Monday, 31 May 2010

Bank holiday, rubbish weather!

Bank holidays seem to always coincide with dull, wet, grey and windy weather, especially when you have things arranged, and this Bank holiday is no exception. OK, the weather didn't hinder me from fitting new blinds in my daughters living room admittedly.
However I have 2 other feeders to shoot for the RSPB catalogue (I finished the first batch a couple of weeks back) one is a feeder guardian, this is a mesh cage that protects small birds from predators while they feed, as well as preventing larger birds from scoffing all the food; these are not that simple to shoot for several reasons. Firstly the light has to be right, bright enough to get adequate depth of field and shutter speed to have the product sharp enough and to freeze the birds movement as well, but not so bright that the shadows created by the mesh fall across the birds and make for a confusing image.
Also, despite having one of these at the feeder site that the birds are in and out of constantly, they get very wary of a bright shiny new one and their visits are brief, to say the least! When they do come to the feeder they also seem to know how to 'wind me up' by feeding with their backs to me as well! Tomorrow looks wet too, I only need one good day!
I have had another churchyard session with the Spotted Flycatchers though, they are real posers, and so was the female Kestrel I snapped while going over to see my mum, not often that you can just stop the car right beside one and rattle off about 40 frames!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Life and death

A few more images of the Spotted Flycatchers at the churchyard. I will be working on these a lot more in the coming weeks. Yesterday I missed the allofeeding and mating again, and that's a shot I really want, the female was all lined up in camera, lovely submissive pose, I held on so I had a full buffer, but when the male arrived they both flew off to a shaded perch that was partially obscured from my view.
Also a couple of shots of other churchyard residents, Wood pigeon and Collared Dove, there are so many species that come and go, Blackbirds, Song and Mistle Thrush, a pair of Robins lots of Warblers work through the trees and bushes. The day before yesterday I had a Goldcrest feeding within 2 feet of me, It was great to watch it collecting spiders web for a nest at such close range! So much life in a place for remembering the dead!
Lots more on my Flickr (link top right).

Saturday, 22 May 2010

I spotted Spotties!

Really chuffed to find these two Spotted Flycatchers today, a good early find that aren't a million miles from home; they were chasing each other about, collecting nest material and looked as if they were nesting at the same site as last year, best of all they came very close to me after just a short time, all I did was sat quietly near a favoured perch.
I had planned to make a special effort to work on this species this summer, finding them as soon as they have arrived should give me a bit of a head-start!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Wheatears, Wagtails & Warblers

I have been shooting the images for the next RSPB bird feeding products catalogue this month, a job I always look forward to doing, but this time I had several hanging feeders, usually pretty easy to do, however; the day I picked up all the products was windy and that wind did not drop for 2 weeks. The seed fell out onto the ground and the birds chose the easy option of going there too, very frustrating! Its all done now, I got some great images of Siskins on a Terracotta apple shape feeder, complimentary colours in the backgrounds and lovely Welsh morning light, fantastic; but you'll have to wait for the catalogue to see them.
I have also been at the "big poo pile" photographing the Yellow Wagtails and Wheatears that have been abundant for a few weeks, take a look at my Flickr pages for lots more images.
Two warblers that have evaded me since I started digital photography (I had then on slides) are Grasshopper Warbler and Blackcap; the Gropper was a bit of a poser for about 40 minutes; but the Black just blew me away; I was trying to photograph a Red Kite Overhead near Old Warden when the Blackcap emerged from the bushes within 3 feet of me; my second body had my 100mm macro fitted and I used that fully expecting the bird to disappear when the shutter fired; it didn't and I shot some 90 frames before it went, I was so excited I got camera -shake on about 40% of the images.