Saturday, 31 January 2009

Spring is in the air...

Today ranks as one of the best days I have ever had for photographing Long-tailed Ducks in the harbour with some amazing action. The males were constantly displaying on the sea and would then erupt in to flight, gaining height of about three or four metres, slow down in mid-air and 'flutter' over the ducks. Many of the Eiders seemed to be catching Starfish.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Monday, 26 January 2009

A superb day spent with clients who wanted to photograph Long-tailed Ducks and Eiders. We were treated to some awesome opportunities, which were duly taken!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Another Tundra Bean

Another Tundra Bean Goose and a cooperative Great Northern Diver in the South Mainland were the highlights of a very quiet week with the camera.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

The Red Tide

A couple of good days for photography during the week with blue skies and little wind. The reflections from fishing boats in the harbour were incredible - but most of the boats are bright red! The Eider below looked so stately in its 'Union Jack' water and could also pass off for a BA ad...

Sunday, 11 January 2009

High ISOs and soft flash

A wild weekend of weather meant very few opportunities for serious photography so I spent a few hours in the harbour experimenting with some high (up to 3200) ISOs combined with soft fill flash. I quite like the results.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

BB Front Cover January 2009

The cover of the January 2009 edition of British Birds features my image of the Fair Isle Rufous-tailed Robin - the first record for the Western Palearctic. It is an image that many birdwatchers will have seen lots of times but what is the significance of it appearing on the front cover of 'BB'? Well, after suggesting an idea to the 'BB' editor in autumn 2008, the image becomes the first of 12 front-cover images to run throughout 2009 whereby the photographer or artist will donate their fee directly to the Fair Isle Bird Observatory fund raising appeal.

Harriers by Don Scott

I'm delighted to be a contributing photographer to this new book by Don Scott.

NHBS write:

Until recently harriers were one of the least known group of birds but after an in-depth study of the Hen Harrier in Northern Ireland, Don Scott succeeded in his passion to observe and study all 16 of the World's species as well as the single subspecies of harrier. This quest which began over 20 years ago in Don's home country has taken him to six continents. His sometimes dangerous journeys encompassed many exotic locations where harriers had previously received little general interest or scientific attention. The author's dogged persistence in the field enabled him to witness traits of behaviour previously unknown in harriers. It began with the unique discovery of tree-nesting Hen Harriers and culminated with the Papuan Harrier in Papua New Guinea.

This book will be irresistible to birders and biologists alike. It not only highlights the sheer majesty of harriers but helps focus our attention to their individual plights which if left unrecognized will result in an uncertain future for many of the species which make up this group of birds. The stunning photographs which grace this book have been generously provided to the author by his friends and travelling companions many of whom are themselves well-known international raptor experts. These pictures, together with Philip Snow's watercolours, should not be missed.

Great Birds...

Several of my images are in the recently launched "Great Birds of Britain & Europe" book by Jonathan Elphick & David Tipling.

HH's work in WDEA

Nearly 20 of my images were commissioned for the new Whales and Dolphins of the European Atlantic published by WildGuides. Pictures aside, this is a top quality publication with superb design and authoritative text. In short, a must-have field guide and can be ordered here.

Brian Clews of WildGuides writes:

"The first edition of this book remained the first comprehensive photographic guide to the cetaceans of the European Atlantic to the present day. This 2nd edition takes us further and has been updated and enlarged to include a larger geographical area and to take account of the increase in our knowledge of identification features, incorporating the latest distribution information and based on hundreds of year-round surveys. The page layout is designed for ease of use while at sea or when watching from land. With new colour illustrations and photos, including many by Hugh Harrop, this book continues to be the ideal identification guide to the regions cetaceans."

A few sample plates (with some of my images) follow, courtesy of the publishers.