Friday, August 31, 2007


I have recently been doing a few bird in flight shots (BIFS) and decided to try and get some swallow and house martin shots before they depart south. Very difficult to photograph and lock focus on, especially hand panning the weight of a 500mm lens. Here are a couple that survived the waste bin which overflowed with near misses due to the relatively low light.
and a swallow
This landing drake mallard in eclipse plummage also caught my eye.
as did this Black-headed gull 'walking' on the waves.I also caught a passing turnstone the other day on the local beach in some better light.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Support Testing

I decided it was about time to get a tripod. It still probably will not get used a great deal, as afterall I have managed up until now without one but sure it will have its occasional uses especially when in the hide.

Thought I would give the new camera support a test out with some birds in the garden. These were taken sitting in the kitchen through the open back door. Possibly the ultimate in hide comfort. First with some blue tits
Some junior greenfinch which are new garden visitors.
and a young house sparrow and goldfinch for good measure.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bushy Reds

This is my last post from my visit to Bushy Park and this one will just be dedicated to shots of some of the Red deer. It would nice to watch these animals rutting which will occur over the next few weeks, although my visit was probably a good time to get close enough to the big stags without getting chased all over the parkland.
Potrait of a younger male
A female that kept going up on to her back legs to chew on some low tree branches, she is looking up here to find the next branch to attack.Think I was spotted!!!What I was really trying to find was one of the big old stags and was not disappointed. This one had already lost its velvet from the antlers and sharpened them up ready for the rut.After a bit of searching I found a stag with the 12 points on the antlers that qualifies it as being a 'Royal Stag', a fitting end to my visit to this royal parkland.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Park Birds
While trying to get some shots of the deer in Bushy Park I came across a number of birds in my wanderings. however, the big flocks of ringed neck parakeets and occasional green woodpecker were not playing the game so settled for some more common species. I think these phots reflect to an extent how poor the light was during my visit.

Grey heron
A new species for me the Egyptian Goose. These were probably birds that were part of the waterfowl collection that have bred. They were certainly no longer what I would class as captive with many flying around freely.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Park Life

I have been working down in London most of this week and decided to drop into Bushy Park to take some photos while I was in the area, although the light and weather were terrible. The park is huge with large areas of rough grassland and bracken interspersed with row plantings of mature trees. It is an interesting place with numbers of wild fallow and red deer, togther with a good range of birds including noisey flocks of ring necked parakeets, green woodpecker and Egyptian geese. I will spread the shot over 2 or 3 posts and will start with the Fallow deer.

This seemed to be the most dominant male of the fallow deer I came across, still with velvet on the its antlers. The Fallow deer, although use to seeing people around, are still very flighty and I was glad to have the 500mm lens with me.
Unfortunately there was not really enough light to get any actions shots but managed to get a couple despite very low shutter speeds.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Marshside in the Gloom

I went over to Marshside RSPB at Southport on Saturday afternoon, despite the dire weather conditions, and met up with a fellow bird photographer in one of the hides. It was very quiet with most of the photography action occuring in the first 10 minutes with a solitary snipe
and a hyperactive Common Sandpiper which disturbed the snipe, before disappearing itself
All was then quiet for the next two and half hours and I passed the time watching the Glossy Ibis at very long range through the binoculars. Just before the hide was due to close a male shoveler came into range. I could not decide if this was in eclipse plummage or a young one.

A head shot showing that remarkable filtering beak (unfortunately due to the image size on the Blog you cannot see the filtering filaments that show up in the high res image)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

On the Beach

I called into the Gronant Nature Reserve the other day, after a poor start to day where the first site I visited had vegetation obscuring the views from the hides and the second site was closed. It was my first visit to Gronant which I know holds populations of Little Terns. the terns had mostly left but there were still some flying over the beach and managed to get my first shot of one.
Given that the terns were playing hard to get I thought I Would try and get some shots of the Ringed Plover on the beach. These are not the easiest birds to get near on an open beach but managed to get some shots after a bit of patience and waiting.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back in Business

The 500mm lens has returned at last, so had to obviously go and give it a test run to make sure all was as it should be with it. I went to over to the local seashore as high tide was ebbing away.
A couple of gull shots first to get back in the swing of things.
A few Turnstone are starting to return now, some still showing summer plummage.
I ran into a Common Tern which was running along the edge of the water and cocasionally diving for small sandeels.


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