Friday, 14 June 2013


East Coast 

I just spent a week on the East Coast, a few miles south of Hornsea, East Yorkshire.
For several years now I've been trying to get close enough to a Common Whitethroat to get a decent image, but as soon as they pop up from their cover they duck straight back down again, so I was surprised when a pair of them stayed around long enough for me to get some shots.

It soon became obvious that they were a nesting pair and I was stood too close for their comfort which is I suppose why they were hanging around, so I got a few pictures and then retreated.
It wasn't until I viewed the shots later that I noticed that they weren't Common Whitethroats but Lesser Whitethroats - a first for me.
Thornwick Bay (between the North Landing of Flamborough and Bempton Cliffs) is a good place to visit if you can't be bothered with the crowds at RSPB Bempton. There aren't as many birds and the cliffs aren't as high but there are no fences, meaning that you can get as close to the edge as you dare!
Common Ketrel


Sunday, 2 June 2013

Bretton Lakes

Since the 'restoration' work at Bretton Lakes nature reserve I've become a very infrequent visitor. However, I spent a couple or hours down there last night after the day visitors had left and I didn't come across a single human being - a bit like the good old days!

There wasn't too much going on at the front of the hide - a solitary Cormorant, a few Mallards, Grey Heron and Canada Geese. It was nice hear the chattering of a Grey Heron chick from the nests above the island. I thought the Heronry had gone for good but it seems that there is at least one live nest there.

The Great Crested Grebes are nesting at the side of the island and the resident pair of Mute Swans are still there but this year have only managed to raise a single Cygnet.

When I turned around and looked outside of the back of the hide that I noticed there was a pair of Treecreepers taking it in turns to land on a narrow tree and presumably feed some recently fledged chicks. I say presumably because I didn't see the young ones but the adults always had a beak full of insects so I assume that is what they were doing.

These shots were taken with my new Canon 5d mk III at ISO 2500. This is a setting I wouldn't have even bothered using with my 1d IIn but after a bit of NR in Lightroom I'm more than satisfied with the results.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

New Toys....

I'd been getting tired of lugging my Canon 1dmkIIn/500mm/gimbal/big tripod around for quite a while so after checking the prices on Ebay, I decided to take the plunge and sell the 500mm lens and use the proceeds to buy some new camera gear.

With the money (including a tidy profit) that I got for the lens and after much consideration, I decided to buy the following -

EOS 5d mk III
Canon 400mm f/5.6
Canon MP-E65mm Macro
Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite Flash
Velbon Ultra Rexi L.

I haven't really had chance to test the macro stuff yet so will post some results when I get them. 

Its hardly been ideal weather to experiment with the other stuff either but I had a go with the new body and 400mm yesterday to see what it was like for bird-in-flight shots. I'd often read that it is one of the best lenses around for this type of photography so I was cautiously optimistic.

There wasn't anything interesting around so I had to make do with a duck and some pigeons. I was well pleased with the results though.

To see the full-size images hold down the shift-key as you click on the image and then click again on the picture.