dannygreenphotography Blog

 

18th January 2012

Solway Special .............

Whooper Swan

It has been a while since I last went out with the camera, as I have had a bit of an enforced break over the Christmas period so I have been itching to get out. So I made a last minute decision to go to Caerlaverock and join Mark Sisson on our annual trip to this wonderful location and boy I am glad I did as the weather was superb with clear skies and cold frosty starts. This has been the fifth year on the trott to this Wildfowl and Wetland reserve along the Solway coast and when the conditions are good there is no finer place in the UK.

Whooper Swan

You can find Whooper Swans at a few other reserves but Caerlaverock is one of the best places to get images of this beautiful bird. The Swans are fed twice a day in front of one of the main hides and this gives you a great chance of capturing a range of different behaviour, from preening, bathing, displaying and aggression.

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan

Once the Swans have finished feeding they start to head off to another lake on the reserve to roost. This gives you a great chance of capturing them in flight especially if the wind is in the right direction.

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swans

During the late afternoon the Barnacle Geese also return to the estuary to roost after spending the day feeding on the fields that surround the reserve. This is one of the greatest spectacles in the UK as there can be upto ten thousand of these birds that spend the winter here. These Geese have spent the summer breeding in the high Arctic islands of Svalbard and during October they return back to the Solway.

Barnacle Geese

Barnacle Geese

Barnacle Geese

Barnacle Geese

If the conditions are clear you can get some amazing colour in the sky and this reflects on the waters surface. This makes a great backdrop as the birds become restless and start to head back to their daytime feeding sites.

Barnacle Geese

There are plenty of other birds that use the reserve for the winter months like Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler. Small passerines can also be found in good numbers too like Yellowhammer and Tree Sparrow.

Widgeon

Widgeon

Caerlaverock is also an excellent place to photograph Roe Deer as there is a healthy population on the reserve. During the early morning and late afternoon they can be found feeding in the fields and sometimes you can find one quite close to the small hides that are dotted along the paths.

Roe Deer

The whole of the Solway coast is worth exploring during the winter but one location that I never get bored in going to is the large Starling roost. I have photographed this particular roost many times over the years but rarely under such clear conditions. The sunset was beautiful and made the perfect backdrop to this wonderful spectacle. The numbers weren't as high as on my previous visit's but it was still an amazing display of one of the top sights to witness in the UK.

Starling Roost

Starling Roost

Starling Roost

Starling Roost

Starling Roost

Starling Roost

I am going to Scotland again next week to work on some Mountain species like Ptarmigan and Mountain Hare so I am hoping for a bit of snow. Winter has been late this year and so hopefully this cold air is here to stay for a little while.

 

  

 23rd December 2011

Merry Christmas ...........

Bison in a Snowstorm

........... and a Happy New Year

It's that time of the year again and I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support over the past year. Many people have joined myself or Mark on trips with Natures Images and also many people have joined on my own one day workshops. I really appreciate this continued support and I hope to see you again in 2012. This year has been a tough one as I have travelled a great deal working on a major project. I would like to thank all those people that have helped and believed in me throughout this time. Also a special thanks to Nigel Winn for helping me with all the logistics and to Dave Fidler from Canon UK for all the help on the equipment side.

This image of a Bison is from a trip to Yellowstone National Park that Natures Images ran last February. I am really looking forward to going back to this amazing location this coming February and next year in general looks a great year too as I will be going back to Svalbard looking for Polar Bears. I will be also travelling to Finland and Norway looking for Boreal Owls and Musk Ox during the winter and then back to both of these countries during the spring and summer looking for Ruff and hopefully finally catching up with wild Wolves and Wolverines. I am also working in the UK too on some projects closer to home so again it looks like a very busy year. If the damp weather is getting you down and you are desperate for a bit of the white stuff then follow this link and hopefully it will cheer you up for the festive season.

http://www.natures-images.co.uk/blog/

Mark Sisson has put it together with some of our images and hopefully you will like the feel to it.

All the best for this Christmas Season and I hope Santa brings you that nice new lens.

Danny

 

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