The red kite is one of our most beautiful birds of prey, there are a number of strongholds here in Scotland where breeding programmes and feeding stations have been set up very successfully and kite numbers have risen steadily over the years
Red kites are easily identified by their large size with a wingspan of almost 2m, reddish-brown colourings and deeply forked tail.
A successful re-introduction programme has resulted in the birds becoming increasingly common in the Black Isle (near Inverness) and the Trossachs near Doun and Laurieston in Dumfries and Galloway.
Kites feed on predominantly on carrion, although will also take small mammals and worms. They are often seen hovering near roadsides looking for road kill
Its a great time of year for photographing birds, particulary at the woodland edge. I have great spotted woodpeckers viditing my woodland bird hide area, and get to see and photograph the adults feeding the young woodpeckers.
There is a lot of noise as the young woodpecker gets very excited as its mother brings the food.
The sky around my woodland bird hide is thick with fledglings looking for food; a lot of them are looking to be fed by a parent. The blue tits in particular are very obliging when feeding their young.
Great spotted woodpecker and lots of house sparrow and, given their declining numbers, it’s really nice to see so many fledglings around.
If you are interested in photographing these birds please see details here http://www.wildlife-photography.uk.com/blog/?page_id=10201
Eurasian Jay, very shy bird.
The Eurasian jay is on of my favourite woodland birds, highly intelligent with lots of character but it is very shy and nervous, which makes i difficult to gat images off. It’s a member of the crow family
Its usual call is the alarm call, which is a harsh, rasping screech, and is used upon sighting various predatory animals, but the jay is well known for its mimicry, often sounding so like a different species that it is virtually impossible to distinguish its true identity unless the jay is seen. It will even imitate the sound of the bird it is attacking, such as a tawny owl, which it does mercilessly if attacking during the day. However, the jay is a potential prey item for owls at night and other birds of prey such as goshawks and peregrines during the day.
Wildlife Photography Workshops
I run a number of workshops to photograph some really special species of wildlife in Scotland and in Northern Sweden from the simple woodland birds from my hide near my home in the Borders to the golden eagle very close at seven metres up in the Arctic Circle in Northern Sweden
My group sizes are very small; it’s difficult to photograph wildlife with large numbers of people wielding cameras. Because of these small groups I can give people individual attention
On the workshops we will look at cameras setting, compensation average white balance and take a close look at depth of field and magic triangle you need to understand to achieve the depth of field you are looking for. The magic triangle is the correlation between shutter speed, f-stop, and ISO. Which ever you alter, it has an effect the others.
If you are interested in coming on any of my workshops or just want information, Please click on one of the links in the menu on the left of this page. That will take you to the workshop page and give you the information you require. If you require further information please contact me via email of phone.
Phone 01450 870044 office – 07802236740 mobile
I have a new visitor to my woodland bird hide, the common redpoll. They have been here for over a week now and show well for small periods of time. There are two males and one female so far and hopefully they will stay around and nest locally, it would be nice to see them thriving here in this small corner of the Borders.
If you wouldlike to photograph these and many other species of woodland birds check out the details here http://www.wildlife-photography.uk.com/blog/?page_id=10201
I have just returned from my golden eagle workshop in Kalvtrask, Northern Sweden. We had a great trip with the eagles performing very well, seeing and photographing them on all three days. The male eagle was showing aggresion as another eagle that entered the area. Its hackle went up and it pushed its chest out and lifted its head back in a gesture of defiance. If this of interest to you please take a look at this link for details http://www.wildlife-photography.uk.com/blog/?page_id=10233
There were lots of small birds on all three days, bulfinch’s, great spotted woodpecker, eurasian jays, marsh tit, black woodpecker giving great opportunities for great photography. We has an amazing trip, and came back wih lots of pictures. Here are just a few
I think most people would put the red squirrel at or near the top of their cute list. They are very appealing as you watch them go about their daily business. I put some hazelnuts down to entice the squirrels onto the wall and tree stump, it didn’t take long for the squirrel them to find the nuts.
A very alert red squirrel
All these images where taken from the same spot, and Iike the way the light changes as time passes by. From early morning as the sun rises to later in the day as it gets higher in the sky the images get lighter. The early images a more dramatic than the later ones All the images are very appealing but I think I like the more dramatic feel to the earlier images.
I am always pleased to be in the company of the red squirrel, they always give me a small on my face as they perform their routines.
The water rail is smaller and distinctly slimmer than the moorhen The water rail is a fairly common but highly secretive inhabitant of freshwater wetlands. It has chestnut-brown and black upperparts, grey face and underparts and black-and-white barred flanks, and a long red bill. Difficult to see in the breeding season, it is relatively easier to find in winter, when it is also more numerous and widespread. Although usually secretive they can become confiding but are still far more often heard than seen.
It is a bird I have admired usually very briefly as it scurries in and out of the reedbeds it calls home.
The winter viisitors are starting to arrive at the woodland bird hide, the latest one is the very beautiful brambling Fringilla montifringilla. The brambling over winters here in the UK and can be found with a bird which is very similar, the chaffinch Fringilla coelebs. They can be found feeding together particularly in beech woodlands where they both like beech masts.
I think these are very attractive birds. I like the vivid colours and I look forward to seeing more of them at my woodlad bird hide.
If you would like to come and photograph these and other birds, checkout the details here http://www.wildlife-photography.uk.com/blog/?page_id=10201