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Redstart & osprey pics

Just a couple more images processed from a recent trip up to Scotland

Redstart

Osprey

Osprey photography in Aviemore

I recently had a few sessions in a purpose-built hide in Aviemore. Many thanks to our Gordon our host. The Ospreys visit regularly and the photo opportunities really are outstanding. The wind wasn’t quite favour my visit and the birds tended to have their backs to us as they exited the water. Nonetheless there was still a few good moments for me and several other photographers to share. When the conditions are right this site is great for reflections.

Osprey

Osprey exiting the water with a trout

Osprey

Osprey with trout

Osprey

Flying with trout

As a bonus this little male redstart kept us busy while waiting for ospreys.

Redstart

Redstart

Redstart

More Grebe Images from a floating hide, but a failed nest.

Sadly, the pair of grebes I’ve been working on lately failed to nest. They selected a nest site and built a nice platform to nest in, I assume eggs were laid but one morning they seemed unsettled and weren’t incubating. Eventually they both left the nest site and began fishing on an adjacent pool. I could see into the nest from about 20 meters away. No eggs! Perhaps they’d been predated overnight. Nonetheless they continued to fish in the pool I was watching and working with a floating hide.  A a bonus this reed bunting sang nicely from the edge of the reed bed.
Reed Bunting

Male singing in reeds

Great Crested Grebe
Adult male bird preparing to fish
Great Crested Grebe

Bathed in early morning sunshine

Great Crested Grebe

Take off

Great Crested Grebe

Display

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

'Untidy' female on a still misty morning

Great Crested Grebe

Getting ready to fish

 

Tufted Duck and Great Crested Grebe Images

I love to capture great images of common species. Images that’ll make you look again at ordinary birds in a new way. The tufted duck in this post is an example. They’re easy to find in many parks where there’s water but often overlooked. This male bird however surely deserves attention. The blue-purple face and those eyes! I waited until the duck was spinning a little, as they do, then shot a sequence of images as his head turned towards the camera. Capturing both eyes in the image gives it impact and the low perspective shows the threatening look of his bullish appearance.

The great crested grebes look absolutely stunning at this time of year but are shy and not keen on coming too close. So I used a floating hide to shoot these birds in early morning light. I love misty mornings – it adds an atmosphere to the scene.

Great Crested Grebe

Grebe in mist

Great Crested Grebe

Grebe in mist

Great Crested Grebe

Close up of grebe

Great Crested Grebe Fishing

Great Crested Grebe Fishing

Courtship and display of grebes

Great Crested Grebe Display in Mist

Close up of Grebe

Close up of Grebe

 

Image of Bee Orchid

Some wild bee-orchids have grown up on an industrial site where the business owner has allowed the lawns to grow. An abundance of flowers bloomed, but I was a tad too late finding them. This one is still pretty good but not in peak condition. Nontheless, a great find. Lets hope they’re allowed to grow again next year.

Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

Red Fox Images

I was recently invited to take some pictures of a red fox family that regulary come to the garden of some friends. I didn’t need a second invitation and was soon waiting in the pre-dawn gloom for siogns of life amongst the shrubs. The vixen had made her den underneath a neighbours summer house and the cubs play on the lawns in the early mornings and evenings.

Thanks John & Dorothy

Peering out from the shrubs

Looking Cute!

Foxy Ears!

Portrait of fox cub

Mute Swans and Cygnets Photos

Some subjects like Mute Swans offer endless opportunities for trying different images and improving existing shots. A pair on my local patch are in a nice open space where the sweet rays of early morning sunshine illuminate the place beautifully.

Female mute swan resting

Two cute cygnets having a peak out from under their mothers wings.

Male mute swan displaying

Male swan preening

Ospreys photography at Rothiemurchus

Osprey Photography at the Rothiemurchus trout fishery.

 

Osprey with a trout in one claw!

 

Osprey emerging with trout

 

Bird photos in Extremadura, Spain

I recently made a trip to Extremadura and had the opportunity to photograph griffon vultures and cranes. Its a beautiful area with wide-open vistas, warm sunshine and fantastic wildlife. The cork oak and holm oak trees provide a nature-friendly habitat for a host of animals to forage for food and make a home. Watching great numbers of cranes commute from their feeding areas to roost at dusk and back again at dawn is an especially wonderful sight. They’re a nervous bird and will get quite agitated if you even slow you car near them, so photographing the birds in flight at the edges of the day makes a much more relaxing experience for both the birds and photographer! Griffon vultures are common in Extremadura, but it pays to visit Monfragüe National Park – the birds can be seen close-up as they soar overhead or even below if you climb up to the castle.

Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vulture

 

Peña Falcon

Peña Falcon at Monfrague National Park

 

Grassland with holm oak trees

Holm oak trees on open plains in Extremadura - home to wintering cranes

 

Dead Holm Oak Tree

Dead Holm Oak Tree on grassy plain

Common Crane

Common Cranes - Extremadura, Spain

 

Common Cranes at dusk

Common Cranes commuting at dusk

 

Stonechat

Stonechat enjoying winter sunshine in Extremadura, Spain

Blue Tit Photos in frosty conditions

It’s been a drab windy winter so far and conditions uninspiring from a photography point of view. But the recent clear frosty days have added a sparkle to the landscape and an X-factor to images. This little blue tit posed for it’s photo before jumping onto a feeder to grab a sunflower seed.

Poised ready to dash for another sunflower seed