These are some of the images from a recent visit to Forge Valley. The trees were alive with small woodland birds, and a wren was creeping along the fence searching for insects in the moss and rotting wood. A lot of the birds search for food and insects in dead trees, and a nuthatch was zinging backwards and forwards for food that had been put out on the bird tables. The nuthatches tend to appear very fast, and the main sign they have arrived is the other birds scattering away from that very sharp beak! The wren also investigated the fungus growing on a dead tree for insects, which made for a nice picture as it was silhouetted against the soft light filtering though the trees. On the ground a bank vole was hoovering up any food that had been dropped, and a few grey squirrels were checking out the bird feeders. We heard a few jays in the deeper woodland, but they didn’t put in an appearance whilst we were there. A very relaxing way to spend a couple of hours!
Another visit to the Farne islands to see the breeding seabirds. I decided to try to get some images with movement blur on the wings of the puffins and terns as they flew in, so whilst I shot some images with shutter speeds in the thousandths of a second for sharp frozen-mid-flight images, I also used some slower shutter speeds in the realms of 1/200-1/400th second to get movement blur, both in the wings of the bird, and also in the camera movement as I panned with the flight. Results below:
Photographing a goosander yesterday, I was fascinated by the colours and patterns reflected in the water around the bird. The bird itself was beautiful to see, but the varying reflections meant that I could create a huge variety of different images. In some the picture is about the goosander, but in others the story is more about the abstract patterns the reflections created.
There are a small number of red squirrels living in the Yorkshire Dales in isolated pockets of woodland where the grey squirrels haven’t yet invaded. I spent a few days photographing them this autumn.
Some photos from a weekend watching wildlife. We went to Studley Royal for dawn to watch the deer there. This fallow stag silhouetted against the dawn sky was my favourite deer shot.
Early mornings in autumn often bring mists over the lake here and the swans are also beautiful to capture reflected in the lake, as well as the reflections of the autumn colours in the water.
Another interesting place to visit at this time of year is Spurn point and the surrounding area for autumn migrants, and other birds. Late afternoon I spotted this barn owl hunting in the low sun, with the light shining through its feathers.
This little egret flying across the low sun was my last photo of the day.
I’ve added some new pages to my website giving a bit of information about some of the places I visit for my photography. So far I’ve written about Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Bempton Cliffs, the Farne islands, Donna Nook, Forge Valley and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, but I’ll be adding more about both local sites in Yorkshire, and some of the longer journeys we make to Northumberland or Scotland, and some of the sites we visit there.
Some beautiful birds in Forge Valley, North Yorkshire. It was a dull snowy day, but I felt that made the lovely colours of their plumage even brighter.
We’ve had plenty of birds on the feeders and plants in our garden with the recent snow. The goldfinches are always very photogenic, but particularly so when perched on the snow covered teasels in our garden. We also had four fieldfares visiting for the rosehips we left on our roses, and it was lovely to see these beautiful winter visitors.
We visited Studley Royal, near Ripon, on Monday, and I got some photos that I’ve been pre-visualising for some time. I really wanted to get some close-up photos of the swans, picking out details of the their plumage against a dark background. Fortunately I got the light I wanted and some cooperative subjects and I was pleased with the results.
Some photos from a day trip to the Farne islands. I created some composite images of the terns flying – they are so graceful and almost balletic in their flight. I also loved the puffin who decided to look at me with his head upside down – not the best of photos, but it did make me laugh!