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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Some small birds

Yes another cold day at around minus 2, so with the weather so good I thought it would be a good idea to sit around and take a few shots of some small birds :(
I was joined by two other mad friends to keep me company.
The long tail tits were regular visitors which is always a bonus.

The regular Nuthatch's were also around.

A willow tit, I always find these hard to get a good shot of.

Monday, 13 December 2010

More Of The Red Fox

Spent the weekend trying to get some different shots of the foxes again. The foxes become active late in the afternoon and with the weather not being so good it was time to try some different techniques.

The below shots have been taken using the car head lights to help put some light on the subject.

As the light totally went I was lucky enough to see the cubs come out and play with the parents. As it is breeding season at the moment this ment the whole family were togther; mum, dad and two cubs.

This is father and son together.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Snowy Red Fox

Woke up to this years first snow on the ground. I haven't taken photo's of the fox's for a while and with the snow I thought it would make a nice change of shots.

On the approach.

I see you.

Snow on your nose.

Close up head shot

Mixed Bag

Just to prove I haven't spent all my time taking photo's of kingfishers and waxwings I thought it would be about time to show a mixture of birds which I have captured over the last few months.

Red legged partridge in some nice light

Great spotted woodpecker

Tufted Duck

Willow Tit

Blue Tit

Coal tit

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


Ok so I took a break from the kingfishers and visited Leek to get my first waxwing pictures.
I have to see these birds just look amazing close up.
They were located on a industrial estate bit we found them quite easily as there were already other togs there.

The waxwings seemed to come down and feed on the berries and then return to digest. Once digested they would fly around chasing each other for a while and then feed again.
Hopefully I will find them closer to home soon as I would love to get further shots of these great looking birds.


Well the last 3 or 4 weekends have been spent sitting in a cold hide (very cold at times) taking more pics of Kingfishers. This time the perches were a lot closer which helped.

I have to say they are great catchers as they caught something prob about 75% of the time.

This seemed to be their fav perch but the back ground of the water can be a pain at times.
The one thing I really had to pay attention to and learn more about was the exposure. The white on the kingfishers neck can easily be blown. Also the light on the background can effect the overall look of the picture.

Another perch located further away from the hide but can also make a nice shot.

During the last visit to the reserve I was treated to something a bit different. The kingfisher dived down and emerged with this dragon fly. It took a bit to swallow but it did go down in one.

I have to say a special thanks to my mate Ken how let me use the 400mm lens and also showed me the location. I am sure there will be very more pics to follow later this year.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Bradgate Deer and Stag

Another early cold start but the weather conditions were perfect so I headed off to Leicester to see some stags rutting at Bradgate park. This was the first time I had been there so really didn't know where I was going, this was not a problem as when I arrived at the car park you just follow the other hundred photographers walking through the car park.

Immediately after walking through the entrance there was a buck sitting on the hill side about 20 ft away so I took the opportunity to grab a few shots. The sound of roaring was also present so I continued to walk further into the park where I noticed 40+ photographers standing in a open field??? A quick scan of the togs revealed a few fiends so I headed off to say hello. The sun had just come up and was giving a really nice red/orange feel to the place. A few bucks were around so I took the chance to get some early morning shots.

A nice surprise was next to follow with a pair of bucks. Only problem was the several other togs taking the same shot behind them as we were also.

It was now mid morning so we decided to head off up the hill to find some red stags. An hour later and tied legs revealed nothing :(

The rest of the afternoon was spent taking pictures of bucks resting in the sun and also a few gulls in the ponds.

A first for me was a Wigeon sitting with the mallards but it really didn't come out to play and allow me to get any decent shots.

All in all a good day but I will be going again and hopefully get a few red next time.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Cannock Chase Nuthatch's Oct 2nd

It is that time of year again when the small birds start to feed back on seed. The nuthatch is one of my favorite birds and has great character.

I have spent the last two weekends trying to photograph a range of different shots which shows off the bird and it's character.

I am sure there will be many more pictures of these fantastic bird posted before the end of this year.

Little Owl

Thanks to Pete (petes birding blog) I was able to get a few shots of the little owl. On the first visit Pete had to point them out to me as I couldn't find them myself :(

It was great to see them but they were hiding in the tree and I was unable to get any clear pictures. A few weeks later I returned to the site but again no luck.

A few more weeks passed and I was passing the site so decided to call in on the off chance. Looked around and saw the one in it's norm place hiding again. Will i ever get a shot I thought?

Whilst sitting in the car I scanned the tree again and then I caught something in the corner of my eye, a little owl was at the front of the tree looking straight at me :)

I didn't want to move to fast but then again I didn't want to miss the shot, slowly lifted the camera and fired off a few record shots. The owl was quite happy sitting there and just relaxing so I managed to get plenty of shots before leaving to let him rest.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Brandon Marsh 1st Aug

Up early again at 5 am to meet my friend Ken at Brandon. I have been wanting to get some nice pictures of the king fisher now for sometime and Ken said he would show me around. The weather wasn't great but it was at least dry.

Upon arrival at the hide there was only one other person so we got set up nearlist to the perch. Ken lent me his 500mm F4 :) so I could hopefully nail some good pictures.

It was about a hour before the first fly by sighting and then one perched.
This was the closest I had been to a kingfisher so I was so excited and just kept taking shot after shot.

During the next hour the light started to improve and more kingfishers arrived.
At one point there was 3 king fishers sitting on one perch, this was a great sight to see.
As the time went on Ken said I had better "fill my boots with pics" as they would be leaving soon, sure enough a few minutes later they had all gone.

So all in all a great morning, arrived at 6am and left at 10am with over 200 shots of the kingfisher's. I will be visiting Brandon again in the near future.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Skomer Island 3rd to 5th July

I know this is a little late posting but it has taken me weeks to go through all the photo's. This was my first visit to Skomer and I loved every minute of it.

During the 3 days spent there I saw a lot of firsts for me including:
Little owl
Short eared owl
And of course hundreds of puffins.

As we had only three days on the island I decided to make the most of my time which meant leaving the accommodation early and not returning until early evening. I was also determined to cover as much as the island as possible, I don;t think my legs agreed with this after the second day.

Before the trip I had a few Puffin shots in mind which I wanted to capture including these few.

During the first night on the island we went out around midnight to gain the amazing experience of the shearwaters coming in to the island. The noise was from them calling out to each other was intense along with the gush of air passing your head as they flew over you.

The little owl's were showing for most of the time but they kept their distance.

The short eared owls however gave us a great display on the last evening. This was a absolute pleasure to watch and get a few pictures of.

I could write pages and pages more about this trip and I will be returning again next year. If you have never been to Skomer Island I would recommend it highly.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Gigrin Farm

Friday 2nd July
Up early and packed the gear into the car. I was on my way down to Skomer to spend the next 3 days on the island with a 15 other togs from talk photography forum. On the way down to Skomer we had arranged to visit Gigrin Farm and meet up with 4 others from the forum. This was a first for me and really looking forward to it. The weather was good and we even had a blue sky at times. We had chosen to go in the new taller hide which gave a lot more photo opportunities.
We arrived early and got set up in the hide, a very nice friend lent me his 400mm f5.6 which was a dream to us and so quick to focus.
I really didn't know what to expect and as the time got closer to feeding the kites and buzzards were coming closer. I couldn't believe how many there were.

The feeding lasted around 2 1/2 hours and during this time I was mostly shooting hand held but also used the tripod for ground shots and to give my arms a rest.

We had the pleasure of the white Red kite visiting which was nice to see.

I found myself having a soft spot for the buzzards and taking a lot of photo's of them. The colours really showed up well with the green fields in the background.

I went with some particular shots in mind with the one being a full frame head shot. This is what I managed to capture.

After a great afternoon and very tiered arms it was time to leave and head down to Pembroke to spend the night camping and to be ready early in the morning for the boat across to Skomer.

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Well here goes, the design is now getting there so I better start posting. Got so much to post so I better stop thinking about it and get on with it. First blogs to follow very soon.