Sunday, 26 February 2012

Coastal walk

This morning i decided id go for a little walk well about 7 miles in total! i started in falmouth and followed the route to maenporth. along the pathway i saw a lone peregrine falcon fly over though i only had a fisheye with me typical!

i went to see if any reptile would be out yet in particular slow worms i checked my usual spot and found none still a bit early for them but then spotted one in the undergrowth and gently moved him out to take a couple of shots. according to ARG (Amphibian Reptile Group) this is also the first slow worm found in 2012!

afterwards i walked back until i stumbled upon another species that is out early a beetle not sure what species it is so if you have any ideas please message me!

Because of Cornwall's warm temperatures a lot of species that are still hibernating come out early here with daffodils and frogspawn already all over the county.

Hints -

- Dont be afraid to pick animals up however be careful as some may not appreciate it and as the case with most herptiles its illegal, slow worms being the exception.

- Be attentive these species are out very early its always a good idea to report the sitings to wildlife trusts and specialist groups

- Take a drink ! this was a long walk and as hard as it my be to believe im not the fittest person ever so take along some nibbles and a drink of water!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Nottingham Shoot: Day Six

So Today was my last day shooting and i tried for the Kingfisher once again and did get GoPro although it sat right on the far end of the branch and was tiny in the frame so not much use to me.
So i thought instead to have my last shoot at my favorite place to shoot in Nottingham, Colwick country park. Its not a nature reserve or owned by any trusts just a large wetland area with a few fishing lakes but it has a wealth of species.

 a few migratory visitors like the golden eye (below) and mandarin (above) which lives there year round.
Many small fish inhabit the rivers and lakes in the area these being minnows i put in a glass tank which of course attract predators

Great crested grebe

its been good to be home and get a few shots but now back to Cornwall!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Nottingham Shoot: Day Five

This time i have left Fairham brook and gone to Attenborough Nature Reserve owned by Nottingham wildlife trust it was named after the great naturalist David Attenborough. It has a number of wintering species like bittern, goosander, various warblers, grebes and Egyptian geese. Find out more about the reserve below:

Attenborough Nature Reserve Website

Whilst walking around, a Tufted duck flew by which i panned. Birds in flight is something i really need to work on and get more shots of. its important to keep at the same speed as the bird while its flying either with a fast shutter speed like above or a slow shutter for a more artistic approach.

Tree sparrows are something of a slight fascination to me. as a child they where a very common bird in my garden, now there are none but they do still inhabit some areas like  the bird feeders at Attenborough.

 Egyptian geese are resident at the reserve wondering around the place.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Nottingham Shoot: Day Four

I started the morning looking for small freshwater fish mainly stone loach and the rarer cousin the spined loach a fish you can only find in the east of england. the loach were proving very elusive however a few Bullheads, Minnows and Sticklebacks did show up giving me something to photograph.

Where Fairham brook meets the River Trent a prime habitat for many species of fish.

i then went out after the kingfisher once again but before i could put the Gopro on the branch but he beat me to it an was already there. I waited for him to leave and attached it but he did not return and this was as close as i got to him.

Tomorrow i have a bit of a dilema to either carry on with the kingfisher or go to a different site for other species not sure at the moment!

Hints -
Know you location i now know where the kingfisher lands and where he is most likely to feed this is a big help when im trying to photograph him

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Nottingham Shoot: Day Three

Slightly colder the the previous days also happens to be valentines day while people stay in or whatever people ever people do on valentines im knee deep in cold river! Fish being cold blooded become very inactive in cold weather so they weren't as keen to come into the shallows as normal, where i get most of my shots. A Roach did briefly come up but quickly went back into the deeper water where the temperature is more constant. A lone juvenile heron was watching me also for a while. While wading in the water i came across a swan mussel a rarer site today.

  Swan mussel

Juvenile Grey Heron

Monday, 13 February 2012

Nottingham Shoot: Day Two

I got up early to try and see what wildlife would be around although the kingfisher was not to be seen though a couple of teal were hanging around which is rare for the area. I picked up my new camera a D7000 which combined with a 300mm 2.8 enabled me to really get my teeth stuck in with the local wildlife geting a few shots of garden birds hanging around the woodland
                                                                           Great Tit
                                                                          Blue Tit

I then turned my attention to the kingfisher, i placed a perch out with a Gopro video camera attached to it which i left running while i wondered of. i came back to find the kingfisher right behind the Gopro so not getting the footage which is disconcerting to say the least!

But when looking at the footage at home i found it had been infront of the camera for a while which i'll put into a video tomorrow after i've done some underwater photography and video footage of some of the fish life.

Hints -
- If you can make shots easier do it! there are hundreds of places for this kingfisher to land by placing a stick further out in a ideal fishing spot it greatly improves the chances of it landing there and you getting the shot!
- Be opportunistic if you cant find what your after dont waste the shoot go for whats around
- Camo Gopro
What you will need:

  • Camo fabric 
  • Sellotape
  • stick
  • scissors
1.  Cut a piece of the fabric that will fit around the whole Gopro, then cut out a hole just big enough for the lens to fit though.
2. Rap it around the Gopro and Sellotape into place.
3. Then put stick into ground make sure its secure!
4. Attach Gopro to stick via mount or Sellotape (i'd recommend a mount)
5. Press film and leave it until that blue flash comes by!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Nottingham Shoot: Day one

Kingfishers & Grebes

as part of the freshwater fish project im also looking at there predators and with the shear abundance of wetland predators near my home i traveled from Cornwall to Nottingham. I got shots first at Fairham Brook a 2 minute walk from my house its has a pair of kingfishers i know well. i put a perch up and sure enough they went on it straight away however once they spotted me were straight of so later in the week i'll do a early shoot and wait in a hide for them. Mallards were feeding in the snow around me while i waited.

                                                             Female Mallard in snow

                              Shame about the twigs over him but good to see him out and about

Afterwards i turned my attention to another fish eating river bird, Great crested grebes. They quite abundant in Nottingham and are in most lakes, rivers and canals here. I chose to get shots along the West Bridgeford stretch of the River Trent as it has a regular pathway so the grebes are quite used to people and enabled me to use a 300mm to get shots. I think a bit closer to them would of worked better like a 500mm or longer but they did come close.

                                                       a hint of the snowfall from last week
                            Rain can really enhance a image so dont be discourage to go out in it

Hints - 
- Go out in the rain can be very rewarding
- Be patient and persistant 
- Know your location and what is going to be there

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Photographic Diary 2012

Heres a selection of shoots and places i'll be visiting over the course of 2012, the year i graduate from university and get into the industry 


11th - 18th Nottingham
Fairham Brook, Nottingham
Freshwater Fish Project

Kingfisher shoot
River Trent
Great crested grebe

Stoney cove, Leicester
Diving for Pike & Crayfish

Cappernwray, Lancashire
Diving for Sturgeon, Trout

Secret Location
Great crested newts

Fairham Brook, Nottingham
Freshwater Fish Project Contnued


RSPB Arne, Dorset



Begin Notts Wildlife Trust Volunteering
Photograph species and habitat shots for all the reserves


24th Aug -
RSPB Blacktoft Sands, Yorkshire
2 weeks volunteering

8th Sept -
RSPB Blacktoft Sands, Yorkshire

10th Sept
Falmouth, Cornwall