Early May, Mostly Birds


A post to cover the first half of May, excepting for a weekend walk with friends which I’m saving for a separate post. These first couple of photos are from a wander around Gait Barrows. There was actually a pair of Buzzards soaring overhead. I took lots of photos whilst not straying too far from cover, because I’m very wary of Buzzards in the spring and summer.

Sunset over Coniston Fells from Arnside Knott.
Late light, Foulshaw Moss

I went to Foulshaw frequently, sometimes on consecutive evenings. It was often quite cool by the time I got there. Sometimes I did see the butterflies and dragonflies which I’d hoped to see, but rarely managed to get any photographs.

Whitbarrow Scar from Foulshaw Moss
Reed Bunting.

I think I saw at least one Reed Bunting during every visit. I even started to recognise their song.

This poster…


…is on display in the hide by the bird feeders. Why did I take a photo of it – purely vanity! – some of the photos on it are mine, from the blog. Fame at last!

Coal Tit.
House Sparrow.

Although I always had a wander around first, on many of my visits I ended up sitting in that hide and photographing birds on and by the feeders for quite some time.

Water Rail.

Initially, when I noticed this Water Rail, I quickly snapped a couple of photos, thinking, for some reason, that it was a Moorhen. I suppose the shape and the beak are similar, but otherwise there’s little resemblance. Then, when it dawned on me what I was looking at, I turned my attention from the feeders to the Water Rail beneath them. I’ve occasionally seen Water Rail before, at Leighton Moss, when the meres were frozen over. But only briefly. I’ve more often heard them: they make an extraordinary racket, squealing like pigs. I’ve never photographed one before. I assumed that I was incredibly lucky, but a couple of visits after this one, I was talking to a lady who told me: “Oh, he’s always there.” And on another visit, a Wildlife Trust volunteer told me that he thought that Water Rails were becoming less shy and are now often seen beneath feeders in various wetland reserves.

Oh well, I was still very chuffed to have had such a good view of what has always been a very elusive bird.

Reed Bunting.
Goldfinches and Lesser Redpoll.
Lesser Redpoll.
Male Lesser Redpoll.
Crepuscular Rays from The Lots.
Crepuscular Rays over The Bay.
Orchids on The Lots.

This photo was my attempt to emulate an amazing photo of these orchids which I’d seen online. At the time that I took it, I was disappointed with it, because it’s not a patch on the photo which inspired it, but with hindsight I rather like it – it does at least hint at the profusion of orchids on that area of The Lots.

Ramsons, Bottoms Wood.
Early May, Mostly Birds

11 thoughts on “Early May, Mostly Birds

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Oh, yes. It was all above board. I was asked via a comment on the blog. Likewise a Chicago brewery has used one of my photos on one of their beers.

  1. Cracking photos. I keep meaning to do more to attract a wider range of birds to our house but it gets buried under my other busy life tasks!
    Photo on a beer – you never mentioned that!

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Didn’t I? Hiding my light under a bushel as ever! Raven Tor oatmeal stout – can’t seem to paste an image. It’s a US brewer so I haven’t been able to try it.

        1. beatingthebounds says:

          A picture of Bonsor Mine in the Coniston Fells, with Raven Tor half hidden behind in the mist. The beer is Raven Tor Oatmeal Stout.

  2. Great that your photos have were used on the poster and the beer too. Your orchid picture is great by the way. I was in Arnside in August and I did get to see a Dark Red Helleborine, though it was nearly over, a first for me! In the woodland up Arnside Knott.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Brilliant – I’ve seen them but not all that often, they don’t always seem to be that easy to find. We have Broad-leaved Helleborines too and on Hutton Roof hybrids, although I’m not expert enough to recognise those I don’t think.

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