224/365 Misty Knot Calidris canutus

Definitely a marmite shot for the viewers of my blog.  I wanted to capture the big flocks of Knot during the hide tides at Snettisham RSPB in Norfolk.  Setting the alarm for stupid o’clock in the morning I arrived on site to the sound of hundreds of thousands of Knot on the estuary.  I emphasise sound of Knots as I couldn’t see 20 metres in front of me because of a heavy sea fog that had enveloped the whole of the estuary.   Getting into position I knew the fog would lift eventually but not as soon as I would have liked. As the tide came in all those thousands of Knot, Oystercatcher, Godwits, Dunlin, all those fantastic birds I should have been photographing were pushed off the estuary where they were feeding to roost on the reserve, straight over the top of my head.  The only problem was the fog was still to thick to do anything with them.  After an hour or so, the sun started to burn off the fog and small shapes were starting to appear.  Even though you can’t make out what the birds are (unless you an expert in identifying birds’ silhouettes) I still liked the contrast and mystery of these images as the birds tried to find a place to roost.

Knot, Calidris canutus, Snettisham RSPB, Norfolk, September, 2013.
Canon 5DIII with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

224/365 Knot

223/365 Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia

The lighting was difficult to control on this one but checking the histogram kept me from burning out the highlights on the setting sun through the white feathers of this Spoonbill.

Spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia, Hungary, May, 2013.

Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens and Canon 1.4x converter.

223/365 Spoonbill

213/365 Black cheeked Woodpecker Melanarpes pucherani

The drinking hole that the woodpecker was using seemed to be too tempting and has now had excavations on it and has been turned into a nesting hole! It was digging it out for at least five days and this is one of the moments where it was spitting out the saw dust it had been pecking out!

Black cheeked Woodpecker, Melanarpes pucherani, Costa Rica, December, 2013.
Canon 5DIII with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

213/365 Bcwoody


210/365 Black-cheeked Woodpecker Melanarpes pucherani

Second from today is a Black cheeked Woodpecker.  Im not sure how deep this hole in the tree goes but it isnt a nest hole.  I found out whilst photographing this woodpecker that it is full of water and that the birds drink from it.

Black cheeked Woodpecker, Melanarpes pucherani, Costa Rica, December, 2013.
Canon 5DIII with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

210/365 Black cheeked Woodpecker

209/365 Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl

Whilst  I have got a fairly decent internet connection I thought I would share the  first of my Costa Rican species.  This bird is no bigger than your thumb and certainly flies extremely quickly.  In between rushed feeding sessions the hummingbirds perch quite regularly allowing for a quick photograph to be taken.  Due to the size of the bird I had to put my extension tube on to my lenses in order to fill the frame with this tiny individual.

Rufous tailed Hummingbird, Amazilia tzacatl, Costa Rica, December, 2013.
Canon 5DIII with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS and Canon 1.4x III and Canon 25mm extension tube.

209/365 Hummer

208/365 Bee-eater Merops apiaster

New locations always throw up difficulties and this new Bee-eater colony was no exception. A few sessions here provided some nice results and I can’t want to try out some new ideas next year. Here’s a pair in the last rays of the sun.
European Bee-eater, Merops apiaster, Hungary, 2013.

208/365 Bee-eater

207/365 BBC Wildlife Magazine published image

It is great to see one of my images almost full page in the November issue of the BBC Wildlife Magazine! Check it out on page 58.
The image is of a group of Sanderling on a very windswept beach on South Uist, Outer Hebrides taken in September last year.
The current issue is on sale now from all good newsagents. More information on the current issue can be found here:http://www.discoverwildlife.com/issue/november-2013
Here’s the image:

207/365 Sanderling