Tag: Wildlife Photography

Waiting for the light

by on May.23, 2013, under Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Photography, Southeast Northumberland

In an ideal world, a bespoke photography day with a client involves arriving at our chosen location, discussing techniques that will be required to achieve the desired image and then waiting for the perfect light to fall on the subject…

I arrived at Church Point on Sunday afternoon to collect Gareth for his bespoke photography trip.  My task was to deliver locations that would provide the opportunities for landscape or wildlife photography, and give advice on technique when needed.  In advance I’d planned a route through Druridge Bay, southeast Northumberland and the Northumberland coast that would provide a series of landscape opportunities.  So, discovering that visibility on the coast was poor was a bit of a spanner in the works 🙂  My backup plan was some nice close, obliging wildlife…swifts, swallows and martins were the ideal subject for the afternoon.  Difficult enough to test the abilities of most photographers, but usually obligingly consistent in their feeding, bathing and drinking behaviour.

As Gareth honed his ‘birds in flight’ skills we had an unexpected bonus in the shape of four Otters!  A writhing sinuous mass of muscle and menace, they twisted and turned in the water before climbing onto the bank and one of them munched contentedly on the fruits of it’s labour – a large Eel.

Displaying Redshank, typically unobliging Little Grebes and a ghostly Barn Owl drifting across a reedbed as dusk approached all added to the wildlife experience as Gareth shot lots of images of Swallows as they twisted, turned and stalled just a few feet away from us.  I managed a few shots myself, as we compared the effect of different camera settings, focal lengths etc.

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Barn Swallow,Hirundo rustica,bird photography,Northumberland,bird photography courses,bird photography tuition,www.northernexperienceimages.co.uk

Barn Swallow,Hirundo rustica,bird photography,Northumberland,bird photography courses,bird photography tuition,www.northernexperienceimages.co.uk

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Winter birdwatching around the Farnes

by on Dec.12, 2010, under Birdwatching, Farne Islands, Holy Island, Northumberland

After postponing our Seal and Seaduck Special last Saturday (sea conditions were ideal, but it would have been really irresponsible to encourage anyone to drive on Northumberland’s roads at the time) we arrived at Seahouses Harbour yesterday morning ready for our final boat trip of the year.

Everyone was well wrapped-up and we were soon boarding Glad Tidings VI.  As we sailed out of the harbour a veritable battery of long lenses was produced in readiness for the anticipated wildlife.  With a skipper and crewman with excellent eyesight and wildlife-spotting skills, 2 NEWT guides, and clients with sharp eyes as well, the boat was soon being manouvered to offer the best possible opportunities to view or photograph the wildlife.  After 13 years of organising offshore wildlife trips we know the importance of the skipper to the success (or otherwise…) of the trip and, with Craig and William, we were in excellent hands.

The first half of the trip concentrated on the Farne Islands themselves.  A lot of the Grey Seals had well-grown pups, quite a few of the adults were moulting and there were a couple of cow seals still heavily pregnant.

Grey Seal, Offshore wildlife photography, Northumberland, 11/12/2010

Grey Seal

Grey Seal, offshore wildlife photography, Northumberland 11/12/2010

Grey Seal and the Longstone Lighthouse

Grey Seal, offshore wildlife photography, Northumberland 11/12/2010

Grey Seals

Grey Seal, offshore wildlife photography, Northumberland 11/12/2010

Grey Seals

Shags were sitting around on the islands, Little Auks were bobbing about like corks in the increasing swell, and we had a brief view of a Black Guillemot as it flew from Gun Rock towards Inner Farne.  Heading north we enjoyed the sunny (but cold) weather and scoured the sea just south of Holy Island.  Plenty of Eider were sitting around, along with a pair of Scaup and several Red-breasted Mergansers but a Slavonian Grebe near Guile Point proved elusive.  Red-throated and Great Northern Divers were seen but in much smaller numbers than we would normally expect.  The journey back down the coast featured one of our favourite birds; Long-tailed Ducks were sitting around in groups of 10-15 and offering some excellent photo opportunities.

Long-tailed Ducks on an offshore birdwatching trip, Northumberland 11/12/2010

Long-tailed Ducks

30 or 40 Common Scoters proved a bit more skittish and didn’t come near the boat.  2 Gannets were a bit of a surprise before we returned to the harbour.

Although the wildlife was very obliging perhaps the best thing about the day was the truly beautiful lighting conditions, a real bonus for wildlife photography and something that all of the photographers on board commented on.  We can’t control the light, or the weather, but we keep taking clients to the right places at the right time…

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A first for Northern Experience

by on Aug.28, 2008, under Photography

A client from Hong Kong! We had the pleasure of welcoming an excellent bird photographer from Hong Kong onto one of our safaris this week. She has a strong interest in seabirds but the strong westerly winds made seawatching an unlikely prospect and we concentrated on the tidal mudflats of the River Wansbeck and the pools of Druridge Bay. Excellent views of terns and waders were had throughout the afternoon/evening, and there were several entertaining discussions about the similarities/differences between the birds recorded in Hong Kong and Northumberland. A Brown Hare in the fields at Druridge Pools was a popular sighting and a bat that flew past us a couple of times was feasting on the swarms of moths and other flying insects.

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