Lockdown wildlife.

First I hope you are all keeping well and safe where ever you are in the world. Here in the north of Ireland we are back in a four week lockdown but we can still go out to exercise. So when the weather allows I pack the camera and head for the coast. I’m lucky that I have some great mud flats where the sea birds and wading birds feed within a 30 – 40 minutes drive. So the following photographs have been taken over the last few weeks along the County Down coast. Most of them have been shot with a Nikon D750 camera fitted with the Sigma 150 – 600 mm telephoto lens, some handheld and others using a tripod fitted with a gimble head. The following link is a great site for bird information here in Ireland and the UK. https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/curlew/

The above is the Curlew ( Numenius arquata) taking off , great fun to watch has they sprint up to take off speed.

Here we see the Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) it’s a very distinctive bird with it’s bold black and white plumage, orange beak and legs but most of all that blood red eye.

Next the Brent goose ( Branta bernicla) This small goose  is similar in size to a mallard duck. Can be hard to get good photographs with the eye showing because of the dark coloured neck and head. With the setting sun behind me it was just right this evening. They are always in a flock and the on singled out here is seen drinking.

The Snipe(Gallinago gallinago) this is a bird that is getting rare to see here, it’s numbers have declined over the years. When I was a kid at school ( a long time ago) these where common and seen over most marshes daily. I was surprised to see two of them together. The Brent geese disturbed them and these one flew closer to me and nested down into the seaweed.

The Redshank (Tringa totanus) gets it’s name from it’s most distinctive features, their bright orange-red legs. I find these are one of our most common birds along this part of the coast. They can be found in large flocks or today just a few feeding on the incoming tide.

The next photographs where taken from my van when I saw this Kestrel just for the road side. I pulled over and shot a few frames before it moved off.

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) these are a small falcon and are often seen as here along the road sides hovering looking for small prey.

The colour is a little weak in these photographs of the Kestrel with the bright sky behind them but since they were part of the coast outings I included them.

Thank you for visiting and I’ll leave you with a image of Portaferry across Strangford lough.

Brent geese with Portaferry in the back ground and Windmill hill on the right.


Black & White wednesday

This week we’re off to the coast and a small black and white bird called a Pied wagtail (Motacilla alba) is the subject. They are a common bird here in Ireland and the UK and can be seen all year round. They can be found almost any where, from coast to city centres. When standing they frantically wag their tail up and down or dashing across the ground in search of food.

Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba).

Camera: Nikon D750 with a Sigma 150-600 mm lens

Data: 1/800 sec @ f/6.3: ISO 320

Lens focal length: 600 mm

Stay safe,



I got a used Sigma 150 – 600 zoom lens, it’s about six months old and is in excellent condition. Included  with it was a 1.4 tele – converter which I have yet to try. Camera used was a Nikon D7200. First Photo here was taken from my car, the weather was strong winds and heavy rain. So the light was dull and grey and the subject a Curlew (Numenius arquata) was around 45- 50 metre’s/meter’s away and was a handheld shot. The shot has been chopped and is slightly soft. But unless you were enlarging it, I feel it’s acceptable.



Next up was shot in my mother’s garden. Again hand held and the weather was warm and bright with no wind. The Nikon D7200 was used and the Robin ( Erithacus rubecula) was around 25 Metre’s away. I chopped this photo tighter that the last and has you can see the detail is good.


If you look close you can see cobwebs running from the leaf level with his beak up to the thorn’s above. The last photo was taken at the coast has a storm was rising. I was shooting waves breaking over onto the road from the beach. Breakers were coming with in a few feet from where I was standing. I noticed water spray blowing off the breaker tops. I got the Sigma and D7200 from the car and using it set around 200mm mark, I shot the following wave. Not chopped in to enlarge but chopped into the  format you see. The result is not bad. Again hand help in strong winds which were coming from behind me.


wave 21.10.17 b.w.JPG

It was while taking this shot a wave closer in broke a little later and I got wet legs from the knees down. At lease the few people on the bank behind me got a laugh.

So I’m looking forward to using this lens with and without the 1.4 converter. Also with the full frame camera. Will report back in a future post.

Thank you for visiting.