Monday 26 July 2010

Sunbathing Lizards

Last Friday was one of the most unproductive days for some time. The young Swallows I have been photographing had moved to fencing which was inaccessible and the four young Jays in my garden seem to spend more time chasing each other around than posing for the camera, I'll be doing some posts on these two projects soon.

So having not really taken many shots I decided to end the sunny day at my local RSPB reserve, I sat in the hide for over an hour without even seeing anything worth pointing the camera at. Giving up I headed back to the car, on the way I unexpectedly spotted two Lizards basking in the evening sun, I thought they would disappear when they saw me, but having got a few record shots I was then able to change the lens and move in for some close-ups. I had never photographed Lizards before so this was quite a good end to an otherwise rubbish day.

Tuesday 20 July 2010


One of the main problems with photographing Dippers is that their habitat along rivers is usually very shaded by trees, so ideally you need as much sunlight as possible, even then it is quite a challenge to get the exposure right, with their dark brown backs and white breasts.

I had hoped to get shots of the newly fledged youngsters being fed by their parents on the river, but thanks to the typical British weather I only managed to photograph the adults collecting grubs for the chicks in the nest, then after several cloudy days I returned to find there wasn't a Dipper to be seen. I tried another location and found that the young birds there were very independent and feeding on their own. I am pleased with the results though and hope for better weather next year.    

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Common Terns

A few trips to the local tern colony has been quite productive, although the shots I have been trying for haven't quite worked out for me yet, these being of the birds drinking as they skim across the water. I have managed to get a few but they aren't really up to scratch... must keep trying.

Saturday 3 July 2010


I have made few trips to photograph Avocets recently.  I had some specific shots in mind that I wanted, the first being of the young feeding, which worked out quite well. The other was some nice portrait shots of an adult with a reflection, this didn't go quite to plan, as is usually the case, typically when the chance came to get something near, the only cloud in the sky went in front of the sun!

It amuses me that the adults attack any other birds that come near, no matter how large they are, such as Geese and Herons, I have even seen them chase a Hen Harrier away.  It seems that they become so obsessed with this defensive behaviour that they actually forget about their independent but vulnerable chicks which have wandered off to feed, sometimes up to 20 or 30m away from the parents.

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