The Christmas Break

08th January 2009
The Christmas break from work was a tough one photography wise, my first trip was up to the Norfolk coast. On the drive up, the sky was clear and the frost was hard so conditions were looking good for a day's photography. I pulled into the carpark and prepared my gear, the wind was bitter and a lot stronger than it had been forecast. I took a quick glance over to where the sun was coming up and I could see a big bank of cloud forming, this doesn't look good I thought, still I don't mind a bit of cloud as long as the sun pokes out from time to time.

I walked down the the rock pools and threw some seed out for the Buntings and Turnstones which also attracted loads of Gulls. The light wasn't good enough yet for the pools so I grabbed my smaller lens and decided to get some Gulls inflight.



As you can see from the image above the cloud was now rolling in fast and before I knew it the light had gone, I was gutted, all this way and the light was gone before I'd even started.

I sat sulking for a while before deciding to try some flash photography - I'm not that keen on flash photography, mainly because I haven't really got a clue what I'm doing but I've got a better beamer and bracket for the lens so I thought I'd give it a go.

The pool had lots of Dunlin zipping about which ended up being tough little birds to get a decent image of.
Most of the time they had their heads under the water feeding.



Coupled with slow shutter speeds and the pace at which the Dunlin moved I was struggling but thankfully some did slow down enough now and again.





The Gulls and Ducks were a much easier target..









Eventually the cold wind and no light got the better of me and I packed up and headed home with a little bit more of and understanding in flash photography, so it wasn't all doom and gloom from the days trip.

The weather over the following few days was the same which started to get very frustrating but I risked a trip back up to Norfolk, this time for the Owl's. You're all probably getting sick of Owl's by now but I just can't help myself, there's something special about them and I just love photographing them.... sorry!

I arrived at first light and spotted a Barn Owl straight away.



She was hunting from post to post so I pulled up and watched her for a while trying to see if she had a pattern to her hunting. There's no point in chasing these birds about, you're better of watching and then getting in position and letting the Owl come to you and with a bit of luck you might get a decent shot.

I got into position and watched her getting closer and closer. In front of me there was an old gate post which looked to be one of her favourite perches by the amount of droppings down it and it looked ideal for the shot I was after. Everything was coming together until she flew straight past it and landed on the only metal post about for miles. Bo*^$@ks I thought, still, she's right in front of me so I'd better take some shots.







Although gutted she didn't land on the old post, I was very happy with the images I got and it's always a pleasure to watch them hunt.

The next few days were spent at my feeders, I'd had a new arrival to them a few weeks ago, a Nuthatch but unfortunately for some reason it had disappeared. However, I did have another surprise visitor while I was there in the shape of a very well groomed Fox.

I managed a few quick shots before he/she slipped back into the bushes.



Only for him/her to come back again, this time spending a bit more time sitting around on the frozen pond Unfortunately the sun was now behind the workshop casting a shadow across the pond but I hope he/she will visit again so I can get some more shots with sunlight.









Thanks for looking and wishing you all a happy 09.