Park Life

16th February 2012
After spending so much time with the Short Eared Owls I was keen to photograph something else for a change but the problem was my back still wasn't ready for a long journey so I decided to visit my local park lake.
Park lakes can offer great access to birds that are normally very hard to approach when they are in more secluded areas because they get habituated to people and lose some of their fear. I say some because not all will come close straight away and you need to be in place to wait for them, especially the winter visitors like Goosanders and Tufted Ducks.

I arrived at first light to a gorgeous sunrise and straight away I had Mute Swans making their way towards me... helped by a few slices of bread chucked in..







I turned my attention to the Coots next, these birds are constantly fighting amongst themselves which gives great opportunities for action shots. It was made even worse by the presence of ice that covered large areas of the lake which in turn congregated the Coots into a smaller area meaning fights were erupting almost all the time..









Another peoples favourite, the Mallard. Get these birds in the right light and the colours are stunning..



Stunning in flight too..



Walking on the ice..





Time for a wash..



Great Crested Grebes are on my to do list this year as they are such beautiful birds and I was pleased to see good numbers of them on this lake..







Geese are another species that like our park lakes with large flocks of Canada and Greylag present..

Canada Goose..







Greylag Goose..





Finally a few of the more tricky ones to get close to, these are winter visitors to park lakes so they aren't as used to people but if you get set up and stay patient they will come close..

Goosander (female)



Goosander (male) in flight, couldn't get close enough to this bird whilst it was on the water..



Tufted Duck (male)



Tufted Duck (female)



Gadwall





and lastly a Wigeon.





Just a quick warning note - when visiting park lakes, unfortunately we live in age where it isn't that safe to go walking about with expensive camera equipment so if possible go along with a friend. I'm big and ugly enough to look after myself but I always take something with me ( I won't say what )just in case.. Be careful.. :-)

Thanks for looking..