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Bird & Wildlife Photographs


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By the middle of May, the swans nesting on the bank of the canal who had been sitting patiently on their eggs, finally had something to proudly share with those of us passsing along the towpath. It appeared that the first cygnet had hatched...


...and then there were 3.


We later discovered that there were actually 4 cygnets in this nest.

It was also around this time that I purchased my new camera and the picture quality just seemed so much better. I became so engrossed in getting out and about walking and taking photos that model railways would take a back seat for a few months. This was one of the first photos taken using the new camera.


I don't mind if the subjects are common garden birds either, it's just nice to be able to watch and photograph them.


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I've taken hundreds of photos since those above and getting out and about enables you to see birds you wouldn't normally notice or even recognise. I'm not entirely sure about this one but looking though bird ID guides I think it could be a Hen Harrier


The next was at a distance across the canal and another bird I hadn't previously noticed. Apparently it's a Blackcap, a summer visitor from North East Europe.


I enjoy taking photos with a bit of action in them and Black-headed gulls certainly allow you plenty of practice. This one was just about to pick an insect from the water surface.


And here's another just taking offf rom the canal. They always look to me like they've had their heads dipped in chocolate.


I'll give it a break for now.

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One day in May while we were out walking near Long Preston we were passing a small wooded area when we heard what sounded like the familiar alarm call of a Blackbird. Taking a closer look we were surprised to discover it was in fact a Great Spotted Woodpecker.


We stood there for some time watching and taking photos, and then noticed there were two adult woodpeckers and the alarm call was because they had noticed us and were guarding their nest hole. The nest was in a thin tree trunk that didn't appear wide enough to house more than a single woodpecker. After a while the adults calmed down and began bringing food to the nest to feed their young. Looking over the photos and video we managed to take, it appeared there were at least 2 and possibly 3 young inside that nest judging by the facial markings.


As if that wasn't enough excitement to take in, as we were watching the woodpeckers, down at the far end of this wooded area I noticed something move and to our amazement this deer emerged from behind a tree. It was hard to decide where to look first! The deer remained visible for a few minutes before eventually making it's escape.


It is just so satisfying to be able to photograph wildlife that you come across unexpectedlyand these are just a few of the many photos we managed to take on that day.

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Walking over the same ground you come to notice where certain birds hang out and where they can often be seen. One such case is this Little Owl which is almost always sitting on a particular stretch of wall. I take no credit at all for the following photo because this one was taken by Pam and turned out better than the ones I managed to take myself.


I did however manage to capture this Curlew sitting on a dry stone wall with a wildflower meadow in the background


A few moments later it took flight across the meadow


And finally for the time being, this one is a Common Sandpiper captured along the River Ribble near Settle.


Edited by mick
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  • 2 weeks later...

Lockdown taught me there's much to be admired even in your own back yard though it took me some time to get the following two photos



The bee photos required a lot of patience, especially capturing them in flight, but the next ones were quite a bit easier.


Even in flight, hoverflies were a doddle compared to bees.




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Again, here's just a small selection of some of the photos I've managed to take while out and about walking, and in some cases while at home. Many of these things we would normally just pass by without noticing but if you take your time to look there's an endless amount of subjects to photograph.

A wild orchid. Found along a pathway we regularly walk along, and there were lots of them, but we've never stopped to look closely before. Since we started noticing, there are literally hundreds of them, especially along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath.


Taken in the back garden. So small you wouldn't have even noticed it but this little fly is, I think, a member of the Sapromyza family.


I hadn't found it easy to get a really good photo of these at the time. There always seemed to be part of it out of focus, but this is a Common Blue Damselfly.


And this was back-breaking work, much like building a garden railway. but I did manage to get this nice photo of a Grasshopper


Edited by mick
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