It's October - must be Beardie time.

As you might have seen, I managed to get up to Leighton Moss on Monday (14 Oct). Exiting the boardwalk, it was immediately apparent something was amiss

You don't normally have swans swimming down the Causeway. It was passable in wellies but too deep for boots. Before 9am it was still a bit grey so I wasn't sure if my target birds would show up. Sure enough there was very little pinging to be heard. Then, I turned as someone else arrived and when I turned back, two had snuck in without warning. You just can't trust them! The female (orange and red bling)

And the male (double orange)

They hung around the grit trays for ages, especially the male, but posed happily in the reeds for photos, too.

After a while a second male turned up and one without rings ... a bit of a rarity on the Causeway

  

They are spectacular birds and well worth going to see

You've got to love the splits pose they do

Double orange is still around but there is no aggravation between them

A third male (green over white) shows what beautiful tails they have

Still no other females though

I did wade down to the Causeway hide but there were only a few Mute Swans down there, although an otter had been sighted early on so I retired for lunch

The unofficial feeding log area was also under water, but quite colourful Autumnal water

The woodland birds were quick to see if you were handing out food

Nutty came a little too close for a 300mm lens but I wasn't going to change when standing in water

Lurking at the back like a little lurker but refusing to come out was this tiny thing

Yet more Beardies by the grit trays near Grizedale. In fact there were more showing here (and without bling on this side of the reserve) but they are just a little bit further away ... normally. This female came down to the water's edge which was nice.

And one even came down to what little dry land there was ... well, a bed of floating reeds counts as dry land at the moment

A pair of Marsh Harriers were out in front of Grizedale but it was the male who came closest... 

... even forcing the Teal into the air when it got too close

I did do the estuary hides but don't have any photos. The main things of note were the Kingfisher, Greenshank, Wigeon, loads of Little Egret, a couple of Great Whites, a Goosander and several Mergansers (all red heads).

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Nige   Flickr

  • They are very appealing little birds, love the poses and am only slightly green with envy...... The Marsh Harrier is a great capture Nigel, and I'd take a lilo with you next time as winter draws near:-)

    Lot to learn

  • Great photos of gorgeous birds--thanks, Nigel! The Beardies are wonderful and you are right about the splits poses; I laughed out loud about the first male Beardie pic. The tiny Crestie is very sweet--shame it did not come for food. And the Marsh Harrier is gorgeous, too.

    Kind regards, 

    Ann

  • Cracking snaps Nige, you have just got to to love the beardies. They have such comical faces and poses.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Thanks all

    Perhaps the visitor centre should consider renting out pedalos. It would be a great way of getting around in the floods and if it was one of those swan shaped ones, the birds would never know you were there

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    Nige   Flickr

  • In reply to Nigel O:

    Great idea, Nigel, and proud parents could take snaps of their 50, 60 and 70 year-old children happily paddling/pedalo-ing up and down LM's watery paths/streams! LM should start a photo album!

    Kind regards, 

    Ann

  • Almost missed this excellent post and photos. A lovely set Nige and good to see the Beardies showing well. The shot of the Teal in flight showing their green wing flash is beautiful.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Thanks

    HAZY said:
    Almost missed this

    I didn't think your eyesight had deteriorated so much

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    Nige   Flickr