Blog

  1. Damselflies Mating

    Date 12 Jul 2017
    I’ve just added a new collection here featuring our Common Blue Damselfly exclusively in the act of mating and egg-laying.  These were all taken one languid afternoon last week at the same spot on our local canal.  I trust you enjoy.

  2. A beautiful young lady…

    Date 10 Jul 2017
    Misleading title?  Not at all; the name is right if a bit anglicised.  We call this, possibly the most striking of our native damselflies, the ‘Beautiful Demoiselle’.  But you need to be a bit relaxed about gender identity here because, despite the charming and quirky name, this is most definitely a male.   At…

  3. New dragonfly…

    Date 18 Jun 2017
    I had a close encounter yesterday at my local nature reserve with one of our more splendid native dragonflies - the golden-ringed dragonfly.  These are big and bold dragonflies so they play firmly to my bias for wildlife.  Forget the ‘Africa safari Big 5’.  If you want to do a wildlife safari* in the…

  4. A Hobby - One for the ‘life-list’…

    Date 17 Jun 2017
    I’m not a proper birder, in a (very) small part because I don’t keep a ‘life-list’ of all the birds I’ve seen.  I’m just not a list kind of person - it’s hard enough keeping my photos tagged properly so I don’t get completely disorganised.  However, I do remember the birds I’ve seen, particularly…

  5. Orchids in the meadow…

    Date 03 Jun 2017
    I don’t spend so much time on plants as animals.  I probably should but I’m, by inclination, more of a zoologist than botanist.  But, from time to time you spot something or, as happened on this occasion, it is pointed out to you by a fellow walker (thanks) that you have…

  6. More robins - nesting this time…

    Date 29 May 2017
    Something strange is happening in Hampshire.  I seem to be seeing an exuberance of robins at present.   Several weeks back, a pair of robins decided to nest in a pretty ‘robinish’ type of place.  A safe enclosed but airy and accessible barn that, in this case just happens to be a…

  7. Bathing robins…

    Date 07 May 2017
    The juvenile robins have been making great use of our garden.  Think its about two weeks since I first saw them and, at the moment, the parent or parents (it’s hard to tell if both are involved) are still feeding these two young birds away from the nest.   The…

  8. A new bathing pool and garden robins

    Date 29 Apr 2017
    Through the winter I’ve been making much more of an effort to feed our resident garden birds.  I’ve also been giving them a wider variety of food than just say peanuts or the like.  This has had a significant effect on both the numbers and variety of birds visiting the garden…

  9. A tale of speed and being so near and yet…

    Date 20 Apr 2017
    … still too far away; in a couple of ways that I will relate here Yesterday morning I took the dog for a walk.  It was a clear blue morning with a few light cumulus clouds and a slight, if surprisingly cool, gentle breeze.  As I often do, I took my camera along on the off-chance but…

  10. Our common moorhen…

    Date 18 Apr 2017
    It’s called the ‘common’ moorhen and it is.  You will often see it on lakes, ponds or slow rivers or canals and we rarely give it a second glance.  Possibly we overlook them because they are quite secretive and skulk at the edge of dense vegetation and will slip away…

  11. Experimenting with image (focus) stacking…

    Date 11 Apr 2017
    (I’ve updated this post to include later results of using Helicon Focus as a comparison to Photoshop.) This is just a sharing of a first attempt at image stacking when taking macro photos to share with a friend and anyone else who finds it useful.   I took a series…

  12. A fine spring day. What to do?

    Date 02 Apr 2017
    Well obviously, on one of the first warm spring days of April, you spend the afternoon closeted in your bathroom Ok, so that is closeted in the bathroom with the camera mounted on the windowsill peering out into the garden watching the nesting blue tits come and go to the the nest box…

  13. Otters - first impressions

    Date 27 Mar 2017
    I’ve just completed the first pass processing of the images from my otter watching trip to the Shetlands last week and have created an new gallery here.  I faced a minor dilemma on which menu area of the site to put them.  Originally, I was sure that otters should go in the…

  14. Shetland - Northern Lights

    Date 23 Mar 2017
    One major surprise on my trip to the Shetlands this week was a great sighting go the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).  I’ve never seen them before and I didn’t think a short visit in March would give the opportunity but luck was definitely on my side this time.  It was a…

  15. Keep a Lookout For…

    Date 23 Mar 2017
    I’ve just got home from a trip up to the Shetland Isles where I’d been hoping to photograph and learn a lot more about Otters.  I’d heard that Shetland is a stronghold of otters in the UK but they are elusive and shy creatures so I joined Richard Shucksmith who expertly guided me…

  16. Bird Ringing

    Date 11 Mar 2017
    I’ve never seen birds being ringed before but morning I had the opportunity of going along to a bird ringing demonstration at a local nature reserve (Hazely Heath near Hartney Whitley).  The ringing was being done by trained volunteer bird ringers from the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology).  The BTO has…

  17. Not so safe sex…

    Date 10 Mar 2017
    Spring must definitely be in the air.  A couple of posts back I shared some photos of mating, Canada Goose style.  Today is more a lesson drawn from the ‘Handbook of Natural Selection’ about not getting too engrossed.   If you see toads or frogs this time of year there is a…

  18. Little Egret

    Date 10 Mar 2017
    Little Egrets are a relatively recent coloniser in the UK.  I never saw one as a child and I can’t quite remember the first I saw in the UK but they have become steadily more common in the south of England to the point where they are a moderately common…

  19. Not Drowning but Mating*

    Date 01 Mar 2017
    Earlier this week I was out at our wildlife reserve pond when I caught a sequence of shots of this pair of Canada Geese in a courtship display followed by them mating just a little way off shore.  You might mistake this display and mating for a fight between two…

  20. Doh - Check those settings…

    Date 28 Feb 2017
    Today, as usual, I took the dog out for a walk and, again as usual*, picked up the camera just in case ‘anything cropped up’.  Unfortunately, I didn’t thoroughly check all the settings.  For sure, I checked the exposure settings (aperture mode,  and ISO to keep the shutter speed up for…

  21. Growing activity and a photographer’s frustrations

    Date 06 Feb 2017
    It’s early February and it’s noticeable that wildlife activity is picking up in the local woods and meadows.  The herons are beginning to reoccupy the best nest sites in the heronry, there is more birdsong, I’ve got blue tits occupying a nest box outside my bedroom window and I’m seeing and hearing a…

  22. Feeding garden birds in the winter…

    Date 10 Jan 2017
    Each year I put up feeders in the garden and endeavour to keep them topped up, especially through the cold spells and when I’m going to be away.  The garden has a strong ‘community’ of grey squirrels so I have to make sure I only use (expensive and sophisticated) “squirrel-proof” feeders so…

  23. Flying a Kite (& Happy Christmas)

    Date 24 Dec 2016
    We are just past the shortest day and the sun stays frustratingly low (just 15 degrees at it’s highest right now) and correspondingly weak.  That makes for short daylight hours long shadows and mostly low shutter speeds!  When the sun comes out, you really do want to take advantage.   Many animals…

  24. Fallow morning

    Date 15 Nov 2016
    On Monday I had to pay a visit to Leicester.  That’s a two and a half hour drive each way assuming the M3, M25 and M1 are actually moving.  However, it gave me the chance to drop by one of my favourite spots of Bradgate park just north of the city.  It’s…

  25. Wildcat?

    Date 11 Nov 2016
    Well, let’s be honest, no.  These couple of pictures are not of a Wildcat but a common domestic cat.  This afternoon, I was out seeing if anything cropped up when I spotted this tabby moving quietly and stealthily on the opposite bank of the canal.  It was tracking several ducks.  I’m not much…