Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Robins

Happy Christmas everyone.







Saturday, 18 December 2010

In Search of Berry Trees

Probably the most photographed species of bird in the UK this Winter will be the Waxwing.  Every year we have some over-wintering with us, usually in their hundreds, but this year has been exceptional with literally thousands arriving from Scandinavia and much earlier than usual.  Their main food is berries, the favourite being the fruit of the Rowan or Mountain Ash. Due to their early arrival there was still an abundance of berries and so they seemed to pick the ripest from each tree and then move on to a fresh source, eventually returning to the trees they had first visited some days later, presumably as the berries had ripened.

I had waited patiently for some to arrive locally and eventually a flew flocks were reported nearby.  The problem was that every time I went to photograph them they had moved on and I just seemed to be chasing around without any results.  After a few wasted trips I decided to head over to North Wales where several hundred Waxwings had been at a couple of sites regularly for a week or two.  It still took two days to get some decent shots and not exactly what I was after although  it was also nice to get some of them feeding on Hawthorn berries.

They are great fun to photograph and being so approachable makes all the difference, I'm sure that I'll be tempted to photograph some more before they head back to Scandinavia in early Spring.


Monday, 13 December 2010

Wintry Blue Tits

More images from my recent sessions in the freezing weather. I have spent years attempting to get shots of birds in a snow covered pine tree with little success, mainly due to the fact that we don't often get any decent snow in this part of the country. It was great to get a number of species perching in this very festive setting, the Blue Tits and Robins being very obliging, I'll certainly be alright for Christmas cards for the next few years.







Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Wintry Nuthatches

Nuthatches are amongst one of my favourite birds to photograph and as I mentioned in a previous post they are always great fun to do. With all the snow and frost we are having at the moment I wanted to try and get some shots of them in typical wintry settings, on snow covered logs and branches.

Photographing woodland species at this time of year is not easy, the sun being very low and moving direction as it shines through the trees, giving areas of changing light and shade. So a bit of thought has to go into setting up feeding stations for best results.  In the Winter I usually only have two or three hours of good light a day in my garden so was pleased with this weeks efforts. I will be posting other species from the sessions very soon.







Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Little Owls

Last week I made a long overdue trip to photograph Little Owls in Yorkshire. It had been nearly six years since I was last there and I didn't even know if they would still be in the same place, as I arrived I scanned the area and sure enough there was one sitting in almost the exact spot I hade photographed them last time I was there. Unfortunately my day was cut short by thick fog just after lunch so another trip up there is on the cards, hopefully sooner than six years.




Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Fighting Redshanks

It's the time of year when I start tidying up my hard drives of the years images, putting the monthly shots into species lists and ruthlessly getting rid of anything that won't be usable. It's while doing this that I often discover photographs that I had forgotten I had taken or ones that have never been looked at. Over the next few months I will post some of these images as I work my way through them.


These Redshanks were photographed back in February, I was lying on the beach photographing a Bar-tailed Godwit when a single Redshank landed in front of me and started to feed, soon another arrived and they started calling, next there was an aggressive confrontation as they locked bills and tried to kick one another, all over in a few seconds they went on their separate ways as if nothing had happened.


Thursday, 11 November 2010

Waxwings

With large numbers of Waxwings in the country at the moment I was in no rush to chase after them, preferring to wait until some turned up locally. A flock of 40 in Kelsall, Cheshire wasn't too far away so I made the trip, they had been there a few days and had already stripped several of the Rowan or (Mountain Ash) trees of berries, these are their preferred diet so I think they were getting ready to move on to find more fruit laden trees elsewhere.
Ideally for photography the birds need to be low down and feeding but this wasn't going to happen here, I took a few shots and decided that I would try and catch up with some more over the next few months.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Rooks

Over the last few weeks when the sun has decided to show I have been trying to photograph Rooks in flight. Thanks to my friend Rich for location details of this large flock which has been very obliging and photogenic in the late afternoon sunlight.
They are good fun to do with their random flight patterns and irregular shapes that they form, I'll be doing some more sessions with them when the sun shines.






Thursday, 21 October 2010

Dragonflies

I'm sorting through images from earlier in the year and found some Dragonflies taken in the Summer. I usually spend quite a bit of time each year photographing Dragonflies and Damselflies but didn't seem to manage it this year, I think probably down to the poor weather in late Summer.

Southern Hawker

Black-tailed Skimmer

Broad-bodied Chaser

Broad-bodied Chaser

Common Darter
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