22 Oct 2007

Another Couple of Photos in Birdwatch Magazine.

Peregrine's Bird Facts There are six races of Dunlin. Calidris Alpina, Calidris Schinzii, Calidris Arctica, Calidris Pacifica, Calidris sakhalina and Calidris Hudsonia

Well I have just received the latest copy of "Birdwatch" Magazine and am very glad to say I have two more photos published. One is of the Wilson's Phalarope and the other of the Peregrine chasing the Knot which is in a previous post on this blog. I only need them to publish another 1728 photos per year to give up the day job!!

The other day I left work and it was one of those beautiful autumn days. The sun was bright ,a slight chill in the air, little or no wind, the sky had not a cloud in it and when one's hobby is taking photographs of birds this kind of weather uplifts me no end.

I headed to the RSPB Reserve in Belfast where there wasn't alot going on, apart from a couple of Curlew Sandpipers which were too far away, mainly because a predator proof fence is being erected right round the exterior of the reserve and the disruption generally means the birds are not there. Here is an aerial view of part of the reserve with one of the tern islands.

So I headed to Kinnegar Shore which is just round the corner I parked the car and immediately below me were about twenty Dunlin on the edge of a little stream. I gingerly got out of the car hoping not to disturb them and crawled very slowly towards them. Infact I got so close that I couldnt go any closer due to the minimum focus of the lens. Here are the best of the shots.

Dunlin Panorama

Dunlin in Stream

Dunlin having a Scratch

After I had taken these photos a Redshank alarm call went up and the Dunlin exploded away from me with this Redshank following.

I then headed home and had a snooze before going ou to Killard in the afternoon where it was still absolutely beautiful. Strangely there werent many birds about I think probably due to a Kestrel and a Merlin that was around. Infact In the last few weeks I have seen a Merlin nearly every time I have been out there.

I did see this seal pup on the rocks. Pickle almost went right upto it but was quite sensibly very cautious so I never got the nose to nose photo.

I left Killard and stopped at a little bay which has a fresh water stream running into it which can be good for waders and when the light is good it is directly behind you. This particular evening the light was stunning and there were a high count of Golden Plover, lots of Ringed Plover a few Dunlin, Bar-Tailed Godwits and Curlew. You park at a picnic stop next to the sea wall which is covered with lichens so can offer good photo opportunities and using my car as the hide in a space of five minutes got some nice shots of Wagtail and Robin.

White Wagtail


As I was taking the above photos a Greenshank dropped down right in front of me and this was my favoutite image.
Infact it made my day as I never seem to be able to get that close to them as they can be quite wary.

PS. In my view the two best Bird Photography Forums on the net are First Naturescapes.Net HERE This site is predominantly American Photographers with a few other nationalities from around the world. Sometimes there are amazing photos and I would look and see what has been posted most days. My only problem with the site is that the critiques can be over the top with praise for quite often fairly boring photos and there is rarely serious criticism. Sometimes people will be really helpful and suggest better ways of presenting photos. There is also a fair amount of sycophancy when extremely well known bird photographers such as Artie Morris post photos, but apart from that its a great site.

The second site is Naturephotographers.net HERE This site is the UK section of the website. Again some wonderful photos.My favourite in the last few months has been this ONE Just Brilliant.


Andrew said...

Congrats on the publications. Love the dunlin and esp. the redshank shots here. Great stuff.

Soulbirder said...

Beautiful photos Craig - I love them all........ lucky you to see that seal pup..


horukuru said...

very good blog like it very much hehehe hope can see more waders here in my place ...

Delson said...

Hi Craig nice blog.. really pretty pics and enjoyed the write up too.
Looking forward for more.
The photographs are crisp, sharp and colours magnificient

Do have a look at my blog, would love to hear comments from you

doretta said...

beautiful pics!
I really loved the one with the white wagtail... i would like to take it borrowed for my blog. May I?