Thursday, May 07, 2009

Out and about in the sun - critter snapping!

Hallo again everyone. I apologise in advance for the long post coming up... We had a bank holiday weekend last week and as the weather was nice we decided to go out for a drive around with the camera. I took my 55-250mm lens in the hope of seeing some interesting animals. We drove past the New Forest and just into Dorset. We stopped at Avon Beach, Muddeford, Christchurch, Tucton, Lymington, and Beaulieu and had an absolutely lovely day. There were not too many interesting or unusual animals around so I made the most out of what we saw. And I have to admit, I love pretty much all animals so I was very pleased with the day. Blue tit collared doves Those first two pictures are of birds I spotted in my back garden. The collared doves are very pretty but they tend to sit on our chimney cooing down it (which can be quite loud) and also they seem to like crapping down it too. Extremely annoying yet still pretty to look at. The blue tit was a great spot- I thought it was a sparrow in the tree but wanted to photograph it anyway. It wasn’t until I started cropping the photo that I realised what it was. It is great that Buzz, my cat, is like Bagpuss because it means the birds and squirrels are not afraid to come in the garden even when he’s out there. I saw this Black Headed Gull whilst at Muddeford and even though they are considered pests they are very photogenic I think. Black headed gull starling 2 sparrow The Starling and the sparrow were seen at Muddeford also. I like the sparrow shot because he is perched on the really colourful lobster pots. I think they are for lobsters anyway- I guess they could be for crayfish or something? I’m not sure! The Starling was great fun to watch as someone had thrown a bunch of cockles on the floor and there were 3 or 4 of them trying to eat them. They are very fast but this one just stopped and kind of posed for me- was very pleased! mallard 1 female mallard hovering gull flying gull 3 Whilst we were walking along the river at Tuckton, a couple were feeding the ducks with bread and I thought it would be perfect for a photograph as they were so close. I was really pleased when I looked at the images because I got the male just as he was quacking- it looks so cute! Obviously the seagulls wanted in on the bread too so they were hovering around and dipping into the water to pick up the bread. I thought I’d try and get a hovering shot but was prepared for them not coming out right. However, on looking at the images I was quite chuffed that they did in fact come out quite well (in my opinion anyway). I've got my eye on you! This picture of that beautiful dog has now become my favourite photo I have taken. Ever. I took a series of shots as the Starling hopped past him and he did not take his eye off it once. This was the last one and I think it is great- really cute. If you look at the Starling’s legs it looks almost as if it is sort or skipping past the dog, taunting him. And fair play to the dog, he did not try and get the bird. I’m not sure if that was because he was lazy or just well behaved. collie with buoy This Collie dog was a right laugh. He was trying to get anyone that walked past to throw the ‘ball’ for him. He was going crazy with it, talking to it and everyone else around. His owner kicked the buoy for him and he just went nuts- chewing on it and warbling at it! Very, very comical to watch. horse I got the picture of the horse out of my car window as we went past. It was one of the New Forest wild ponies. I’m quite wary of wild horses, well all horses to be fair, so I wouldn’t have got this close if I had been out of the car! They are apparently quite tame though. They also have donkeys out roaming the forest but didn’t manage to get a photo of one, which is a shame because I just adore donkeys. swan swan 4 The photos of the swans were taken at Muddeford and Tuckton. I enjoyed photographing the swans as I think they are such majestic looking birds- if not just a tad scary. The good thing about having a longer lens is that I don’t always need to get too close. moorhen This poor Moorhen was surrounded by a mass of large black flies, but it looked really interesting so I took the picture. I like water birds, I guess I am a bit of a twitcher overall to be honest. Do you know the difference between moorhens and coots? The moorhen has a red beak and the coot has a white beak. I only learnt that last year. A bit of (probably) useless information for you. I am well known for that here at home! wet dog This dog was beautiful. She went in for a little paddle and I thought I’d take a snap. She came running out of the water quite quickly so I just pressed the button. I was very pleased with the results to be honest. A nice ‘action’ shot. Unfortunately I missed her shaking the water off which would have been an even better shot… Don’t forget to check out my Flickr site. I have tons of my photos up there and the majority of those that I post here look better in the bigger sizes. Next time, I think I have the scenic views from my bank holiday day trip.