Thursday 23 December 2010

Saturday 18 December 2010

In Search of Berry Trees

Probably the most photographed species of bird in the UK this Winter will be the Waxwing.  Every year we have some over-wintering with us, usually in their hundreds, but this year has been exceptional with literally thousands arriving from Scandinavia and much earlier than usual.  Their main food is berries, the favourite being the fruit of the Rowan or Mountain Ash. Due to their early arrival there was still an abundance of berries and so they seemed to pick the ripest from each tree and then move on to a fresh source, eventually returning to the trees they had first visited some days later, presumably as the berries had ripened.

I had waited patiently for some to arrive locally and eventually a flew flocks were reported nearby.  The problem was that every time I went to photograph them they had moved on and I just seemed to be chasing around without any results.  After a few wasted trips I decided to head over to North Wales where several hundred Waxwings had been at a couple of sites regularly for a week or two.  It still took two days to get some decent shots and not exactly what I was after although  it was also nice to get some of them feeding on Hawthorn berries.

They are great fun to photograph and being so approachable makes all the difference, I'm sure that I'll be tempted to photograph some more before they head back to Scandinavia in early Spring.

Monday 13 December 2010

Wintry Blue Tits

More images from my recent sessions in the freezing weather. I have spent years attempting to get shots of birds in a snow covered pine tree with little success, mainly due to the fact that we don't often get any decent snow in this part of the country. It was great to get a number of species perching in this very festive setting, the Blue Tits and Robins being very obliging, I'll certainly be alright for Christmas cards for the next few years.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Wintry Nuthatches

Nuthatches are amongst one of my favourite birds to photograph and as I mentioned in a previous post they are always great fun to do. With all the snow and frost we are having at the moment I wanted to try and get some shots of them in typical wintry settings, on snow covered logs and branches.

Photographing woodland species at this time of year is not easy, the sun being very low and moving direction as it shines through the trees, giving areas of changing light and shade. So a bit of thought has to go into setting up feeding stations for best results.  In the Winter I usually only have two or three hours of good light a day in my garden so was pleased with this weeks efforts. I will be posting other species from the sessions very soon.

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