There is something really satisfying about watching and photographing garden birds. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, then spending some quiet time with your lens pointing out of the window at these wonderful little creatures can be quite therapeutic. During a recent weekend off from wedding photography gave us the chance to spend some time with my much-neglected family and photographing some garden birds. Not much clue about birds other than I just simply like to look at them!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
We are just back from a short break in Scotland. We all love Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway is an ideal place to visit as on a good day it is only four hours from home. The scenery in this part of Scotland 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 stags were also truly magnificent, we missed the red deer rut by about a week but when you work around our busiest year ever for wedding photography 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 located by the car park entrance. This is fantastic spectator sport, I could have spent all week watching them. Most of these photographs 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 were taken with the Nikkor 70-200mm F/4G ED VR.
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!
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.
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).