Broad-Bodied Chaser

Broad-Bodied Chaser
Wing Mosaic (Broad-bodied Chaser): Winner, Nikon In-Frame Competition August 2010


Spoonbill: Birdguides Photo of the Year 2012 Runner-up

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Hawfinch Action

Better late than never! With a couple of spare days over Christmas, I finally managed to locate some Hawfinches.  A group had been present around the church in Darley Dale, Derbyshire, for a couple of weeks.  I didn't expect so many; a flock of around 20 in the area, and whilst they were generally quite distant, a few occasionally appeared nearer to the road.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Autumn Highlights - Scops Owl & Rock Thrush

Scops Owl, County Durham, September 2017:

Rock Thrush, Pwll-du, Gwent, October 2017:

Thursday, 30 November 2017

My Winning Image in the Bird Photographer of the Year 2017 Competition

This is my winning image from the Bird Photographer of The Year 2017 - 'Wing Formation' in the Attention to Detail category:

This Cormorant was fishing in dark light under a bridge on a lake.  It emerged from the water onto a rock to spread its wings in typical Cormorant fashion. The bird was close which meant I was able to capture the formation of the wing feathers and the wonderful colours that are found in the detail - blues and purples, which are normally invisible at distance.  The bird somehow manages to separate each feather, presumably to allow air to pass through. I included the bill in the composition to show that it is a Great Cormorant.
Taken with Nikon D7100, 300mm f2.8 lens, 2 x Converter. Focal Length 600mm; 1/800 second; f5.6; ISO 1,600

Presenter Chris Packham's comments can be seen in the awards presentation here (21m 10s in..):

The image appears in the book 'Bird Photographer of the Year 2' which can be bought here:

Three other images of mine appear in the book:

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Jackdaw & Red Deer

Oystercatcher & Knot

Some press of the competition can be found here:

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Rock Hard - Eastern Black Redstart

Who would have thought when this Eastern Black Redstart turned up in Cleveland in late October last year it would spend the whole winter on the rocks of this east coast beach.

Nearly 150 days later it is still present, having endured the harsh conditions of a winter at Skinningrove.  An amazing bird.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Cliff Swallow!

A couple of images of the superb Cliff Swallow from Minsmere in early November... 

First identified late on the Friday afternoon, it was very likely to be present the next morning.  After a very early start and we arrived at Minsmere in the dark. A bit if a gamble as to where to go for dawn soon found us positioned in the Bittern Hide. An Otter provided the first action as it came from under the hide into the water giving great views.  Soon afterwards the inevitable phone call came through - "its over the car park"! The exodus from the hide was reminiscent of the Romans leaving Brian's house in The Life Of Brian.

Fortunately after a quick sprint back it was soon located and performed well for at least two hours accompanying around 7 Eurasian Swallows.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Short-eared Owls Return

I found these Short-eared Owls at Staines Moor in Surrey almost a year to the day that I photographed a pair at the same location.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Siberian Accentor and a Classic Autumn Day at Spurn

After leaving Shetland just before Britain's first Siberian Accentor was found, I wasn't going to miss a second chance when one turned up at Easington in East Yorkshire a few days later.

Staying in Yorkshire made it easy to get there pre-dawn and be at the front of the queue when the praying started to ensure it was still present.  In the gloom of dawn we could soon make out a shape with enough colour visible to confirm its presence. It was already feeding in its preferred location.

First view of Britain's second Siberian Accentor...

As the light got marginally better (it was grey and drizzling), it proved hard to photograph, but that didn't really matter.

After spending some time in Easington, it was down to the Spurn area where is turning into a classic autumn day with some superb birds present.

This Pallas's Warbler was trapped and released mid-morning.

Lesser Redpolls and one of hundreds of Goldcrest in the trapping area:

Near the beach, a couple of Shore Larks:

An unusually showy Dusky Warbler by the canal:

On the way out, another look for the Siberian Accentor found it feeding almost out of view in the gas terminal.  However, it soon flew back to its previous location and briefly perched up on a post for a superb final view of it.