Posts Tagged ‘Photography Tuition


… and now for something completely different.

Something very different this week. A day taking photographers around Norfolk photographing windmills.


Let’s just Gloss over that

When Bob told me he’d been photographing Glossy Ibis he said it was possible to get close. He talked in terms of the width of a living room. I was intrigued. I though it was worth investigating. He drew me a map. I needed it. The route to the bird was convoluted over rough ground and not at all easy carrying a 400mm 2.8 prime lens.

His directions were spot on. I no sooner arrived at the site and the bird was right where he said it would be. However, I couldn’t get close. The bird spooked at over 60m. Passing kayakers, dog walkers and nearby kite flyers were flushing the bird and it wouldn’t settle in my presence. I sat down, had a drink of water, and thought the situation through.

I zipped up my jacket so the white t shirt I was wearing wasn’t on show, walked away from the bird, around it, and approached with the light behind me so the sun wouldn’t flash on the lens. This paid dividends and thankfully the ‘motorway’ of morning dog walkers abated, the kayakers disappeared and the kite flyers got called in for lunch.

Reeds and vegetation were always an issue, but as I crouched on the river bank the bird made it’s way slowly to me. The light was excellent. For what is superficially a dull brown bird Glossy Ibis have a wonderfully coloured plumage.



I’d seen a post on facebook that pictured what purported to be a Long Eared Owl seen in East Norfolk. Looking at the photo I could see it was in fact an Eagle Owl. It wasn’t too difficult to find out where it was; it fact it wasn’t a million miles away from the bird that Tania and I saw at Winterton a few years back. Maybe it was the same bird maybe it was a fresh one.

I went to see it a little earlier in the week. I couldn’t find it. You would think that something the size of quite a large dog sat in a tree wouldn’t be too difficult to find. However, it wasn’t in the trees where I was told it had been in previous days. Interestingly a few of the dog walking locals said it had been around for a couple of months. I left without seeing it at all.

I went back for another go in sunnier weather on Wednesday. I was still some distance from the site when I heard a single, low, deep ‘Woo oo oo oo’. It could only be the Eagle Owl. I searched the area from where the call emanated. It took me a little while but I eventually picked it out and found a place where it wasn’t obscured by branches.

As dog walkers and residents passed me their curiosity was quite naturally peaked and they wanted to ask what I was looking at. Some had seen it previously. Despite being ‘three stories-up’ the bird was obviously not relishing their sometimes very loud voices below and walked off into a less than accessible position. So I left him in piece to enjoy his siesta.

Whether these birds are wild vagrants from the continent or escaped falconers birds can never be proven one way or another. It certainly wasn’t sporting rings or jesses that I could see. I did look for a feather, thrown pellet or a splash of ‘whitewash’ that may just hold an isotope or DNA secret of its origins, but wasn’t successful in finding anything.


It’s all black and white

Some great butterflies on the Northamptonshire Tour at the weekend. The Black Hairstreaks, which always remind me of ‘Where’s Wally’ with their stripy legs and antennae, performed wonderfully; there were a lot of them too. Wood Whites were a little more elusive and it took us some time to find them; perhaps symptomatic of their rapidly declining status. Eventually we came across a little glade where they were flying around in the heat of the afternoon.



Grey Wagtails are not often thought of as migrants … but they are!



Good numbers

Although Tree Sparrows aren’t rare in Norfolk they take a little finding. It was good to see excellent numbers of young birds as well as adults on our recent tour to Yorkshire.

Tree Sparrow 1 Tree Sparrow 2


A volery of Long tailed tits

Some of the most charming Long tailed Tits I’ve seen in a while came down to some feeders when we were in a hide last week. All the feeders were inside a chicken mesh cage which excluded squirrels and larger birds. I counted around 25 in or around the cage at one point.

Long tailed Tit



Pallid Looks

A walk down to the south end of Snettisham RSPB eventually gave good views of a special recent visitor.

Over the pit, fields and saltmarsh floated a boa donning harrier from the east. Roaming widely we had to wait some time before the orange washed Pallid came close enough to surrender for a meaningful photo.

Pallid Harrier


Talk it up!

After one Beluga in Northern Ireland we get a pair off Northumberland in August. Last seen swimming south. TOWARDS US … in Norfolk!

I’ve been doing quite a bit of sea watching of late. It’s easy to let one’s mind drift off sometimes with outlandish thoughts. Very therapeutic this staring at the sea. The thought of seeing a pair of Belugas drift passed like the two I photographed a couple of years ago in the St Lawrence; well, to assign a rating it would definitely fall in the ‘orgasmic’ bracket.

I’m not asking for much am I? Just a little extension of travel, a small deviation of direction and we could get those two in Norfolk. Talk it up. TALK IT UP!



Ruddy thing

In the garden my first Ruddy Darter of the year. It hung around for about an hour and then moved on.

Ruddy Darter 1

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Apr 2023


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