Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Norfolk Day

Had a day around Norfolk with Matt on Sunday. Glorious sunshine was predicted but we never saw the sun until 2pm! Typical! We began at Salthouse, haven't been there since February with the Snow Buntings so it was interesting to see the pools practically dried out and very little birdlife around, this Redshank in flight was the only image i managed....



We then had a mooch around Cley and Brancaster, we saw Marsh Harriers at both places...





...and this Black Headed Gull who looked a bit bedraggled and was walking with a limp but appreciated the fish!




We left North Norfolk and moved our way down the coastline to Winterton Dunes to see the Wryneck that was reported in the morning. Upon arrival we were told by 1 member of the grumpy group of birders that it hadn't been seen for over an hour, the rest of the group never even looked at us let alone said hello! We stayed for an hour, had a wander and a look for ourselves before moving on....


We finally reached Strumpshaw Fen and as we pulled up the sun came out and stayed out for the rest of the afternoon! As we walked the reserve we came across a Pheasant family taking a dust bath and a nap, they were very tolerable as we sat down next to them and appreciated how beautiful they are whilst other simply stomped past without even a glance!







The sun brought out the Dragonflies and Butterflies including the famous Swallowtail, we saw 4 individuals which was amazing!






This male Pheasant was also just as confiding if not more as it followed us up the path!





Monday, 22 August 2011

Local Odds n' Sods

Just a few images taken over the past week or so around my local area,it has been quiet on the bird front as August usually is and tricky to get anything decent on camera but these pictures have pleased me...

Sedge Warbler - Oughtonhead Common, Hitchin


Northern Wheatear - Pegsdon Hills


Common Blue Butterfly - Pegsdon Hills


Northern Wheatear - Pegsdon Hills


House Sparrow - Literally in a hedge outside my house in Hitchin

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Golden Hour

Have been waiting for a free night that coincides with a lovely golden sunny evening which has been harder that it sounds. Every evening around 6pm as i'm leaving work the clouds seem to roll in and my plans are thwarted or the evening is lovely but i have other commitments. On Friday however it seemed to all fall into place and i made it down to St Albans for around 6.15pm knowing that the sun is now dropping around 8ish.

Tame Gulls, Geese, Swans, Ducks and Herons are around the lake and although these are not mega rare birds they offer the chance for some creative photography making use of the lovely golden sunset, was chuffed with the results and glad it all came together...
















Wednesday, 3 August 2011

River Level

Spend a lovely summers afternoon with Erin down by the river yesterday, it was typical of British summertime, we arrived and set up our lunch watching thunder and lightning as a Kingfisher wizzed past and Buzzards thermalled above, this was quickly followed by a heavy burst of rain that only lasted about 10 minutes, after that we received a couple of hours of glorious sunshine with temperatures hitting 28 degrees! Erin quickly decided to go paddling in the river and i soon followed, upon entering it it was clear we were right in the middle of a Banded Demoiselle territory with 1 female and 3 fighting males, they seemed less nervous of me in the water so i grabbed my macro lens!

Spent the next hour with them, the bright sunshine didn't help but made the best of it and i took the plunge and kneeled down in the river with just my shoulders, head and camera not getting wet! Getting on "river level" with them really made for some interesting photos and as with birds it felt like i was more in tune with nature and allowed for some intimate shots including 2 of them mating.....enjoy! (excuse the river monster at the end!)

















Cant Comment!

Sorry to all those people who are writing nice things under my blog entries and not getting anything back but for some reason i cannot comment, it just keeps making me sign back into googlemail and goes round and round in circles! Not sure whats wrong. So thank you to everyone who puts positive comments, keep them up!

Tim James, you asked a question regarding my last post, for the cricket photos i used a Nikon D700 with 105mm F2.8 macro lens. All were taken in natural evening light, no flash required. Settings were mostly IS0 250 or 400 and F7.1. Hope that helps!

Cheers!
Ben