Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Kestrels on a fence, Peterborough, 26.2.06. Click it for biggy.

And here by unpopular lack of demand is the blurry Ortonised artyfarty version. Also clickable.
Canon Powershot A95 with Kowa 823 + 32xWLER


This redhead Smew was the only one visible on The Lake at Deeping Lakes LWT on Sunday (26.2.06) in a relatively brief visit. However, the wind was strong, and many ducks were sheltering. The redhead was with sleepy Pochards sheltering by the island in front of the hide.
Canon Powershot A95 with Kowa 823 + 32xWLER

Monday, February 20, 2006

Nene Washes

Stonechat, 18.2.06
The Nene Washes RSPB reserve is far and away the best place around these here parts. I'm not sure why I don't go there every week throughout the year. At the moment, a stroll down that way brings masses of wildfowl (still plenty of Bewick's and Whooper Swans), huge flocks of Lapwings and Golden Plover, Stonechats galore, one or two Water Pipits and Marsh Harriers and Merlins to gobble them up.
Saturday was gloriously frosty (though a little foggy), and I had brilliant views of a male Merlin perched on a fence. I don't think I'd ever seen one well enough to see it had yellow eye-rings before. As I was watching it, a Stoat in partial ermine trotted along toward me, but vanished before I could photograph it.
I also had an excellent look at a Water Rail prancing about making a 'kick' racket in a ditch. But my highlight of the morning was when a flock of at least 500 Golden Plovers took off and flew over, each one appearing to twinkle on and off in the bright sunshine. The sound of these birds' wings as they go over is also pure magic.


This Woodie was in our garden. Just thought I'd post it... [click for bigger version]

Monday, February 13, 2006

Arty manipulation

I've been dibbling on other websites and, looking at one my favourites, Mike McDowell's blog (www.birddigiscoping.com/blog.html he is a master digiscoper, who uses a Coolpix 995 to brilliant effect), I notice he refers to Orton Imagery technique. I clicked on the link on his site (www.naturephotographers.net/articles0106/dw0106-1.html) which took me to text by Darwin Wiggett about a technique pioneered by Michael Orton. Basically, it is a way of artifying your pics by combining a blurry layer with a sharper one, somehow bringing out sharper bits and blurrifying less sharp areas.
Here is an example using the Great Spotted Woodpecker I photographed at Eldernell a couple of weekends ago. The artyfied Ortonised pic comes first, followed by the standard version. I'm not saying one or the other is better or worse, its just a different way of looking at the image. As usual, click on the images for whoppers.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Toothless sabretooth

The UK holds a quarter of the world's population of Chinese Water Deer (now rare in its native domain). Woodwalton Fen is a good place to look for them (and listen to their terrifying roar). The males which have long projecting sabre-teeth (canines) and no antlers. This individual is a bit short in the tooth and is a female (photographed 4.2.06). It somehow reminds me of something out of Dr Seuss, when viewed head-on... Click as usual on the images for bigger versions.
Canon Powershot A95 with Kowa 823 + 32xWLER

Toothy grin

A couple of years ago Bird Watching magazine published a photograph by Nigel Blake of a Shoveler with its bill slightly open, displaying the baleen-like 'teeth' within. Here, I hope you can see a similar array of 'teeth' within the bill of this drake Mallard (if not, click it for a larger version). The bird was on Lynch Lake, Ferry Meadows, 5.2.06.
Canon Powershot A95 with Kowa 823 + 32xWLER

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Moorhen, Lynch Lake, Ferry Meadows, Cambs, 5.2.06. Click on image for biggy.
Canon Powershot A95 with Kowa 823 + 32xWLER