David Poole, 1st March 2023

Our speaker on 1st March was David Poole from Milnthorpe in the South Lakes. David is a dedicated and enthusiastic wildlife photographer. His talk was titled “The Wildlife of Morecambe Bay” and he took us on a grand tour of the nature reserves surrounding the bay of which there are more than thirty.

David started in the north at Hay Bridge where, amongst others, there are Ospreys, Adders, deer and dragonflies. From there he took us to Witherslack for butterflies. His next stop was Foulshaw Moss where he has been photographing wildlife for more than twelve years. He said that this reserve is particularly good for butterflies, dragon flies, moths, beetles and damsel flies and many other species of wildlife.

He arrives there early in the morning to have the best chance of finding, and photographing, his subjects. He then took us to the Lythe Valley where there is a site that is known for its Fritillary Butterflies including the rare High Brown which is Britain’s most threatened butterfly. Next came images of the Beautiful Demoiselle, a species which can be found on the river Gilpin. Then on to Hawfinches which he had photographed at Sizergh Castle where they are attracted to the Hornbeam trees. He then showed some photographs of Dippers taken on the River Kent. These included some of a Dipper feeding its chick.

 

David has his own hide and from this he has photographed a huge range of birds. He uses a mirrorless camera as this makes no sound and thus does not scare the more nervous birds, such as Buzzards, away.

 

After the break David took us to Arnside Knott and then on to Leighton Moss. He has been visiting the latter at least once a week for many years and in 2008 he produced a book “A Year at Leighton Moss”. As well as photographing numerous species of birds here he has also photographed Otters and Red Deer. From here he took us further south to the Great Barrows Nature Reserve at Arnside, the River Keer at Carnforth and the Middleton Nature Reserve at Heysham.

 

David’s beautiful photographs of a huge number of species were interspersed with numerous amusing anecdotes relating to his experiences whilst out taking photographs. We also learned about the behaviour of the various species he photographed. Altogether it was a wonderful evening.

Julie Walker