This time of year is hard to beat for wildlife photography, especially on a sunny morning in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire. Both Eddie and Mark joined me on this particularly fruitful outing...
Hitting the road again, we arrived at a favourite location for Pied Flycatchers: The wood at Marshaw Wyre...
Another five-minute drive brought us to the Langden Valley, time for a stroll...
Next stop on the tour was Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria where we saw distant views of two Ospreys, far too distant for a decent shot (about half a mile!) but good to see this side of Hadrian's Wall.
News of a rare Pied-billed Grebe lured us next to Leighton Moss, but would we get decent views this time? No.
A walk down the causeway to public Hide yielded the usual Marsh Harriers and a short burst of noise from a Cetti's Warbler. Once in the hide, this guy flew in to give good close-up views, albeit for about 5 seconds.
Incredibly, we still have eleven Mallard ducklings in our back garden plus one mummy duck. Cats and Sparrowhawks seem oblivious to this potential feast (not that cats actually eat birds, they tend to just kill them then dump them on owners' doorsteps). They're about 3 times bigger now too, possibly because of all the sweet corn, peas and birdseed we've been leaving out for them. Poo everywhere.
My wife and I are pleased to announce the arrival of eleven new born babies...