Sunday, December 30, 2007


we had a look in Scarborough harbour but the long staying Black-throated Diver was out in the bay hopelessly tangled in fishing line which was wrapped around its bill, head and probably its leg; its lifespan seems to be rather short-----the Red-throats in the bay were line free and quite accommodating although the photo angle was a little high

Met Office do it again

I had been waiting for a sunny day to have another attempt at the Desert Wheatear; with just 12 hours to go the Met Office forecast a sunny and calm day after a sharp frost with odd bits of cloud-----12 hours is hardly a long time period but once again they were 500% wrong; no frost, mild, dull, 100% cloud cover---thanks MO
the wheatear was very obliging but the light was bad but with Canon DSLR's at least you can compensate to some extent


an expensive Tesco bread loaf (no cheap loaves on a Sunday) produced the usual close encounters with Holbeck Meds but the light remained poor


the marine drive male

Saturday, December 29, 2007

seasonal left-overs

well you have to do something with excess food and the Black-headed Gulls appreciated the fun

old squaw

this female Long-tailed Duck has been on the patch for over two weeks now but it is seldom close enough for even a record shot; today the windsurfers and boats had it flying around frequently but the only time it was really close enough it was behind a clump of reeds!

Friday, December 28, 2007


Inspired by Mike Weedon's annual summary I decided to go through my 2007 images and try and pick a favourite bird and scene from each month; the results are shown below; here a photo of yours truly at -24C in Finland February; your breath was freezing as soon as it hit the air; the tripod head froze but the camera never failed throughout the trip---here's looking to some good photo opportunities in 2008

January 2007

A very long drive to western Scotland in mid January produced stunning close views of what was only my second juvenile Ross's Gull but the weather was atrocious throughout with wind, rain and more rain and wind; the images were not as nice as they would have been on a day with actual daylight or even sun! but they are still a special reminder of a cracking bird; the scene is a beautiful sunrise with attendant Lapwings on the Humber


The high point of the early winter was a short trip to Finland on which we managed to see Azure Tit, a lifer for us all, plus a superb flock of 45 Pine Grosbeaks, Hawk and Great Grey Owl and other goodies; I have chosen a smaller grosbeak image showing the bird in its snowy environs for the bird image and a landscape shot taken on out last morning when the temperature was a chilly -23C


when a scarce bird arrives on your local patch at least you have the advantage of being able to pick the best days to try and photograph it! this Slavonian Grebe lingered on Waters' Edge for over two weeks in which time it moulted into superb summer plumage; the March "scene" is a superb Grass snake on the forest patch which was associating with half a dozen adders!


Cyprus has provided me with lots of nice bird photos but being a hunted isle things are often not that tame so I was very pleased to get so close to this superb male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear on our April visit in 2007; the scene is a mass of flowers on Paphos headland


after a lot or wrangling and battling with my bank balance I bought a Canon 300 2.8 lens in May and started out trying it on flying hirundines and Swifts! the House Martin images showed just how good the Auto-focus is on the lens and also the lens quality; a series of images of this House Martin appeared in Birdwatching magazine; the scene is another colourful sunrise; I was on Hatfield Moors before first light doing a survey but as the sun rose it produced some really magical light over the peat workings


action photography is my main interest so this particular image really pleased me; I was watching nesting Avocets from a hide when a pair of Canada Geese with two young walked between the Avocet nests; the adult Avo's made frequent aerial assaults on the adult geese but the Canadas retaliated and at one stage one caught an Avocet in flight and knocked it to the ground; the scene is an unaltered sunrise in Laughton Forest, the colour of the sky was amazing


Marsh Harriers are one of my favourite birds so I was relieved to see that some young fledged successfully after such a terrible summer; I like this image as the bird's eye is peeping over the wing; the scene was taken looking west from the Wolds near Caistor late one evening as the sun broke out from under a thick blanket of storm clouds


our first visit to western Canada provided the opportunity for taking a lot of different images and I have chosen three to illustrate the month; this obliging juvenile Western Sandpiper was one of my photo highlights; the scene is from the west coast of Vancouver Island while I also found the bark on this tree to be particularly photogenic


since 1976 I have been trying to get some decent photos of a juvenile Long-tailed Skua so it was only a 31 year wait for this approachable dark juvenile that lingered in Notts; I was very pleased with my resulting images which show the bird's identification features but also form some pleasant bird images; the scene is a reminder of our time in the Rockies in the late autumn


after several visits I eventually managed to get a good photo of the long staying Black Kite south of Lincoln which had troubled me in the spring! the photo was published in Birding World; the scene is a sunrise shot over the Humber estuary


the birding highlight of the late autumn was the huge Little Auk movement; I was pleased to manage a few images some of which appeared in Birdwatching magazine; the scene shows the power of the sea backed by a good northerly gale


the return of the male Smew to the local patch was much appreciated; the scene is a frosty dawn with mist hanging in a strip over the frozen ground on my forest patch at Laughton

Thursday, December 27, 2007

patch bunting

the dull December theme continued throughout another day but thanks to ND a trio of first-winter Snow Buntings on the patch foreshore were added to the local photo library albeit in somewhat lack lustre colours; pics taken with Canon 40D and 300 2.8 lens + 1.4 converter at 1000ISO

Monday, December 24, 2007

new horizons

I shall be extending my photography in 2008----------moonrise over the old seaplane jetty at Killingholme and Lapwings against the moon; I have seen some pros describe this type of shot as taking wildlife photography to new dimensions;