Posts Tagged ‘photography courses



This Comma Butterfly was perched up asking to be photographed on a tour last week. It was showing us exactly how it came to get its name!



A Chinese colourfest

Always colourful and able to cheer up a drab day. Mandarins are just so well named. These were in Suffolk the other week.

Mandarin 1 Mandarin 2


Lap Dancing

On a grey day this week the wind was whipping in off the sea and over the cliffs. As we waited for the birds to shuffle a little closer across the tilled field my hands began to stiffen. The cold was almost unbearable.

I was occupying my mind with why these Lapland Buntings always prefer such open places when one flew over us and landed in the grass nearby. At last one was reasonably close. It flattened itself, found a hidden haven from the screaming north easterly amid the rough grass and promptly disappeared. It didn’t stay there long before it stood erect, took a look around and then flew back to the fine till of the winter wheat field. It showed better here and soon danced close enough for a few photographs … just!

Lapland Bunting_Z5A2768 Lapland Bunting_Z5A2903


Make like a rock

As the Snow Buntings rose like a drift of flakes on the wind a darker mist followed them. No white on these birds, nondescript and silent they landed on the shingle and disappeared. As the flock of Twite rolled out onto the sea wall they took on that invisibility that small birds have when they are on the ground. Unless they moved they were undetectable. They were still there of course just unseen and so flighty there was no way they could be approached. I decided the best tactic was to let them approach us; which they eventually did.

2015 01 17 Twite Salthouse Norfolk_Z5A7802


Another Wild Goose Chase

The other week news of a Lesser Snow Goose in North Norfolk had us searching the flocks of Pinkfeet for the pale American. Geese kept tumbling out of the air in small flocks from tens to hundreds; each individual being scrutinised carefully as they landed. We thought the field where they were gathering would burst at the seams … and still they kept on coming. Throughout the day we estimated we’d seen around 10,000 geese. This has to be one of the most impressive wildlife spectaculars within the UK.

A Buzzard flew over that gave more than one of us the impression of a Rough legged. Not this time unfortunately. There was a split second, as we crept along a hedgerow to see the flock in the corner of the field, when I thought I’d found the Snow Goose. A pale goose took to the air among the mayhem of birds. It was in fact a leucistic Pinkfoot. Where had that been hiding?

We never did find the Snow Goose. I’m sure however it’ll be around somewhere.

2014 12 05 Buzzard Great Bircham Norfolk_Z5A4361

Pale tailed Buzzards can catch you out!

2014 12 05 Pinkfooted Goose Great Bircham Norfolk_Z5A4355

As can pale Pinkfeet – if only for a second.


Dark and Moody

In the harbour I could hear a bird above the squalling wind but I couldn’t see it! We eventually found it among crap pots. The Rock Pipit is a dark and moody bird; the black sheep of the pipit clan. Little to commend it on plumage characteristics it makes up for in jaunty character.

Rock Pipit


What a Howler

The Local Little Owl was looking quite inquisitively at me as I tried to photograph him the other day. I’d wait under the Oak and he’d fly to the Sycamore. I’d slowly and carefully walk to the Sycamore and he’d fly to the Oak. He was having a laugh at my expense. I eventually just sat in the Landrover and waited for his curiosity to get the better of him … which it eventually did.

Little Owl


The Love of a mother

Anyone that has the love of their mother is lucky. They have something they should treasure. However sometimes we can all take things for granted. I remember as a teenager my tea coming to me on a tray as I watched TV. When I’d finished the tray disappeared and more often than not without the true thanks it deserved.
Last month during our East Coast Birding Tour this young Shag on Inner Farne was complaining and moaning no matter how much food his mother gave him. So ugly he’s almost cute this youngster perhaps has a face only a mother could love!

Shag Chick


Hard to Swallow

At the local reservoir the other day the cold morning air kept the insects down closer to the water’s surface. The Swallows followed and were more obliging for photographs.
Birds in flight especially something as erratic and fast as a Swallow are never easy to capture but with a little patience it’s possible to get a decent shot or two. I set out with the intention of getting a shot of the tail spotting of a nice long tailed male.
This shot was taken using the camera (Canon Eos 5D with a 100-400mm zoom lens fitted) on manual setting with a shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second and the aperture wide open at 5.6. The ISO was set to automatic and a reading taken from the ground at my feet. The ISO was then set to the resulting 640. As usual click to enlarge.



Wet Feet; the price of a photo

The northerly wind was blowing hard and raising the sea into rolling crests. The strong autumn sun behind me gave a light of excellent quality, when it wasn’t behind the shower clouds that were racing across the sky.

Brent Geese, Eider, Auks and Starlings were sometimes flying quite close inshore following the coast north as they fought the headwind. What I wanted was a shot of birds flying through the spray of the breaking waves; a photo that would convey some of the drama of the moment. I stood with camera on tripod as far down the beach as I could … and waited. Four Snow Buntings flicked past at knee height fighting the wind and sand peppered my waterproofs as I stood attempting to see birds over the waves.

As I concentrated on the horizon my camera lurched and the tripod sank a little in the sand, a split second after I followed. This was followed by some penetrating cold seawater over my boots. The sea was telling me to retreat a little.

Eventually a flock of Eider came close enough for a few shots.

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Apr 2023


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