Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Elusive Water Rail

A bird that I see all to rarely is the Water Rail. It is such a secretive bird, that catching a glimpse is usually all I get, and not on too many occasions either. It's one of those birds that really gives me a thrill when one comes into view. It makes me gulp and take a sharp intake of breath.
Having seen one the other day at Pennington Flash I hoped that I may be able to get some pictures of it. Why should this occasion be like any other though? It did what it does best, and that is to stay out of harms way in the undergrowth (and why not?).
I stayed watching for what seemed like seconds but may have been longer. It was all too short but a real privilege at the same time. What a great looking bird.

These shots are typical of what you see of a Water Rail.

At least I managed a face shot this time.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Pennington Flash

A cold bright and frosty Saturday morning was a welcome relief after what has seemed like weeks and weeks of dark and wet ones. I headed off to Pennington Flash, for just a couple of hours. It never disappoints and is always a safe bet for something to see, no matter how common. Plus, it's just a wonderful place to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle and mundaneness of everyday life.
Lots was seen, both out on the water and along the many paths. Cold weather always brings the birds out to forage for food a little less carefully than normal. There were plenty of finches, Robins, Blackbirds and Tits. Plenty to brighten up anybody's day.

Blue Tit

Great Tit

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Collard Dove

In the summer I saw quite a number of large flocks of Collard Dove. In fact I came close to running a few over as they ambled along in the road, almost oblivious to the danger coming towards them.
These pictures, taken at Pennington Flash show one at more sedate times, having a drink.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

My Charity Runs

Something a little different and away from birds.

I've decided to do a couple of runs for charity this year and am going to try and raise funds for Francis House. Francis House provides care for children and young adults with life threatening conditions. They also provide support and friendship for the whole family during these difficult times. You can find more information on their website:  http://www.francishouse.org.uk 

The runs that I have chosen to do are the Liverpool Half marathon on 13th March and the Manchester 10K on 22nd May. I am currently in training for the half marathon which involves me running 4 times a week. One long run at the weekend, which is currently at 9 miles, keeps me out of trouble.

I'd much rather be out with the camera, but I want to give something back this year, and this is my way of doing it.

Please take a moment to read about Francis House, the charity I have chosen, and if you feel able, I would love you to donate as little or as much as you like. I know it is not easy (ever) let alone straight after Christmas, so anything is greatly appreciated. My last race is in May, so no great rush. I have set up a Just Giving page to help with donations, and it can be found here: Just Giving Adam Jones

Thank you for reading and many thanks. :)

Black-headed gull

Not a bird that I take photographs of a lot, but they are real characters the Black-headed gull. With many roosts in Greater Manchester it's not difficult to know where they'll be hanging out. Quite often they're squabbling over some food that's been left to litter the pavement or just generally squabbling.
When there aren't many other birds around you can pretty much guarantee a Black-headed gull will help focus your attentions.
(No black or chocolate brown heads here as they are in winter non-breeding plumage)

I think this is a first winter bird, judging by it's plumage. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Gulls are not my greatest strength,

This chap looks more of an adult with it's nice reddish legs and no juvenile feathers in the wings.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016


This is my favourite member of the Crow family. (I think I've probably said that before). The Jackdaw. With it's stunning blue eyes and greyish hood, it stands out from the other corvids for me. An intelligent bird and always great to watch. It can make a lot of noise too, but I don't find it too annoying.

These images were taken on a grey afternoon at Hollingworth Lake in Rochdale. I like the contrast it gives with the Jackdaw. The grey behind the first two pictures is actually the water of the lake reflecting the sky above.

With a little more colour to work with here the grey head is easier to see, plus the blueish tinge to the feathers.