What a fantastic month it ghas been, yes lots of wind and rain but you only need a quick plan of action and you can be with nature. With many places to visit makes it a joy to be a wildlife photography. Flat fields to the beach and then the lake brings lots of bird species to the Fylde Coast Area. Travel out through beautiful countryside and witness more great areas to film.
Tide times bring more opportunities to me knowing what species come in to graze on the grass when the sea goes out. The Widgeon and Teal will move in slowly looking out for danger and calling out at any signs its not safe. Observing birds is not just to get a Snap its educational and knowledge I can pass on to my children or someone who wants to learn photography.
Lakes are great places to photograph birds and getting the right angles I find is so important and gives the Snap a different feel. Then when in flight you have to change position quickly to capture the Tufted Duck in flight.
From medium sized birds to large slow flying birds helps with mastering birds in flight one of if not the hardest style of photography you can learn. But time spent on the ground and practicing is the only way you will get better. Once upon a time I would come back from a day out with my gear and return home only to find all my snaps were out of focus, its heartbreaking. You can look at social media for an answer but you have to remember the person or persons are not the same as you.
Knowing your camera is like knowing your rifle when to squeeze the trigger or press the shutter button. Moving with the target or panning with the bird. Anticipation of the enemy breaking cover or a Deer moving across the path in front of you. Fast reactions will get you great snaps but slow reactions get you half a bird or animal disappearing out of the frame.
Yes this is a slow moving bird and you would think its a simple task of following the bird through the viewfinder, but it still moves quick when your looking through the lens. And when at 600mm it’s very difficult to not cut the birds fee off or a wing tip. Still panning skills are a must and only by tracking it with your eye will get you great snaps.
Take this Kestrel hovering above me, you you think it was still so you stay on it all the time but with such a small subject you have to get in close to maintain great detail. This image is OK but it’s heavily cropped. Really I needed it to lower in the sky to get outstanding image quality.
February gave me some great experiences but when you have a dream location it’s a photography dream. So to get the following images to hours of sitting waiting hours sometimes 6 hours to get nothing. Building a temporary hide pays dividends and using the foliage that surrounds you will make you less conspicuous. But it’s not just the hide and concealing yourself that’s critical it’s having the movement of arms and your Field of View to move with your subject. Left to Right Up and Down will give you better success rate. .
The hide is great for subjects that come into view of the windows so its always better to use a 3d suit meaning mobility to move if needed.
Having an area where you can move around has its benefits and i took full advantage of the 3 fields where the Barn Owl hunted. It still takes a lot of effort to keep hidden to keep the Owl relaxed at all times. Using the hedges and any mounds of earth is a good way of staying in cover. Another thing to have in mind is the Barn Owl has the best hearing of anything living, being able to hear a Voles heartbeat in the grass below. So keeping the shutter button pressed as it get close is a big No No. it will hear it and move off scared and disturbed in its hunting.