11 Apr 2012 Easter Weekend

11th April 2012
Although I had a 6day break over Easter I didn’t go to Woolston Eyes and I only managed a small amount of photography but I did manage some, mainly some flower photography using my Macro lens.

These are my favourites.





The second photograph was produced using a focus stacking technique and is a composite of fourteen shots. I used a 100mm f2.8 lens with 68mm extension rings and the exposure was f6.3 @ 13secs. To eliminate as much movement as possible I used a tripod, a remote release and also mirror lock up on the camera. The amount of detail in the centre of the flower head is quite amazing.

The Lesser Redpolls now seems to be daily visitors to the garden feeders along with three or four Goldfinch.


Lesser Redpoll

While I was watching the feeders a Mistle Thrush flew in had a drink and disappeared again. I’ve never seen a Mistle Thrush in the garden before and I’m pretty sure they don’t normally frequent garden feeding stations but there’s always a first time!


Mistle Thrush

Yesterday we had a trip to the Trough of Bowland with no particular thing in mind other than the hope of seeing some Curlew and perhaps a Little Owl.
We did see plenty of Curlew but too far away to get good photos, plenty of Pheasants and quite a few Lapwing, various Gulls, a couple of common Buzzards, a Red Grouse and quite a few Meadow Pipits fighting the wind. Where I’ve seen Little Owls in the past drew a blank this time.


Curlew


Meadow Pipit

We also noted quite a few patches of Bluebells in bloom which I believe is quite early.

I also found some Moles pegged to some barbed wire, obviously something still practiced in the country.



It's probably a throwback to days gone by when mole catchers would show off their work to get paid. Trappers hung the animals on fences so landowners could see how many they had snared and pay them by the mole. The catchers would display up to 100 of the unfortunate creatures, as well as crows and other animals considered to be vermin.

For those interested 20 Black-necked Grebe were counted at Woolston Eyes over the Easter weekend. A Siberian Chiffchaff was also netted which is a first for Woolston and only the fourth recorded in Cheshire.

Lastly one day last week I found the remains of one of the male Reed Buntings that have been frequenting the feeders all winter. I’m not sure what killed it but probably a cat although we do get a Sparrowhawk visiting the feeders quite frequently.
As it happened the dead bird was ringed and I have found out that it was ringed as an adult at Woolston Eyes in May 2009 but hadn’t been netted again at Woolston. I have sent the details and the ring number to the BTO.

Thanks for reading.

Andy

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