Category

Wildlife and Nature

Category

We have had a weekend off this weekend so spent some time with my much neglected family and also photographing some garden birds.  Not much clue about birds other than I just simply like to look at them!

Dunnock perched on a bird table ready to feast on mealworms
Dunnock perched on a bird table ready to feast on mealworms
Robin
Robin on bird table
Dunnock on bird table
House Sparrow
House Sparrow with mealworms

Just back from a week away on the Isle of Wight, fantastic clear crisp days, some amazing walks, a good time was had by all.  Saw this amazing sunset at Gurnard at the north of the island. Not Wedding related, much more to come on that subject over what looks like being a very busy summer!

Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight
Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight
Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight
Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight
Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight
Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight
Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight
Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight
Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight
Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight
Stunning sunset at Gurnard on the Isle of Wight

Took a trip down to Bradgate Park in Leicestershire to see if we could spot some deer. I got the idea after watching a video review by Practical Photography of one of my lenses on Youtube. I fully expected as one often does, that the deer were nowhere to be seen and we had had a wasted journey, what a pleasant surprise, deer everywhere! Didn’t stay too long as it was very cold and the light was failing but we will definitely be back sometime in the next few weeks when hopefully it will have warmed up a bit! Having been and had a look around I will be better equipped on our next visit. All images using Nikon D3s and Sigma 150-600mm Sport.

They are quite timid though and keep a watchful eye on you
They are quite timid though and keep a watchful eye on you
Fallow Deer at Bradgate Park
Fallow Deer at Bradgate Park
Not another nature photography wanabe!
Not another nature photography wanabe!
Old John Tower at the northern end of the park
Old John Tower at the northern end of the park
Interesting silhouette against the January sunset
Interesting silhouette against the January sunset
Deer almost oblivious to the spectators
Deer almost oblivious to the spectators
It got the vote of confidence from my youngest despite the bitter cold!
It got the vote of confidence from my youngest despite the bitter cold!

Another instalment of our holiday epic, this time in the form of Red Kites. These are some of the most amazing birds I’ve ever had chance to see flying, massive creatures with an almost a six-foot wingspan but so graceful. These were photographed at the Red Kite feeding station at Bellymack Farm, Laurieston near Castle Douglas, well worth the five pound entry fee, they must have eaten a ton of meat! They seem well trained, when the farmer appears with the bucket of food at 2pm the sky goes black with birds, superb, can’t wait to go back again. Sad to think these magnificent birds were persecuted to the point of extinction but fortunately they are on the rise again.

Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park
Red kites flying near Loch Ken in the Galloway Forrest Park

Following on from the red deer post yesterday here is some more Scottish wildlife. This time red squirrels which we sadly never see in Sheffield anymore. These were taken at the Kirroughtree Visitors Centre near Newton Stewart in the Galloway Forest Park.  These are tremendous little creatures so full of life and character it is so nice to see them bouncing about in the trees.  The South West of Scotland is so close to Sheffield (on a good day) we can be over the border in less than 4 hours, there are some tremendous places to go and some amazing things to see.  Some Wedding related posts coming soon, I promise!

Wonderful little characters, red squirrels in the Galloway Forest Park
Wonderful little characters
And balance cat like on the thinnest twig
And balance cat like on the thinnest twig
They bounce from branch to branch with extraordinary ability
They bounce from branch to branch with extraordinary ability
Inspecting what is on offer next...
Inspecting what is on offer next…
Amazing agility on display
Amazing agility
Not beyond a bit of self service from the counter
Not beyond a bit of self service from the counter
They happily climb all over the bird feeders to get their fill
They happily climb all over the bird feeders to get their fill
Fun to watch them work on a nut
Fun to watch them work on a nut
We don't have any of these left now in Sheffield so a real treat to see them in the wild
We don’t have any pf these left now in Sheffield so a real treat to see them in the wild
They almost seem to pose for the camera
They almost seem to pose for the camera
Red squirrels seem even more agile than their grey cousins
Red squirrels seem even more agile than their grey cousins
They clear-up much of the food dropped by the feeding birds...
They clear-up much of the food dropped by the feeding birds…
Red squirrel meets vole
Red squirrel meets vole
Incredibly adept at getting what they want
Incredibly adept at getting what they want
Seems no type of bird feeder is beyond them, there is plenty of food for all of them
Seems no type of bird feeder is beyond them, there is plenty of food for all of them

We had a nice gap between photographing weddings and it being the summer holidays decided to have a week in one of our favourite parts of the world, Dumfries and Galloway. It is a simply stunning part of the UK, we all love it (including the dogs), have had some fantastic walks, see some amazing animals, stunning scenery and many beautiful birds.  I’ll be posting some images over the next few days, red deer today followed by red squirrels and then some birds. The deer shown here were photographed on the Red Deer Range in the Galloway Forest Park, this is on the A712 between Newton Stewart and New Galloway, not too far from the Kirroughtree Visitors Centre. On certain days it is possible to hand feed the deer for a very small and reasonable fee, and to listen to an interesting talk and some stories of the deer in the park.

These are not very Wedding themed but we all have to have a hobby! There are 3 weddings in the pipeline, one to blog about now, I’m in the middle of uploading another to a clients gallery as I sit here plus another in post production which should see the blog soon time allowing.

All these were taken with the D3s, most of the longer distance shots with my new Sigma 150-600mm sport (I’ve still got the Tammy, just trying to decide which one to keep, decisions, decisions…) and the closer-in photos with the Nikkor 70-200mm f/4. Hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I did taking them.

Red deer are the UK largest natural inhabitant and a sight to behold, I love photographing them
Red deer are the UK largest natural inhabitant and a sight to behold, I love photographing them
I beleive this stag is called Spike
I beleive this stag is called Spike
A very tame but potentially dangerous animal when they start waving those antlers about
A very tame but potentially dangerous animal when they start waving those antlers about
Too close for the new Sigma sport, quick change to the 70-200mm F4 Nikkor for these close-in images
Too close for the new Sigma sport, quick change to the 70-200mm F4 Nikkor for these close-in images
Spike having a good old look through the window at the tourists!
Spike having a good old look through the window at the tourists!
Beautiful big brown eyes
Beautiful big brown eyes
Inquisitive creatures with no natural predators
Inquisitive creatures with no natural predators
Sure this is the same chap I photographed last year but he has been around a few years now, and hopefully a few more to come
Sure this is the same chap I photographed last year but he has been around a few years now, and hopefully a few more to come
The boggy ground didn't seem to present much of an issue even with tiny feet
The boggy ground didn’t seem to present much of an issue even with tiny feet
A truly magnificent creature
A truly magnificent creature
Amazing how big their eye are but it seem they are very active at night so need such big eyes to gather any light they can
Amazing how big their eye are but it seem they are very active at night so need such big eyes to gather any light they can
Very nice bit of grass this...
Very nice bit of grass this…
Master of all I survey...
Master of all I survey…
Might go over there in a bit, they might have apples...
Might go over there in a bit, they might have apples…
Keeping an eye out for the ranger with a bucket of deer nuts
Keeping an eye out for the ranger with a bucket of deer nuts
Red deer on the red deer range on the A712 between Newton Stewart and New Galloway, Scotland
Red deer on the red deer range on the A712 between Newton Stewart and New Galloway, Scotland
This years babies mixed in with some older young
This years babies mixed in with some older young
Very social animals, even the males, until the rut starts!
Very social animals, even the males, until the rut starts!

We were out walking over the weekend and saw this splendid creature, a kestrel Deborah tells me, hovering before catching a mouse (which I didn’t get), the bird being considerably more skilful than me! Amazing display of flying and hunting skill, a magnificent bird.

Kestrel hunting a mouse
Kestrel hunting a mouse
Kestrel hunting a mouse
Kestrel hunting a mouse
Kestrel hunting a mouse
Kestrel hunting a mouse
Kestrel hunting a mouse
Kestrel hunting a mouse
Kestrel hunting a mouse
Kestrel hunting a mouse

Decided to have a trip to the fantastic Yorkshire Wildlife Park today. We have been season ticket holders now for two years and it is worth every penny. With the additional benefit of the new link road from the M18 through to Finningley the journey time is considerably reduced too. If you haven’t been and can find time it is an amazing place to go with some beautiful animals you aren’t likely to come accords in many other places in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park African Painted Dogs seeking shade from the sun
The African Painted Dogs are some stunning looking creatures but they have the strangest way of walking, sure they could well and truly outrun me!. Unfortunately today they were having the grass cut in their large field so were hiding in their shelter.
Yorkshire-Wildlife-Park-260616-02
ooo, this water looks cold!
Yorkshire Wildlife Park Polar Bear
One of four of the polar bears in project polar at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Yorkshire-Wildlife-Park-260616-04
Yorkshire Wildlife Park Tiger
I think tigers are the coolest cats of them all
Yorkshire Wildlife Park leopard hiding on a perch
The master of all I survey…
Yorkshire Wildlife Park Loepard
Leopard at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Yorkshire Wildlife Park Lions looking cool!
Hard life being a lion, sitting around all day trying to look cool as a cucumber for all the visitors!

Just back from a short break in Scotland. We all love Dumfries and Galloway, the scenery is spectacular and the wildlife amazing. We were extremely lucky this time to find where the red squirrels hang-out having not seen any for the last 4 years! The red deer stag were also truly magnificent, we missed the rut by about a week but when you work around our busiest year ever for weddings and the school holidays you grab what you can! These squirrels can be found at the Kirroughtree Visitor Centre and come to feed right in front of a purpose built hide by the car park entrance – fantastic spectator sport, I could have spent all week watching them. Most of these were taken with the Tamron 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD which I’m happy to say is an amazing lens for the money, the rest with the Nikkor 70-200mm F/4G ED VR.

Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Stunning Red Squirrels in Southern Scotland
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Red Deer in Dumfries and Galloway
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland
Some stunning scenery in Dumfries and Galloway Southern Scotland

It has been a monumentally busy few weeks with back to back weddings and loads and loads of photos to look through, edit and deliver to our couples. We managed to sneak away for an afternoon to see the Vulcan XH558 take off (awesome!) and then to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, a nice afternoon out and a bit of a change from weddings! I’ll be posting some more wedding images (and we have some very, very nice ones) when I get time – I promise!

vulcan_XH558
vulcan_XH558-2
vulcan_XH558-3
vulcan_XH558-4
yorkshire_wildlife_park0001
yorkshire_wildlife_park0002
yorkshire_wildlife_park0003
yorkshire_wildlife_park0004
yorkshire_wildlife_park0005

Partly because we will be so busy this summer photographing weddings, our children seeing more of the babysitter and their grandparents than us, and partly because I love tigers, I decided to buy us all season tickets to Yorkshire Wildlife Park between Doncaster and Finningley. Each time we visit there are more animals, another polar bear had arrived shortly before our last visit – the size of these animals is almost unbelievable! It really is a fantastic day out and well worth a season ticket which you can upgrade to from a day ticket on your way out.

0001_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0002_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0003_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0004_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0005_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0006_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0007_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0008_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0009_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0010_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0011_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0012_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0013_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park
0014_180415_Yorkshire_Wildlife_Park

We made our annual trip to Donna Nook on the East Coast today to see the Seals. This is fantastic for the children with the seals only as few feet away. They seem very tame and even to enjoy posing for the camera! I imagine every year they rock-up on the beach to have a look at the strange creatures at the other side of the fence, oh, and have a pup or two! (1705 on the board as we left).

seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_1
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_2
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_3
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_4
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_5
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_6
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_7
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_8
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_9
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_12
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_13
seals-donna-nook-sier-photography-sheffield_14