown below will have found their way onto today's dinner tables.It has been a very dull and dismal week with mist and drizzle, certainly not ideal conditions for the camera but I needed  a change of scene.So I drove around the Pilling area and eventually found this very large gathering of pink footed geese situated close to the road.I made the best I could of the situation and took plenty of images.

I will return soon with more from my travels and would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year.Thanks for looking in.














Source Brian Rafferty Wildlife Photographer

Pinks Galore

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Following on from my last posting I am now showing some of the many images I took last week highlighting the large numbers of pink footed geese present at the the very large gathering of pinkfeet and whooper swans at Pilling.I have never seen as many geese occupying a field.The images cannot show all of the geese but there were certainly many many thousands.It was an incredible sight and the sound of them all when they took to the air was memorable.

I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to capture the spectacle and I made the most of the wonderful opportunity by taking a camera full of images.Hope you like the selection below but it was one of those occasions where you have to be there to fully appreciate what was happening.I will of course return to the location over the coming months hoping for more wonderful encounters with the geese and swans.Thanks for looking in and enjoy what looks like being a very wintry weekend with snow forecast for tomorrow.