Down South we aren't blessed with many waifs n' strays like the marine lakes do along the coast. Normally rare Grebes and Divers dont find their way this inland and if they do they are usually plonked out in the very middle of one of our massive gravel pits with photo opportunities few and far between. However, for over a week now a Great Northern Diver has been present on a popular lake in Milton Keynes and what's more the bird (a juvenile) seems to be fairly confiding.
On Wednesday i had a free morning so arrived at 7.30am and after a walk around the lake located the Diver sleeping in the middle, it took another hour for the bird to start coming near and once awake and alert it continually was on the move seemingly doing a circuit over and over again and constantly diving. The circuit it chose was good for photography because it would come close to the edge of the lake and pop up in front of me but it only did this once then swam back away again and would not return that close for another 30-40 minutes! The circuit also saw the bird spend time too far away for photography, swimming into the sun and swimming under a bridge which was very dark so all in all it wasn't the easiest photography session....i had to be patient and as time wasn't on my side i was always worrying i would fluff the few chances i had to photograph the bird up close!
By 11.30am after 4 hours of lying flat down on the cold hard concrete the bird had come really close about 4 times and the light was starting to fade as some clouds rolled in, i had however got my best shots of this species and more importantly observed this birds behaviour and spent some real quality time watching a really great bird being busy and flourishing in a rather odd location, here are the images...
Monday, 21 November 2011
After a wedding near Wales on Saturday Erin and myself travelled to Gigrin Farm on Sunday. Unfortunately the mist that we drove through didn't really clear and the spectacle was under cloudy skies with only small patches of blue and no sun on the birds whatsoever, this made photography tricky especially when the birds dived down and the background colour changed so i just focused on aerial shots of these gracious raptors. It was still an amazing spectacle with over 300 birds coming to feed, enjoy the shots!
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Managed a few shots of the Short Eared Owls currently inhabiting the Wicken Fen area on Wednesday. The birds were already out when i arrived at 2pm and busy hunting but the site is quite large with 4 or 5 large fields for them to choose from, you never quite know which one to look in and most of the time the birds remained in the centre of the fields. I didn't get a magical close encounter with any this time but hoping the winter brings some more success, here's the best of a bad bunch!
Monday, 14 November 2011
It seems the local Red Deer have calmed down and the rut is now over for another year. Sadly i missed most of the action in September whilst in America but here are a few images taken this weekend, the sun was rising behind a group of stags and made for some nice silouettes...
Friday, 11 November 2011
Spent some time in a local woodland attempting to photograph woodland birds foraging for the food i put down amongst the leaves. The Nuthatch was the most obliging spending longer on the ground than the other tits and finches and of course a few mammals waded in to have their fair share of food too including the Grey Squirrel and Bank Vole....enjoy!