Friday, 30 December 2011

Saturday, 3 December 2011

My Marsh Harrier photo published in the Daily Express today.

My winning competition entry of A far Ings Marsh Harrier carring a coot chick is published in todays Daily Express on page 25. Far ings nature reserve Barton upon Humber is credited as the photos location.
Now also features on the Daily Telegraph website. Link Below.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Marsh Harrier with coot chick picture gains more recognition.

The latest acolade for this photo is a finalist position in the UK wildlife photography competition 2011. That added to having already been published in the Wildlife trusts summer magazine, It was also published in the Metro national newspaper article on the WWT photo competition 2011 in which it is an entry, (21st oct edition 2011, page 34) Also it won a notable picture in the photo of the week competitin on the birdguides website. It is also licenced  for sale by Rex features on Getty Images through WWT. Fantastic results for an image I instantly Knew was something very special from the moment I first saw it on the camera screen. It's also entered in 3 other cometitions, so I hope it does well. It's also available to view as a large canvas at the Far Ings national nature reserve new visitors centre in Barton upon Humber. Below are links of interest for this picture.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) Far Ings 25.11.11.

A few hours at Far Ings didn't yield much today before an angry sky and a sudden wind brought rain and cut the outing short. This chaffinch which was the only bird which hung around long. There were fleeting visits from goldfinch, goldcrest, treecreeper, bluetit and long tailed tits. Plenty of blackbird, robin and wren and and a few redwing The weather remains mild for november meaning birds are not losing much heat or using as much energy, and they don't seem to be having any difficulty finding food yet. Very strange quiet for the time of year.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Tawny returns to it's roost site.

I photographed this owl back in March 2011. I have checked the site I last saw it on a regular basis. Today it was on exactly the same branch as as back in March.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Goldrest at Far Ings. 21.11.11.

Two different birds here from a group of three which were slow roaming whilst feeding and showing pretty well. One of these birds is ringed. No chance of making out the info on the ring from the few half decent shots I obtained in very poor late afternoon light. Rings seem to be a thing you don't notice easily on the screen on the camera. I'ts only when editing the shots you wish you'd tried to get some shots focused on the leg instead of the head!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Grey Seal Barton upon Humber 20.11.11.

This Grey seal found by Andy sharp On the Far Ings foreshore was a bonus and a delight to see and watch, and it  rescued an otherwise poor birding day blighted by early thick fog. My original target was the Short Eared Owl seen on the foreshore yesterday by Graham Catley, who kindly tipped me off about it. However I arrived late yesterday and missed it. This morning I did see the bird 3 times through the fog but didn't bother trying to photograph it in such poor conditions. For the short Eared owl see Grahams blog, to which there is a link on the right of my page.

Love Of Photography And Being Outdoors.

I don't do many posts in text format, so I thought I'd write a short post about my photography and getting outdoors locally, and some of the things that tickle me. I hear a lot of banter and rivalry among photographers and birdwatchers about all sorts of things that make me chuckle inside. Things like why does that person only sit in that hide all day? Or why does this person only take pictues of that species and not go here or there to get this or that species? Why does so and so not get rid of that camera or lens and get this one? The list of criticisms and issues is endless. So here is my view on some of those issues. Firstly my photography is in its infancy. I am not an expert of either photography or birds. I have come a long way in a short time though. I owe a lot to those who have inspired me or guided me. Andy Sharp, Graham Catley and Mandy West to name just a few. The list is endless because most people have some knowledge of value to share. I love being outdoors taking pictures of birds. I am in my element on local ground because there are still many species I have to find and photograph locally. It's the thrill of getting a shot of a bird locally that gives me great satisfaction. That's not to say that everyone should be sat in a local hide or in a local wood as I often am. No, different people have different interests and some enjoy or need to chase species across the country because they make a living from it, they have no suitable habitat nearby or simply because they want to. The best of luck to those people and I hope they get to see or photograph the species they go for. It's about enjoying what you do. I enjoy what I do and hope others do the same. I have spent a lot of money on camera gear, but I enjoyed it just as much  years ago with my point and shoot camera, taking rubbish photos of the Marsh Harriers over Far Ings when they first returned to Barton after a long period af absence. I was captivated by their beauty and was instantly hooked on watching Harriers. I returned there many times and watched quietly, I even introduced others to the birds' presence. That was the spark that lit a small fire of interest in me which slowly but surely grew within me. But not everyone has the money or time, or good fortune as I have had to warrant spending vast amounts of money to persue their hobby or interest. I try to encourge people who are starting out, as others encouraged me. There are plenty of things to photograph in the wild, in a local park or on a local pond for those starting out. This brings me to the in the "wild "subject. I get nothing from photographing captive subjects. Thats just the way I feel about wildlife. Yes I get a thrill from seeing a rare Hawk or Owl on someone's arm, but when I point a camera at it, the thrill is just not there like it is when I photograph birds in the wild, it's just not my thing. I know there are valid reasons for having birds in captivity and thats not to say anyone else shouldn't photograph it; if you get pleasure from it, then go for it. To me however, it's about being outdoors, photographing and watching wildlife as often as I can given my current working restraints. If I miss a species because I didn't know about it or because I'm at work, of course I'm disappointed. But I just carry on and hope I get it next time. I take the occasional trip to places where species are that don't exist locally, but I love getting back on the local patch where I'm content for now with many unfulfilled goals. So my message here is enjoy what you do at the level you feel happy, with the gear and time you can afford, and respect other peoples level of interest and goals.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Short Eared Owl, Worlaby Carrs. 18.11.11.

A rather dull day at Worlaby today produced rather poor images. Around 5 owls did show for the public but didn't perch very close. The light was much lower than the weather forecast led us to believe it would be, leaving flight shots at decent shutter speeds off the cards. Still it's nice to get anything at all of these birds. It's still early winter and the birds will provide us with many more chances to photograph them I'm sure.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Good results from my 10 days off.

I had some very pleasing results from photos taken during my last 10 days off. My Treecreeper photo from the 18th of October was used  on TV during the ITV weather forecast.  My Goldcrest shot taken on the 20th October was used on TV on thursday in the Autumwatch red button photo gallery. Then the same photo won a Notable photo award on the birdguides website. Then the Marsh Harrier shot I took during the spring is featured in a web article about a competition in which I entered the picture. A link below will take you to that article. Also a link below to the goldcrest picture on birdguides. Not bad all in a weeek.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Another Goldcrest fom today. 20.10.11.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus at Far Ings 20.10.11.

Hundreds or hours went into obtaining this image, Why did I put so much time into it you might ask? simple, because its not an easy subject. Despite the fact that this is a relatively common bird, you just don't get a photo of this species of this quality every day. Many a day I've gone home without a single shot after trying for nothing but this species all day. I've also deleted many average quality images of the species over the last year or so before settling on this one. I enjoyed the challenge involved in getting it. If you've ever tried photographing Goldcrests, then you know how difficult they are to find and get into the viewfinder with all the conditions right. Unlike many more glamourous looking species, when you do manage to find it you don't get many chances of obtaining a decent image. I hope you all enjoyed seeing it as much as I did getting it. Click the image to view a larger version.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My photo featured during the ITV Yorkshire Calendar weather forecast

The treecreeper image posted below featured this evening during the weather forecast on the calender evening news. Not bad since its the only picture I've ever sent in.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Treecreeper.Certhia familiaris. Far Ings. 18.10.11.

A close up of a Treecreeper. Not often they get this close. Taken at 500mm. Due to the partly cloudy conditions today constantly changing the light from bright sun to very dull, I didn't attempt to use the convertor. Tempting as it is with these small birds to gain the extra reach. This bird put in a very brief close pass resulting in a pleasing shot with more detail than I am used to getting. Well worth the effort today in very difficult conditions of high winds and squally showers.
Click on the image to view a larger version.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Far Ings 16.10.11.

Sunday at Far Ings, another Goldcrest and a Long Tailed Tit.
 Click on an image for a larger version.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Goldcrest.Regulus regulus. Far Ings. 15.10.11.

This is one of my favorite little birds. A joy to watch as it skittles through the tree tops picking tiny morsels like spiders, moth eggs and other small insect food. Never easy to photograph as they move very quickly rarely posing for more than a split second. Its a bird I enjoy deliberatly trying to locate and photograph. I only managed a single bird today which was dissapointing for me! It did show in the light quite well though. That made up for seeing several and ending up with no shots, which can often be the case with this species.

Mute Swan. Cygnus olor. Far ings. 15.10.11.

A rather regal looking Mute Swan I think.

Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca. Far Ings. 15.10.11.

Another go today at the Ferruginous Duck. A struggle even with a 500mm to get a detailed image. But at least very nice light today. Oh how us photographers moan about the conditions or our subjects. we're never happy!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Ferruginous Duck. Aythya nyroca. Far Ings 14.10.11.

Had a couple of hours on the patch to try to photograph this bird today. Not great results but got a few shots which is a start. The bird was mostly distant and when it did start to show well it was spooked by a lad with two dogs on the far bank. It flew west and that was that. I decided not to go after it as it was late afternoon and light was fading. I may get another chance at it in the next few days.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Far Ings 27.9.11.

Common Kingfisher and Goldcrest, both taken during this mornings session at Far Ings.

Monday, 19 September 2011

More Kingfisher at Far Ings. 18.9.11

Both of these shots taken at ISO 2000, and whilst they are acceptable I can't say I'm happy with them. There is just no getting away from the fact that there's no substitute for good light.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Goldcrest and Treecreeper at Far Ings today. 15.9.11.

I decided to look for these two species in the small thorn woods around the reserve today after a poor session in the hide. I knew it wouldn't be easy to get many decent shots of these two tricky species with the trees still in full leaf. Also I wondered if It might be a bit early as they are not as numerous here in the summer months.  To my surprise there were a few goldcrests on the reserve already. Not as easy to find yet though as they are in the winter. The treecreepers were not as evident, I only managed to track two birds down. They gave themselves away with the distinct shrill sound rather than thier musical song. I will look forward to trying again during the winter when the light penetrates the bare trees and these lovely birds roam the woods joining flocks of tits feeding.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Marsh Harrier from July 27th.

Here is a Marsh Harrier shot from far ings I didnt get round to editing from July. Never seem to find the time to get them all done.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Far Ings 11.9.11.

The first Bearded Tit I've seen in quite a while. A pair were present today but only one showed in the open.  Also male Marsh Harrier made a high speed pass carried by the very strong wind.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Little Grebe 9.9.11.

This Little Grebe fed this chick while its partner fed a second chick. They both caught fish almost at will. The birds didn't mind my presence, but the light was less than ideal this afternoon, with only hazy sunshine breaking through at times and otherwise mostly cloudy . Whatever happened to the summer.