Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bradley Woods

With the roads being quite bad with all the snow recently I haven't wanted to travel to far for birding and photography. I have spent some time at Bradley woods bird feeding station to try and get some nice shots of common birds. Still not 100% happy with them but getting there slowly. The light is very dull at the feediing station but for a few hours of one visit the sun did shine through and managed my favourite shots over my visits. Seems like I may have to turn my attention to the loacal Jays.

Grey Squrriel, tight crop.


Coal Tit


Coal tit

Coal tit


Grey Squirrel

Blue tit

Blue tit

Monday, 21 January 2013

2012 My top 25 shots

2012 The year Earth would be no more. The year our Queen reached 60 years on the throne. The year London rocked the Olympics and Paralympics. The year that weather was unpredictable. For me and my photography A good year. The second wettest year on record didn't hold me back from what I see as one of best years with my Camera. I have only taken photography seriously for the past 3 years, but this year has been by far my most successful. Always learning throughout the year from others and my own mistakes. This year and I have captured quite a few images I'm actually happy with. Which for me is hard, I'm A bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my photographs. I would like to thank continued support from my family and friends, especially my father. Also to those who have helped me with birds and photography tips you know who you are. To all who may have looked at my blog in the past year thank you and I hope you enjoyed my images. As it has been such good year for photography I thought I would share with you my personal best 25 shots of 2012.

Cormorant's feet. I found this greedy bird on on of the jetties at Covenham Reservoir with a huge eel around its neck and down its throat. Not a very pleasant story but I doubt I will get another chance to do this. The black and white completes this image.
Mediterranean Gull from Holbeck car park Scarborough. This bird gave me a brilliant opportunity to photograph this bird in the snow whilst I used some photographic knowledge to blacken the background. Next Time I will Frame it better and take a Tripod. My new thing thing for 2013 always use a Tripod.

Whilst this image isn't perfect by any means, I can't help but love the composition of the three birds. Framed perfectly! Although this was down to luck but I had been photographing gulls all day something good had to come of it.

Waltham Windmill, I have seen every image possible of this landmark. So when I went I wanted to capture something different to the normal, I was very happy with the results, creating different shots that stand out from the crowd. A feature of some of my photography, I don;t like to follow the crowd to much. Just check my Birdguides account and you will see what I mean.

The Common Toad. Not 100% happy with this image, but I do adore the idea and this is about 80% to what I want. The thing with photographing a species like this is that you can handle it and there will always be another chance. I look forward to spring to try and fully accomplish this task.

I don't photograph to many sunrises, this down to being a teenager. But sunsets are just a beautiful, we all have a way of capturing the moment, I like to have a large focus point like a tree to mix with the stunning colours of the setting sun.

Tawny Mining Bee, when I found these beautiful creatures I didn't know what they were, some research had me wanting to go back and photograph these stunner's. I was happy with the set of images I came away with. A local species which I look forward to photographing again in 2013. 

Another example of me staying away from the normal, plenty have done this and plenty will carry on doing this but wide angle wildlife photography adds a little more to your standard full frame portrait.

Green Tiger Beetle. This species is quite difficult to get close to so when I saw these images on the back of the camera I was thrilled! Lots of distractions in the background but the beetle itself is very sharp. This being the first of a few that made it into my top 24 images from one day trip to Messingham Sand Quarries.

This image doesn't show to many features of the Damselfly. But what I love about it is the different shades of green. A very what I would call "college photography image" Nice colours, Texture and a striking composition. Another form my Messingham day trip

My third and final from Messingham. Lots of people photograph these creatures to show all of it and use a high aperture, I like this and did it a lot over the past year. But I also wanted the aperture at 2.8 to achieve a shallow depth of field. Again different from the norm.

Taken at my local patch Covenham Reservoir. I must have visited this place 75 times this year. I turned up one day to a still Reservoir, this is almost unheard of. I like how I have framed the bird slightly off centre. If this bird is "plonked" in the middle the image would be completley different. Covenham is a great place and this year I managed to get to 100 species. Still 107 behind the leading birdwatcher.

Lesser Stag Beetle. A cracking species of beetle! Sharpness of this image is why its in the top 24. I have a ongoing feud with myself, a lot of the time I cram my subject into the frame, it's something I do a fair bit, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

Poplar Hawk Moth. I was lucky to find two of these which were very docile moths. I do love this image. In summer when birds are tending to their young they aren't easy to photograph, Thank god for moths otherwise I would have been bored all summer.

Pink Elephant Hawk Moth. Another docile individual, not all moths are easy to photograph, I had a beautiful Drinker moth in the summer at it wouldn't stay still. This moth is a beauty and well proportioned in the frame.

Swallow Prominent, another striking moth taken at Far Ings, flash used like in most of my macro photography not only to light up my subject but to create a powerful black background. A feature in most of my inside macro work

Young Mute Swan. Perfect light in this image, early morning light is certainly worth getting up for. One of my New Year's resolutions is to get up earlier and photograph at first light including sunrises. I had only 30 seconds to try capture something with this swan as it didn't stick around, I would like to have got lower and got the reflection in the water. But that's me being a perfectionist

Moonshine over the North Sea, Taken on 2 day trip to Spurn Point. Very atmospheric image almost a little spooky.

What can I say about this bird? Well when it walked past me only 1 metre away I was speechless. A very showy Juv Pectoral Sandpiper at Toft Newton Reservoir had me visit 3 times. What and stunner! This was my 3rd Pec Sand of 2012 the first bird I twitched and was a dot on the camera, on the same day I visited another site where another Pec sand had been found yet another dot on the camera 2 in one day isn't bad though

Another stunning Wader this time a Red-necked Phalarope. Earlier I had twitched one of these it was a mere dot on the scope. Oh how things change, A beautiful bird and a privilege to spend time capturing its beauty.

My first trip out to the tide line to try photograph the Grey Seals of Donna Nook, was a success. I imagined this photo in my head and planned to get this on my trip, I was very happy to see this on the back of my camera after the first attempt at trying, Luck yes but you earn your own luck.

Having never properly photographed any mammal species I was desperate to try it out the opportunity came up and I snatched at it. Was a fantastic day this individual showed down to 5 metres my heart was beating pretty fast and this is only a small stag! Love the colours and the composition of this image.

A grey and murky day was brightened up by this Purple Sandpiper. My 1st for Lincolnshire also a patch tick. Just a shame the bird didn't stay overnight as the next day the light was fantastic. Like the composition and the pose of the bird starring down the lens.

Cleethorpes boating lake offers great opportunities to photograph birds at close range I visit regular to see what I can capture. This shot was nearly cut from the top 24 but What kept it in was how sharp the birds eye is. All wildlife photographers will say if only one part of the animal is in focus make sure its the eye. Scroll up and look back at all the image where do you look first? For 90% of you it will be the eye.

My final image of the 24. No animals where showing well so this idea just came to me and I went for it I spent about 15 hours in my room perfecting my technique. Dropping the strawberry accuratly and taking a picture at the same time isn't easy at all. I loved doing this little project and look to do it again some time.
This was supposed to be my top 10 images but I couldn't get rid of so many I struggled to get it down to 25 and wouldn't get rid of any of the above. I look forward to 2013 hope it is as succesfull as 2012. This also being my 50th post, A landmark for me in Blogging maybe reach 100 by the end of the year. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Great Northern Diver

Ashbyville lake in Scunthorpe has been home for a Great northern Diver for over 3 Weeks now this birds shows very well on occasions. A quick check on the weather and a sunny day was forecast so I thought it was best not to waste these precious days so went ot photograph this Juv Great Northern Diver.
Great Northen diver and Steel works
Showed well at times
Mute Swan

Friday, 11 January 2013

Gibraltar Point 07/01/13

With the appeal of Rough-legged Buzzard I decided to go to Gibraltar Point in Skeggness for the day. On route I saw 2 Barn Owls at Burgh-le-Marsh. Upon arrival I went to Mill Hill where I had my best chance of seeing the RLB, I managed to pick out the bird before reacing the Hill as I watched it hovering close ot the mere. I saw the bird on and off all day. Also of note was 1 Snow Bunting, 2 Snipe, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll. The light was dull so sat in one of the hides with 5000 lapwing in the air I tried some arty photos. Left Gib Point at about half 1 and whent onto Saltfletby to see if I could find the reported Swans. I managed 31 Whooper's, 3 Bewick's and 2 Mute's. Popped into Bradly Woods to see if I could find some Treecreper and Nuthatch and did which took my year list to 99.
Part of a flock of Lapwing
Motion Blur Lapwings
Brent Geese
Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting

Monday, 7 January 2013

Bits and Bobs

Some recent bits and bobs from recent outings. Not many but worth uploading I feel. Thanks for looking will upload some more soon :)
B+W, But what bird?
Snow Buntings at Cleethorpes Beach

Grey Heron In Cleethorpes

Used flash on this one looks alright to me. Taken at Boultham Mere, Lincoln