Monday, December 31, 2007


I have been trying to get some shots of a Red-Breasted Merganser for a while. There have been a number locally on the marine lake but they are a difficult bird to get near and tend to stay out in the centre of this large lake and my efforts were in vain until recently.
I was 'stalking' one bird and trying to move closer each time it dived when it surface right next to me. In fact so close that all I could get was this head shot.
The next step is to try and get some shots of a female, although based on my success rate with the males that may take some time.
I will take this opportunity, as it is the last post of the year, to wish you all a very Happy 2008 :)

Friday, December 28, 2007


I have a special fondness for Jays and if I have a selection of birds in front of the lens it will always tend to veer towards them. Their bright colours and inquisitive but shy behaviour all combine to make them a very interesting bird to photograph. I have spent some time recently at a local woodland building a library of jay shots from which here are a selection of 10 to add to those in my previous post.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Winter Woodlands

Winter deciduous woodlands are wonderful places to photograph. The leaves off the trees create improved lighting conditions and the ground cover of autumn leaves can create some great colours in the shots. Here are a selection of recent shots taken from a local woodland where the birds are relatively accustomed to visitors.

I was concentraing on three main target species which were Jay, Stock Dove and Nuthatch. However, before getting to some shots of them, there were plenty of magpies to also distract the attention. This shot shows some of the warm background colours that can be created by the leaf fall.
During the quiet periods there were usually plenty of Grey Squirrels, and Wood Pigeon nearby to keep the shutter finger exercised.
Nuthatch keep you on your toes as they tend to dash in grab a piece of food and fly off to bury it under some bark, before returning. I need to do a bit more work on the Stock Doves
I had three very obliging Jays, in the area of woodland I chose, and so I end up with a good variety of shots. I will post a couple of shots of them for now and dedicate my next post to some more photos of these beautiful birds.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas
Just to wish all the readers of this Blog a very Merry Christmas and Wildlife filled New Year. Many thanks for all your comments and support. I wonder what 2008 will bring?

Best Wishes

Rich :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Scarce Gulls

Most days as I drive along the long promenade on my route to and from work I check to see if there are any scarce gull species about. The main species I am usually looking for is the Mediterranean Gull. Well I have come across none on this daily routine for months, until this week. They can be quite tricky to spot amongst the groups of Black-headed gulls and my quick identification method is to look for white tail feathers.Another scarce gull species, the Iceland gull, also recently appeared at a lake near my office, so I headed out in my lunch break armed with a loaf of bread as I have not photographed these before. This lake has about 1500 gulls on it so it was a bit of tricky initally finding the bird. The light was at a difficult angle.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

As a bird photographer it is often easy to overlook the common species and with living by the coast I tend to take gulls for granted. However, I have been building up a collection of gull shots recently and thought I would select a few for a compilation post. Starting off with the very common, the black-headed gull. I often use them for practicing my flying bird shots.
This bird was going through the motions of calling but no sound was emerging.
We have plenty of common gull locally, which are comical to watch as the drop shellfish, dug from the beach, on to concrete from height to get at the contents. This bird was just about to drop into a dive having dropped a cockle.
On the beach and taking a dip
Moving up the size scale to the Herring GullThe Lesser Black-backed gull on a sunny morningand the largest gull, a Greater Black-backed gull on a gloomy morning. These seem to be increasing in numbers locally andare very impressive and predatory birds.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Martin Mere
I took a recent trip up to Martin Mere, mainly with the intention of taking some Ruff shots. This is a bird I would love to photograph in full spring / summer plumage but that would involve a plane trip to Scandinavia. A trip I intend to take one day.
Whilst waiting for some Ruff to appear I kept the shutter finger warm in the cold hide with a bit of exercise on some waterfowl. It always good to have other birds to photograph while you are waiting for your target species.
Whooper Swan
a Young Whooper coming in for a splash downand taking a bathAlso swimming around in front of the Swanlink hide were Pintail and Shelduck.
A Lapwing 'leg shaking' the ground in front of the hide kept me amused for a while.
I took a short walk to warm up as it was freezing in the hide and when I returned a couple of Ruff had appeared. On the way out I wandered through the captive duck collection and this bird really got my eye as it was lit up by the sun. I haven't a clue what it is, and really that is not of importance, but it was a beautiful bird.


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