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.