27 May 2013

Wild Peregrine Falcon in flight

One from my Malham Birds Photography Workshop at Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales. These wild peregrines will come remarkably close. Capturing these birds in flight is a real challenge, but with strong sunshine (and a perfect blue sky behind) I was able to use reasonable ISOs and get around 1/2000 second which proved invaluable in getting sharp shots.

The pair have 3 chicks, one of which was very well developed and was already exercising its wings around the nest. Malham is a great place for wildlife photography - green woodpeckers and little owls are regularly seen at the Cove, and at Gordale you can watch dippers and wagtails just metres away...

11 May 2013

Simply a Beautiful Bird..

My regular.. by Paul Miguel
My regular.., a photo by Paul Miguel on Flickr.

When I set up my most recent feeding station I was quietly hoping to attract Greater Spotted Woodpecker, but after two months, it wasn't looking good. Then suddenly, one day as I arrived to fill up the food, a woodpecker flew away. From that moment I've had a regular female coming to feed on set up branches, and even land on nearby perches naturally. They are wonderful birds to photograph - full of colour... and character too.

This shot is one of my favourites. The branch has been there some time and even though I never add food to it, the bird has a real fondness for this perch. Looking at the wood, I think the woodpecker has given it quite a bashing; and that's the best way to capture the most natural images - coaxing wildlife close in and then letting it do its thing.

At just a few metres from the hide I have to move the camera slowly, but once on the bird, it takes virtually no notice of the shutter. The background here is a willow tree which is springing into leaf, giving beautiful colour that indicates the season.

Shot at IS0 320; 1/640 second; f6.3 with a 300mm lens and 1.4x extender. I also used a tripod with a beanbag on top. This hide is available to hire at my reflection pool site.

08 May 2013

Woodpecker at Reflection Pool

I first started putting out food at my reflection pool around 2 months ago. I never saw any sign at all of a woodpecker.. until a couple of weeks ago. Now this female is regularly comes to feed on a nearby perch and also flies down to the pool. She is a dream to photograph, and this image means the world to me. I had that extra bit of luck for this image. The water was catching the breeze a little, but when the woodpecker came down - it was completely calm giving perfect reflections.

03 May 2013

Male Kingfisher

Male Kingfisher by Paul Miguel
Male Kingfisher, a photo by Paul Miguel on Flickr.

I run plenty of nature photography courses in Yorkshire, but this was the first time I had ever used anyone else's site on a paid for basis.

The site is set up by Mark Hughes http://markhughesimages.net/ and is beautifully done. A pair of kingfishers have been regularly visiting and perching to order - just metres away from the hide. I was really happy to bag some new shots of this stunning species - undoubtedly one of my favourite birds. The perch is particularly nice and just perfect for this little beauty. I hope I can get myself back over the summer. Great fun, and a great bird to see so close up..