Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Toadtastic Geltsdale

Stepping foot out of the house at 4:45 on Sunday morning in the thick fog for a long day out at RSPB Geltsdale with the main attraction being the Black grouse Lek. On arrival at 6ish we were rather early as the walk was not scheduled to begin until 6:30, we hoped the fog would lift a little and it did to a point but not in the valley unfortunately, we were told it would be at "Photographable Distance" it soon appeared it wasn't! being half a mile away from the birds isn't really photographable unless you have a 3 or 4 thousand millimetre lens, but I do understand why we were at such a distance so not disturb the birds. Me, my dad and Brian all got good views through the scope. Other birds including Snipe, Red-legged partridge and Pheasant could be heard, Meadow pipits flew and so did the displaying Lapwing,
A few minutes later not long before leaving I caught sight of a bird flying over the stone walling below, I initially thought Wheater and got one quick look before it disappeared not to return. After having a cup of tea at the cottages we went in search of the dipper which we were told about, unfortunately none appeared and only the odd Wren and Stonechat appeared, on our way back we saw not 1 toad but I believe well above 10 or 15 if not more, spending abit of time photographing them I feel happy with the results.
 Moving on to the moors near Plenmillar we searched for red grouse and although we had a very close encouter with one stood on a post at the side of the road, after that there was only distant views to be had.
 A stop at whittle dean reservoir produced Goldeneye, Great crested grebe, Grey wagtail and a few frogs and that was about it. I also had a quick look down lake the other day too, so I have added pictures from there too, so overall the day at Geltsdale was very good and warm and I'm happy with seeing the Black grouse although it would have been very nice to photograph them!
Can I also say thank you to all involved in the NWT (Northumberland Wildlife Trust) Photography competition for giving me second place in the 13-18 section and I was very happy as there was some very good entries too, I will be entering again next year!

The fog eventually cleared


55mm lens cap showing size of these toads

Du' think they can see us?

A splendid looking great crested grebe

Touch down

House spuggy


  1. Nice to see that someone so into his photography respects the fact the birds need to be respected. They are the first priority !!
    Keep the posts and imsges coming.

  2. As John suggests, I don't think their is any fear of you ever disrespecting the wildlife you photograph Sam.
    Great day on Saturday. Love the Toads.:-)

  3. I'm loving the mix of amphibians and birds!

    Great you got so many pics of the toads, (including some very cute ones).

  4. Hello Sam!

    Andy (Mr!) Hall here- some brilliant photographs! I'm so impressed! Great to see you doing so well!

    Keep up the good work!