Thursday 30 June 2011

In Flight

Whilst I'm out working on certain subjects, I try never to miss the opportunity to grab some flight shots of any incidental species that might pass by. These images are some I have taken over the last couple of months.

Grey Heron

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Common Terns

A few images of Common Terns from a recent session.

Sunday 26 June 2011

More Purple

Carrying on with the purple theme from Mallorca, this is the Purple Heron. We only managed to get flight shots of these, which was a little disappointing. It would have been nice to get some of them wading through the shallows stalking prey. They are a little more shy than their grey cousins though and don't usually come too close to public hides.

Friday 24 June 2011

Purple Swamphen

The Purple Swamphen or Purple Gallinule was a reintroduced species in Mallorca back in the early nineties. It has obviously been very successful as there are now many to be seen at the S'Albufera marsh reserve, where the reintroduction took place. I believe that they have also naturally spread to the nearby island of Menorca.

An entertaining bird to photograph, they would sneak out from the reedbed into the open water, slowly gaining speed until eventually they were running, it was as if they thought they were being followed. Their large feet aren't really ideal for speed, so some amusing shots were to be had.

Thursday 23 June 2011

My Favourite Images

I thought I would do a series of posts from time to time to showcase some of my favourite images taken over the years.

Alpine Swift
A rare bird in the UK, this one turned up locally in 2006. As with all fast flying small birds it was hard work, so I was very pleased with this shot.

Common Buzzard
I caught sight of this flying bird whilst driving. Quickly stopping the car I just managed to catch it banking round in the perfect low winter sunlight.

I Have spent hundreds of hours trying to photograph the elusive Bittern without achieving any decent results. I struck lucky on this day with three flying around, giving some spectacular views and photo opportunities.

Arctic Tern
Anyone who has visited the Farne Islands in Northumberland will be familiar with sights similar to this image. I like this one because of the darker, cloudy background which makes the bird stand out.

Black-tailed Godwit
Its always nice to get a good reflected image. It can take some time though, especially of a stationary subject as birds don't tend to stand still for long.

Barn Owl
This was taken on the local marsh  where the bird was catching small mammals for it's young. Due to the light direction I went for a silhouette type shot which worked well with the setting sun.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Brown Hares

A few Brown Hare shots taken in March. Traditionally the month for them being "mad" but on this occasion not the case. I was hoping for a bit more action like chasing each other around or even some boxing, as I have witnessed in the past. This one just sat and washed himself.

Monday 20 June 2011

Like a Tiny Bird

I was doing some work in the garden on Saturday when this Hummingbird Hawk Moth appeared. Having seen them in the garden before I knew that it might not hang around, so I rushed in to grab the camera. Luckily it stayed long enough to be able to set up the camera properly and get some reasonable shots. They really are like tiny birds.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Corn Buntings

A trip out earlier this week didn't really produce the species I was looking for, a consolation was getting some nice Corn Bunting shots.

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Tawny Owl

Every April I manage to find this male Tawny Owl roosting in our woodland. This year there was no sign of him and I feared that he may have died in the extreme weather in December, especially as in January and February I could hear the female calling at night but never heard a male respond. Over the past few weeks however I have been hearing young Owls calling throughout the night, so I decided to have a good luck around and was pleased to find him roosting in the ivy that covers one of the large oak trees.

I'm sure he's the same bird I have been photographing for some years now as he is very tolerant of my presence. I spent a bit time doing these shots, firstly because the lack of light meant I was shooting at very low shutter speeds - 40th of a second, so needed to make sure they were sharp. I also wanted to try and get some different poses, a drawn out process, as a sleeping bird doesn't really do much. He did occasionally have a look around though and I think must have heard or seen the odd small mammal, as you can see from some of the photographs.

Monday 13 June 2011

Larks and Pipits

Two of our target species in Mallorca were Thekla Lark and Tawny Pipit. We weren't disappointed, as once found they were quite approachable. The Larks in particular being quite obliging and perching on top of rocks.

Thekla Lark
Tawny Pipit

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