One of the joys of winter are the swans and geese that visit our country. The Whooper Swan is one such bird that I love to see. Probably because they are so easy to photograph. There's no skulking around in bushes and hedges. There they are right in front of you, as bold as brass. You can't mistake them can you? Well, not unless it's a Bewick Swan, but that's for another day. Here is the big beast in all it's glory.
This guy was a bit feisty and in mid argument.
Something rather elegant about swans.
With a Greylag Goose for size comparison.
On take off. You can see the splash behind where the feet have been.
I came across quite a number of wintering Pintail at Martin Mere. One of the smarter looking ducks in my opinion. The male is really handsome and the markings look very sharp. They also make a nice change to see on the water as opposed to our more common birds.
The female Pintail. A little less colourful (well, a lot less)
Martin Mere attracts many wintering ducks and geese. A lovely duck that travels to the UK for wintering is the Goldeneye. I have to admit to not knowing the origins of this particular bird as Martin Mere does have a very good conservation programme, and this bird seemed a little too tame. But still, it gave me the opportunity to get some lovely close ups of a beautiful bird.
After what seems like an eternity without getting out with the camera, a trip to Martin Mere was arranged with two birding friends. At this time of year, the wintering geese and swans are the main attraction at Martin Mere, but they aren't the only attraction. Several Ruff were around today, and although the light was pretty gloomy my new camera lens was able to capture this wader pretty well. Lovely plumage, and a always a pleasure to see parading along the shore line
A few weeks ago, while watching a Great Skua in Manchester I came across a pair of Wheatear. These birds I assume will have been starting there migration. Always a joy to see and I look forward to seeing them again in the Spring in lovely breeding plumage.
One of the lovely dabbling ducks that multiply in numbers during the autumn and winter months is the Teal. The male has a lovely chestnut head and green eye patches, while the female is a little less exciting with a mottled brown colouration. Always a pleasure to see, although be warned they are quite flighty, so getting close is difficult.
A few weeks ago there was a bit of an influx of Glossy Ibis into the country, and of particular interest to me were four birds that had made themselves at home close to the Horwich moors.
I'd managed to see my first Glossy Ibis last year at Sandbach, but it stayed distant. This time, these guys made it very easy to see them and they seemed almost oblivious to mine and the other birders present. I thought my luck was out at first, as I'd gone to High Rid reservoir first, where they had been the previous day, only for them to not be there. Fortunately, the wonders of modern technology alerted me to them being in a field less than a mile away. Fantastic birds to see.