Watching the bird feeders

Bluetit.jpg-3Watching the bird feeders, Blue tits are so pretty and much more patient than the sparrows and Starlings. They wait in turn for another tit to finish, then fly in for a feed.

The sparrows, well that was a different story. Quite agressive with each other, I photographed several disagreements.Sparrow-stand-off.jpg

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Week 1 – Macro – Eyes 52 Week Challenge begins

Lynx-eye-week-one.jpgI have started my 52 week challenge this week, first projects, Macro Eyes.

The eyes are said to be the window to our souls, so what better a subject to be picked for the first week of my challenge. The eye is the second most complex organ in the human body, after the brain did you know? So onto the photography.

I couldnt believe it when my cat lynxy, let me get close with my camera and sat still while I took a few shots, usually she isn’t as willing. Taken with Sony A6000, Tamron SP 90mm F2.8, 1.1 macro lens iso 640, f11, 1/60ss taken on apature priority with a flash (defused)

EYE-Andy-week-one.jpgI also got my hubby to stand very still for me for a couple of minutes, to capture his eye. He kept telling me he was going to sneeze, it was only when I edited the photo, that I noticed his eye was quite watery on the lower lid, probably the reaction to wanting to sneeze.

A much needed walk in the fresh air

Having spend several days indoors over Christmas, enjoying great company, lovely food, and too many chocolates, my hubby and I were in much need of some fresh air, and the need to stretch our legs and get some exercise. samphire-hoe-build.jpgthrough-the-keyhole.jpgWe headed out to Samphire Hoe, a man made site created by the material dug out during the creation of the Channel Tunnel, its a stunning location and we intend to head back there again to explore some more. We opted to walk down on the beach, but when we return we will head up to Cliffs to capture the views from there.

 

Amazing sky on route home

sunsetsilhouette.27jpgDriving home from work on Tuesday, I noticed the sky was a fabulous colour, as I got nearer to home, the colours were incredible. As I drove along a country lane, the above view hit me. I couldn’t resist it, I stopped the car and snapped this shot quickly before driving off. I am so pleased I did.

Meeting with a beautiful Stag

KnolePark.deer.jpg-2Having had quite a busy week at work, and very cold weather with lots of rain, I didn’t manage to get out and about with my camera at all last week, so I was over joyed when my hubby and I went for a walk around Knole Park Saturday and encountered an unusually friendly Stag, he was not at all fazed by the attention from fellow photographers whilst he munched on the grass and drank from the pond.

Cliveden Water Garden

Working in Maidenhead and with an hour to kill between appointments, I visited Cliveden Gardens, National trust owned. it was quite delightful, looking this good in November, I will definately try to go back in the summer.hartyferry.jpg-2

Driving past and had to stop for this picture

hartyferrycows.jpgTuesday afternoon I was driving through Harty Ferry in Kent, just before the sun went down, and seeing the cows lined up beside this view across the marshes, I had to stop to capture it. They moved on straight after taking the shot, so drove past just at the right moment.hartyferry.jpgPanoramic view just after they moved on. I would have loved to stay to watch the sun go down, but  I had to be somewhere, so I  couldnt stay.

Hour old Seal pup.

sealpup500.jpg-2Having visited Horsey beach last year when working in the area, I decided a day trip was needed this year, to visit these beautiful seals again. I arrived an hour after the birth of this cuddly little bundle.

Photo taken at a distance with a 500mm lens. You can’t walk on the beach this time of year, as its closed off to the public to protect the seal pups. Ropes keep you at a respectible distance and wardens patrol the area all the time, also giving people information about the seal colony, which grows year on year.

It is such an amazing experience to watch these seals lounging on the beach, and being so gentle and loving with their pups. sealpup500.jpgLast  year I went later in the year and witnessed alot of agression from the males, and there were several fatalities on the beach, where pups where caught between the fighting males. This time, it was much calmer, and I just watched for hours, mesmorised by these adourable pups.

 

 

Making the most of a beautiful day

Autumncoloursshornepark.jpg-5Since I discovered how to photograph star bursts, I find myself trying this out when ever possible. Both shots taken with my Sony A6000 and a sigma 19mm Art wide angle lens, set on ap priority, using an ND x4 filter, which enhances the colours. Adding the blue frame helps to highlight the blues further. I loved the added reflection in this click.

Autumncoloursshornepark.jpg-2Another one taken the same afternoon, not long before the sun went down, I caught it glinting through the trees, I wish I would have had my tripod with me as this would have made the image sharper than hand held.

Everbody loves a Robin

HallplaceRobin.jpgThe Robin was voted as Britains favorited bird, and you can see why, its such a pretty bird, and its often looked on as a guardian angel, and its said that when it shows up, its to give guidance, hope, peace, and calm (amongst others).

This gorgeous little fellow, kept me company whilst I was watching and waiting for a kingfisher to show up. He finally did, but he didnt hang around and wasnt as willing to pose, choosing to hide amongst the branches, so not easy to photograph as he didnt keep still. HallplaceKingfisher.jpgBoth images were taken with a 75–300mm Sony lens. The Robin was on Aperture Priory and the Kingfisher on shutter speed priority. Due to being in the trees, the ISO was set on auto and ran at 3200, so there was a lot of noise in the kingfisher image. Not sharp, but I’m pleased I managed to get a shot of him before he flew away again as a record shot.

Weather overcast and misty, but lovely all the same.

ClaremontGarden.jpg-3Yesterday I working in surrey, and finished just after lunch. I had that urge when you just want to  get out in the open, so googled places of interest close to me, and Claremont Gardens came up. I have never been there, so this was my chosen destination.

ClaremontGarden.jpg-7I must say, I was pleased to find it, as the autumn colours were still looking lovely. The air was damp, but it wasnt cold, and it was lovely to be strolling amongst the trees, listening to the birds and feeling one with nature.ClaremontGarden.jpg-4The lake wasnt big, but quite pretty. The gardens were very quiet, only a few people mulling around, so I could wander around as I pleased, unhindered. ClaremontGarden.jpg-11

Afternoon spent at Hall Place hide

parakeet.jpgI went along to Hall Place in Sidcup as I heard the kingfisher has been showing there daily at the moment. Unfortunately, he had been and gone, put on a good show, but not in the two hours or so that I spent there. However, it wasnt a wasted afternoon, as the parakeets were around, making alot of noise, but quite entertaining.robin.jpg-3A friendly Robin popped by for a photo.squirrel.jpg-7Then a grey squirrel frightened off the blue and great tits, and decided to stop for a scratch on this tree stump.

All shots taken with my Sony A6000 and a 55-210 kit lens. All shot on aperture priority to try to focus on the subject, hand held.

Lovely morning spent down at the Pond

manderinduck.jpg-2During my working week, I drove past a pond I used to go to as a child many years ago, it brought back tons of happy memories, so on Friday I made a special trip to re visit Chislehurst Ponds and see what I could capture with my camera. To my surprise, there was a beautiful Manderin Duck, always a pleasure to photograph, as not something you see every day.canadiangoose.jpgThere were plenty of Canadian geese, all quite happy milling around the pond and along the pathways.

Plenty of bird life at the pond, these all came up close to see if I had any food for them. manderinduck.jpgEven the Manderine Duck didnt want to miss out and came to see me whilst I was photographing some of the Mallards. Such a beautiful duck, they are my favorite. The coulours are stunning, and the lion main is outstanding. What a quacker!

dog.jpgJust to  finish off,  this old chap decided he needed a drink, too old to show much interest in the ducks his owner said. I felt he was worthy of a quick photo and a mention too.

So pleased I had some peanuts in my handbag, just incase I came across any grey Squirrels.

SquirrelKelseyPark.jpeg-5Busy morning today as I was not working, but had some chores I needed to do. Once the shopping was completed, and the back fence re painted for  winter, I decided to pop along to a park as although its pretty cold, it was a nice bright day.

The grey Squirrels were very mischievous any wouldn’t sit for long, so I had to be quick with my camera. This little chap, kept turning away from the camera, or running further up the tree, managed to get this one after about his fourth peanut.SquirrelKelseyPark.jpeg-6I love the way they hold the nuts in their paws, and discard the shell, quickly finding their bounty inside. Much bigger and less timid than the red Squirrel, but very cute and appealing all the same.

Seeing beauty, where others sometimes just see a pest.

If you mention the word Pigeon to most people, they will just think, ugly, irritating, pest. However, since picking up a camera, I now look at things with a different eye, and nearly always you can see beauty in things that you once thought ugly. A big example of this, is the humble spider, I used to hate them as they terrified me, but now, a macro lens has introduced me to some incredible beautiful spiders, the tiny jumping spider being my favourite.

My shot today is of a Pigeon. I loved the colours of the feathers as he/she puffed them out, making her look quite rounded. A bird that most people do not like, but seen like this  hopefully, you will see, she isn’t all bad.  Pigeon.jpeg

A walk amongst the trees

DSC09736I was working in Richmond earlier in the week, and with some free time on my hands, I packed my trusty Sony a6000 and a couple of lens with the aim of photographing some Stags. Unfortunately, they were in hiding, except for two I managed to find, but didnt get as close to as I would have liked, as a walk walker disturbed them. Taken with a 55-210mm lens at 178mm, 3200 iso, f6.3 and s/s 1/800sec.

My walk was not in vein though, as it was immensly calming wandering amongst the trees. There were plenty of birds to see, the shot above was my favorite of the day, as he just looks so majestic amongst the ferns.

DSC09734Parakeets can be heard above everything else, as they are so noisy. They are in amundance in Richmond Park, so I managed to get a few nice images of these beautiful birds. Shot with a 55-210mm lens at 158mm, iso 125, f6.3 and s/s 1/250sec.

DSC09764The squirrels were running around, chasing each other up trees, finding and hiding their treasured nuts. This little cutie stopped momentarily for me to capture him while he posed on the end of this log.

Nature never fails to put a smile on my face.