Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Short-eared owls are not only great to watch as they quarter the fields in search of voles but a great subject to photograph. I recent visited a site where four birds put on a great display in both hunting and terratorial behaviour. Here are some of the photographs of these beautiful birds in action.
Another vole about to bite the dust

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pigeons and Doves

I have been getting a few pigeon and dove shots during January and so thought I would combine them in to a post. I guess they are a group of birds that does not receive a great deal of attention due to being a common sight.
Starting with the largest UK species the Wood Pigeon taken in some very gloomy conditions.
I often use feral pigeons for practicing my flight photography and what may seem easy actually presents quite a challenge. Here on with the 'landing gear' down.
and a less common coloured one flying past.
I currently have 6 collared doves regularly visiting the backgarden and its good to see some activitiy with it being generally quite for birds there at the moment.Moving over to local woodland, I took a trip out yesterday hoping to get some stock dove photographs. I managed a couple but feel the need to return to get some more.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

In Pursuit of Buzzards

My photography life is one of mini projects. I am constantly formulating ways and looking for opportunities to get shots of different species. For a while I have been keeping an eye open for buzzards and potential chances to get some shots and decided to put the plan into action this week. I always think you are really up against it trying to get close to photograph a bird that is suupose to be able to spot a rabbit from a mile away. Here are some of the results

Friday, January 18, 2008

More Waders

I just can't seem to keep myself away from waders and never seem to grow tired of photographing them. Firstly a bit of double vision with a pair of redshank. This required stopping the lens down to F10 to get both birds sharp in the frame. It took quite a while to get this photo as the bird on the right insisted on constantly looking away.
Turnstone are common birds on the local shore and so its often easy to walk past them whilst looking for something more 'exotic'.
but difficult to ignore when they are glowing in a brief moment of sunlight between the rain clouds.The bird that I am often looking for, which leads to the Turnstone, being ignored is the Purple Sandpiper. There have been quite good numbers present locally this year.
To finish off and as regular readers will know, one of my favourite waders to photograph the sanderling. These shots were taken handheld but I have just built a ground pod for the camera which should hopefully open up a new low perspective on these birds. I will post some details about this after I have given it a good testing.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lapwing Action

I have taken the odd lapwing photograph before but never any of them in flight and so decided to try and rectify this the other day. There is a field close to my home where I go to take curlew photographs that currently has about 500 lapwings sat in it, so this seemed the obvious place to head for. Before attempting any flight shots I thought I would just get a few of the birds strutting around and bathing. They really are a beautiful bird when the light hits them at the right angle.
On to some attempts at flight shots. They are quite difficult to catch in flight as they can and often do change direction very rapidly whilst in flight. they are easiest to get during take-off and landing

Stretching those characreristic broad wings.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Local Scarce and Rare
In my early efforts in 2008 I have managed to photograph a couple of scarce and a rare species.

Firstly a Mediterranean Gull which take quite a lot of finding amongst the big flocks of black-headed gulls which look very similar. I think this is the same bird that I found at the end of 2007.

There have been half a dozen Purple Sandpiper on the local rocks and sea defences roosting at high tide.

This winter there has been a small number of cattle egret arriving in the country. I am fortunate in that one turned up in a local farm at Neston. I believe this is the only the second bird recorded locally with the last one being back in 1997. Quite difficult lighting conditions during my visit and the distance of the bird required the use of the 1.4 teleconvertor on the 500mm lens.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Flying Start to the Year

The first couple of days of 2008 were slow due to terrible light conditions. I took a visit up to my feeding station to undertake the twice weekly filling of the feeders and stayed for a short session. It was fairly quiet up there, I think mainly due to the nearby presence of a sparrowhawk that fly past quite regularly. Still managed to get a couple of shots.

Blue titA chirping Coal tit
and the male woodpecker was doing his usual rounds
The real treat though came on the way home when a flock of fieldfare were located. The Fieldfare is a bird that I have struggled to photograph for the last to winters, mainly because they are so shy and flighty. Usually if you at look at them sideways from a 100 metres they are off, so I made the most of this good opportunity.


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