Posts Tagged ‘Wildlife Photography Courses



How fat can a Grey Squirrel get?

Grey Squirrel


Tuck in!

This Honey Bee was really giving it some collecting pollen from Sea Asters on the salt marsh the other week.

Honey Bee




Delicate and small we eventually found them. The grass had been mown late; far too late. The orchids had probably been topped. However, we searched anyway and Bob managed to find a couple of spikes that were so small they’d escaped the blades.

Autumn Ladies Tresses are so called because of their resemblance to plaits of hair. This is also reflected within the Latin name of Spiranthes spiralis. I’m not sure what the passing builders thought of me lying flat out on the ground photographing them but it sparked enough interest for them to ask a few questions about what they were.


Autumn Ladies Tresses


Brilliant just brilliant


Identified from Downy Emeralds by their yellow frons (nose) we saw several Brilliant Emeralds hawking around a small secluded stream in a deep heathland valley the other week. Anyone who has tried to photograph any one of the Emerald Dragons will know how secretive and elusive they can be; often only perching high within trees. We were just lucky I suppose but towards the end of the day one individual at least was more than obliging.

Several Keeled Skimmers were also in the area as was a nice Emperor, several Four Spot Chasers, Large Red and Azure Damselflies.

I have to thank my friend Dawn for giving directions to the stream where the Brilliant Emeralds were patrolling.


Brilliant Emerald

Brilliant Emerald 1



A start on the heath


It’s like being in a crowded room with everyone talking and amid the cacophony of noise you hear your own name. You pick it out as if it’s the only thing being said. It stands out from the background like a black silhouette on white,

I have been walking the heaths and searching this summer; searching diligently but to no avail, for a daytime roosting Nightjar. I’ve never seen one during daylight other than in flight. Great care has to be exercised not to wander from paths – the last thing in the world we want to do is disturb breeding nightjars or indeed other breeding birds.

I look at every likely log, post and branch I pass to see if that familiar shape leaps out at me. I thought I’d found one the other day as the form of a bird materialised on the end of a log. It took me an instant to recognise it was in fact a young fledgling Redstart. I stepped back to a reasonable distance to see if the parents came into feed as it was obviously quite young. In fact it started to hop about and find food itself. It appeared to be already independent.



Redstart 1


A study of Sand Martins


When I was out and about the other week I noticed that Sand Martins were making use of a new cliff formed by last winter’s storm surge. They appeared well lit by the sun as I looked north out to sea.


I went back this last weekend to photograph them as they hung in the wind above the cliff. Photographing small birds in flight is never easy but I resolved to try and at least get a few half decent shots. It was more about studying techniques and methods of getting sharp shots in the changing light rather than composition or the subject but you just can’t help but love these tiny martins.


Sand Martin Studies



We walked among a carpet of Snowdrops brought on by the mild weather; early flowers in a mild winter. As their heads danced in a gentle breeze I got to wondering if we are to have that long overdue cold snap or if we’ll get away with it!



None the Wiser

Through a thin veil of increasing cloud the sun gave a little brightness to what was otherwise a grey day. Our eyes down, distracted by the muddy conditions underfoot, we almost missed them. Only a movement gave them away. A Roe Deer took shape among the brambles, reeds and long grass, then another, and then another. The two does and a buck despite being very aware were seemingly fearless. It was only when a dog walker came along they took flight heading deeper into cover. If you didn’t know they were there you would be none the wiser.

Roe Deer


When does representation become art?

I recently put together a short course for a couple of people who wanted to know a little more about editing photographs. One participant had requested I show him how to substitute a more interesting sky behind his photographs of birds, particularly those in flight.

Such a substitution is easily completed within Photoshop; but should we do it?

When does the cropped out branch in the corner of the photo become unacceptable? Is unacceptability the embellishment of a feather or of a whole wing? When does a faithful representation of ‘what was’ turn into something that is a representation of ‘what could have been’? To be fair … each to his own; and I really mean that. However, should if we alter a photo make it known or can we just accept that in this digital age the alteration of a photo is something to be expected and the representation has become art? I suspect the answer lies within the use of the photograph.


Kestrel with Substituted Sky


In a rut

On the Deer and Seal Photographic day last month we came across this Fallow Deer Stag resting under a Holm Oak. He was probably absolutely ‘cream crackered’ with rutting 24/7. We kept a reasonable distance; after all these are wild animals and should always be treated as such. We took our photos and then retreated to leave him well alone to continue his recovery.

Such magnificent animals.

Fallow Deer

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Mar 2023


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