Otter Cubs - Isle of Mull 2011

Otter Cubs - Isle of Mull 2011
These were taken at Loch Na keal - Isle of Mull 2011. THIS PHOTOGRAPH HAS JUST COME 2nd IN THE NATURE PRINTS SECTION OF THE LANCASHIRE AND CHESHIRE PHOTOGRAPHIC UNION ANNUAL COMPETITION

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A week in Northumberland


Monday morning, awoken by a horrific sound, the alarm clock going off at 4.30am. Drove to Bamburgh Castle for 6.20am. The sunrise was going to be 6.55am, but as you can see in the first photograph, there was this dark band of cloud which ruined it for me really, I could of done without that being there. Freezing cold and trying not to slip and break my neck on the very slippy rocks, I set my tripod up and waited for the sun to rise over the dark cloud. I was surprised I was the only photographer there, as it was a great morning. The tide was coming in very slowly and I could hear all the Turnstones and Redshanks calling from beyond the rocks behind me. These are the birds I was going to photograph later and they will be in my next post. But for now I hope you enjoy these six images I have chosen from that morning.






Thursday, 9 February 2012

Female Sparrowhawk in Flight


This Sparrowhawk was taken as I was walking along the side of a field at Inner Marsh Farm towards the hide. I saw it in the distance and wondered which way it was going to go, usually the other, but on this occasion it flew right by, enabling me to capture it in flight.


  


Male Sparrowhawk

This male Sparrowhawk has just eaten a Pigeon on the branch it is sitting on. One of my favourite birds and I just love the way they fly in and out like some stealth predator, catch it's prey then fly off.


     Male Sparrowhawk.

 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Stoat - Connahs Quay Nature Reserve

I was standing just above the rocks at Connahs Quay nature reserve looking out over the Dee Estuary, when this Stoat caught my eye. This is probably the best one out of a series that it allowed me to take.


Monday, 30 January 2012

Little Egret at Connahs Quay nature reserve

This Egret was having great fun catching little fish, the power of the strike can be seen in the images, you would of thought it was hunting for sharks the amount of force it was using!

Weasel at Coombes RSPB nature reserve

I went to collect my camera from Stock on Trent on Saturday morning, as it was in for repair due to me sledging down Chrome hill, with me sat on it. £700 repair bill, ouch! Insurance saved the day though.
     From there, I drove to Coombes RSPB nature reserve to see what was around, as I know the Goshawk lives in the woods there. Walking down the path towards the wood, there is a stone wall on your right, so knowing elusive creatures live in stone walls I decided to pick my spot and stay there for at least an hour. After 10 minutes, I  was lucky enough to see a Weasel poke it's head out from between the stones and then shoot back in after staring at me for a bout 2 seconds. Well that was it, the requirement to get myself more comfy for a shot of this little fellow was required. Aiming at the same location it came out of before proved pointless, as it stuck it's head out further along the wall and stared at me again for about 2 seconds, not enough time to swing the lens along and get locked on with the auto focus system. So I decided on the original head poke through location and stick with it. That paid off, as again it stuck it's head out and I was right on it for the shot. Good job I got the shot as I didn't see it again for rest of the hour I sat there.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

My Blog

If anyone is still following me, I will be starting to use this blog in the very near future. I have been neglecting this blog and concentrating on other things, but I will be starting again very soon.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Otters on the Isle of Mull - March 2011

I first went to Mull in 2007 hoping to come back with some great Otter photographs, but to no avail. I again went to Mull in 2009 and again, no Otter shots. This time would be different. I drove up and down Loch Na Keal for a week hoping to spot the elusive Otter. This I did with great care, lots of patience and attention to how these Otters behaved, I managed to get some great Otter photographs. Not only of the adult, the mother in this case, but of 2 otter cubs together.I had to move into position very carefully and quickly without the otters seeing me.This I did by observing when the Otters went under to catch fish, as they went under I moved into position, when they came back up, I hid and kept still as best as I could.The mother moved further out into the Loch and left the 2 cubs next to some rocks which I was hiding behind.It was time to go to work. I crept up to where these cubs were playing, aimed my camera only to find the shutter speed was going to be around the 1/30 to 1/150 of a second. With grey clouds, being 4.30pm in the afternoon,raining and the otters moving around very fast,getting a decent shot was not going to be easy. I set the ISO setting to 400 and put it on aperture priority. I took the first shots to test out the image quality and they were rubbish. I thought no, I am in a great position and the weather and light have dealt me a dreadful pack of cards. I can't sit here looking at rubbish shots, I have to get a move on and don't lose this great opportunity which I have been trying to acheive since 2007. Again, I crept into position with these 2 young cubs at first not knowing they were being photographed. I had to be at my best to keep the camera still. Inevitably, the otters saw me but luckily for me they didn't swim off after mum, they just kept around the area looking at me very inquisitivley. They occasionally kept still for me to get some good stuff. I took about 100 photographs, some of which you can see here. The mother started to swim back towards the shore, not knowing I was there. Then she saw me, and swam towards her cubs. At this point I left them alone so I wouldn't stress out the mother. The cubs looked as though they didn't mind me being there though. The next day I found another Otter on Loch Na Keal, so I tried to get some good shots of an adult on it's own catching an eel or something like that. These are in my gallery section on my website.



Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Leighton Moss RSPB - 3rd July 2010

A trip to Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire proved to be worth a visit, as these Dragon flies kept landing near me. I have looked on the net to see what species they are, but was unsure as to what they are.If anyone knows what they are, please let me know.

They were taken with a Canon 1Ds MKII with a 100-400mm lens at the 400mm end of the lens.