Thursday, 30 December 2010

Great Grey Owl: January 2011 Wallpaper



January 2011 wallpaper is this Great Grey Owl, photographed in Finland in 2009. To set the picture as your computer's desktop wallpaper background, double click on the image above to open it in full size then right-click the mouse while it's over the picture. Select the 'Set as Background' menu option, or the 'Set as Wallpaper' option, depending on your browser type. If you want to learn how to take images like this, click here and join us on an instructional pho-tour in 2011.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Sumburgh King Eiders

The first winter drake and female King Eiders were still in West Voe of Sumburgh today - and slightly closer in than the last time I saw them a couple of weeks ago:




Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Canon 7D Samples & Custom Functions

I've had a couple of e mails over the last few days asking me what custom function settings I use on the Canon 7D, so they are listed below. The 7D really is an awesome body for the price and I would urge anybody to buy one as a main body or certainly as a back up to their 1D Mark IV or 1D Mark III. I use my 1D Mark IV for nearly all of my wildlife photography but here are a few images of Little Gull, Robin and Lapland Buntings all taken with a 7D from the autumn:













For a detailed look at the 7D custom functions click here. Also, the latest firmware update (Version 1.2.3) is now available for download here

My 7D CF settings:

I-Exposure
1-0
2-0
3-0
4-0
5-0
6-1
7-2

II-Image
1-0
2-0
3-0

III-Autofocus/Drive
1-0 (varies but typically at default)
2-0
3-0
4-0
5-0
6- all options enabled
7-0
8-0
9-0
10-0
11-0
12-1
13-0

IV-Operations/Other
1-default
2-0
3-0
4-0

Happy shooting!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Teals on Ice

With the snow and ice due to thaw, I have tried to fit in as much photography as possible over the last few days. Cloudless skies, calm winds and superb light made it a real joy to be out and about. I could not have asked for better conditions!







Whoopers also on ice...


and a Water Rail which took me by surprise...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Waxwing at Sunrise

We had another Waxwing in the garden at dawn which allowed some lovely opportunities for a silhouette against the rising winter sun...


Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Lunar Eclipse from Shetland

We had the latest sunrise time in the UK today which meant we had an absolutely superb view of the lunar eclipse here in Shetland. The reddish colours when the moon was in deep shadow were incredible!




Monday, 20 December 2010

Spiggie Whooper Swans

The big freeze continues here in Shetland. These Whooper Swans at a pretty much frozen Loch of Spiggie proved irresistible in the lovely soft afternoon light...






Saturday, 18 December 2010

Boiling Seas & Ground-lit Geese!

Drake Eider in a 'boiling' sea...





...and close to our house, I noticed that the Greylags were dropping in to drink from a tiny area of open water from an almost frozen Vatsetter Loch. When the birds departed they flew up high against the valley sides providing some nice ground-lit images. Positioning myself on the 'high' road meant the birds flew by incredibly close. The constant sortie of Greylags included the Greenland White-fronted Goose...












Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Reed & Bush Warblers



With 14 images published in this mammoth book, I'm delighted to be a contributor to this sumptuous work of reference by Pete Kennerley, David Pearson & Brian Small. Surely the best bird book of 2010...

Sunday, 12 December 2010

King & Queen Eider

Although always extremely distant and offering record-only images, these King Eiders (1st winter drake and female) were still in West Voe of Sumburgh today. Hopefully they'll both stay around for the winter - and maybe even come closer!



OK - so you can see the birds in the picture (female is bottom left and first winter drake is third bottom left) - now test your field skills and see if you can find the birds in this short video (best to double click and enlarge to bigger size)...

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Whooper Swans

The freezing temperatures continue here in Shetland and most of the smaller lochs are still frozen. The northern end of Loch of Spiggie had a few pockets of open water and held good numbers of Whooper Swans. The contrast between ice and open water made a nice backdrop for these flying birds:








Friday, 3 December 2010

Arctic Redpoll - December 2010 Wallpaper

Wallpaper for December 2010 features an Arctic Redpoll in late afternoon sunshine. I photographed this beautiful bird in Lapland in March 2009. To set the picture as your computer's desktop wallpaper background, double click on the image below to open it in full size then right-click the mouse while it's over the picture. Select the 'Set as Background' menu option, or the 'Set as Wallpaper' option, depending on your browser type.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Arable Finch Flocks!

We have had snow on the ground for nearly a week now which has offered some great photographic opportunities. We currently have a superb mixed flock of Twite, 'Mealy' Common Redpolls, Bramblings and Chaffinches close to home in an SRDP 'Wild Bird Seed' crop and I have spent most of my time this week concentrating on getting 'ground-lit' images...























A nice surprise as I was photographing the finches was this fly-by Greenland White-fronted Goose: