Thursday, 6 January 2011

Christmas on the north Norfolk coast - a.k.a. my first blog

I've been thinking of writing a weblog for some time now but have always been too busy. Hang on - that's just a lame excuse. If something is important, whatever it is, then one must make time for it. Why is a blog important you may ask? I guess it's a form of self expression but, unlike graffiti, it is not imposed on anyone - if it's a good blog then people will read it and if not . . .(have I lost you already?)

My whole family spent the Christmas week at a cottage in Thornham, giving me and my brother-in-law, Martin Washford, who is also a keen photographer, the opportunity to shoot some of the local wildlife (digitally of course). Our plan was to restrict ourselves to the local area - we were on holiday after all and did not want to be charging around too much. We were restricted slightly by the fact that the freshwater parts of Titchwell were completely frozen over and the only incentive to enter their funky new hide would have been to get out of the wind!

Barn Owl - one of Norfolk's finest

North Norfolk is a stronghold for barn owl - a species that we see only rarely in Kent. We knew of a regular hunting ground for these and set up our gear. Within 10 minutes one was quartering the meadow and, at one stage, two were hunting at the same time. Below are a selection of shots taken on Boxing Day and the day after.

The bird approached from the far end of the field, still covered in frost at 11.00h. The pheasant was looking for lunch too.

Photographing birds in flight is a real art and the number of 'keepers' you get can be quite low.

Despite the frozen ground and an air temperature of -2 centigrade the owl was successful in reducing Norfolk's rodent population.

Timing is everything

Martin W managed to grab the owl as it came up with its prey -handsome!

I am particularly pleased with this shot as the bird stands out well against the bramble/hedge background and the wings are in perfect symmetry - in terms of composition it's something a little different from the stock images we are used to seeing.

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