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.

George.

Black & White Wednesday

Had a few days break from work and was happy the sun decided to shine those few days. So I spent one of them at a few spots along the County Down coast. The tide was out and I was not counting on much wildlife on the mudflats. But the day left me with some grand photographs. So todays image is one of a Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) fishing in a fresh water stream that runs out through the mudflats.

Little Egret: Egretta garzetta

So it turned out a enjoyable day and may you all enjoy your day.

George.

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

Data: f/6.3 @ 1/2000 sec: ISO 360, focal length 600 mm

Black & White Wednesday

Another photograph from a trip to Castle Espie with my grandson Conor. This was taken where they have raised ponds planted out to suit different wildlife. Along the edges there are signage with drawings and the names of what lives in the ponds. So this is me getting a lesson on the newt tadpole that can be found in this pond.

Newt Tadpoles live in here.

Info: https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/castle-espie

Camera: Nikon D7200 with a Sigma 17 – 70 mm lens.

Data: Shot at f2.8, ISO 125 @ 1/1600 second and lens focal length 70 mm.

Thank you for visiting.

George.

Black & White Wednesday

This weeks photograph comes from Castle Espie on the shore for Strangford lough County down. It is part of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust . Link below. After doing the wildfowl area it was into the Secret Swamp were my grandson informed me it’s where the swamp monsters live. So with a few near misses we make it through pass the wishing tree and into the woodland play ground. Along death defying log walks and through pipe tunnels into the safety of the walled fort, only the brave make it. I don’t think I would have made on my own….

The pipe tunnel where no man with a camera should go, only the little folk..

Castle Espie and WWT link: https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/castle-espie#

Nikon D7200 with a Sigma 17-70 mm lens

Data: focal length 17 mm, f5 @ 1/60 sec ,ISO 500

Edited in Lightroom and finished in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

Thank you for visiting,

George.

Black and White Wednesday.

This weeks photography come from the small coastal town of Killough . It sit’s on the County Down coast looking across the Irish sea towards the Isle of Man. It shows the old windmill that overlooks the harbour end of the town from where this shot was taken.

Killough windmill remains.

Link to some history of Killough. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killough#Places_of_interest

Thank you for visiting,

Regards

George.

Black & White Wednesday

This weeks black & white image was taken on the shore of Strangford Lough in County Down in Northern Ireland. The photograph shows a Black Headed gull drinking from a small river that flows into the lough. The gull is in its summer plumage where the head is a dark brown to black colour with a white ring around part of the eye.

Black headed gull, summer plumage. ( Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

Camera: Nikon D7200

Lens: Sigma 150 – 600 mm telephoto lens

metadata: f 7.1 at 1/800 sec: ISO 250

edited in Lightroom and finished in Nik Silver efex pro 2

Thank you for visiting and please comment.

George..

High tide seals.

It was high tide on the County Down coast and I knew then would be little happening concerning wildlife. But also knowing high tide brings the seals to Cloghy rocks. It was a high tide has it covered the rock but the seals were there.

Dundrum-1-2.JPG

Heads and tails has they lay on the rocks below.

Dundrum-1-6.JPG

Dundrum-1-10.JPG

Next a couple of gull shots.

Dundrum-1-7.JPG

Blackheaded gull still in winter plumage.

Dundrum-1-13.JPG

Herring gulls.

Dundrum-1-12.JPG

The old windmill overlooking Portaferry.

And the final image a monochrome shot of a Mute swan taken on the Qouile River, Downpatrick.

Dundrum-1-18.JPG

Thank you for visiting and wherever you are stay safe.

George.

Mud Walker and Thank you..

Hello my friends, well the rain stopped and the sun make a weak showing. So nipped down to the County down coast which is a half hour drive from home. The tide was out and there where plenty on bird life around. but it was to far out on the mudflats for photography. Would have waited for the incoming tide to push them back to the shore but the light drops here around 3.30pm (2.45pm when I got there) and will be dark an hour later.

There were just a few Redshank’s close to the shore, feeding on whatever lives under this liquid mud. So without boring you I’ll post a few photos of these small waders.

Dundrum-1-2.JPG

Dundrum-1-8.JPG

Dundrum-1-17.JPG

Grabbed a few shots of Rooks flying from the tree behind me.

Dundrum-1-10.JPG

Dundrum-1-13.JPG

The next shots were me just playing around with a redshank photo in B&W.

Dundrum-1-19.JPG

Dundrum-1-20.JPG

I hope you enjoyed this quick trip to the coast with me.

Before I go I want to wish you all Season’s Greeting, and THANK YOU all for your support over the year.

May all your wishes be granted in 2020.

Happy new year.

George..

 

 

 

Water babies.

While photographing birds around the coast I noticed birds washing in the incoming tide. So here are some images taken around the County Down coast.

All photograph’s taken with a Nikon D7200  plus a Sigma 150 – 600 lens with a Sigma 1.4 converter and edited in Lightroom.

 

photo190519-1-16.JPG

photo190519-1-18

photo190519-1-19.JPG

Time to dry out.

 

photo190519-1-20.JPG

photo190519-1-21.JPG

Next up is a Hooded Crow or a Grey Backs has they are locally known.

photo190519-1-27.JPG

photo190519-1-29.JPG

photo190519-1-30.JPG

 

photo190519-1-33.JPG

photo190519-1-34.JPG

Deep dive.

photo190519-1-35.JPG

photo190519-1-36.JPG

photo190519-1-31.JPG

Next two photographs of a Common Crow.

 

photo190519-1-38

photo190519-1-39.JPG

He looked like he was enjoying that..

Next the gull that thought he could stop the waves.

photo190519-1-40.JPG

First a warm up.

photo190519-1-43.JPG

Command the wave to stop.

photo190519-1-42.JPG

STOP.

photo190519-1-44.JPG

More practice required.

photo190519-1-45.JPG

Hope you all enjoyed bath time.

Thank you all for stopping, feel free to comment you likes or dislikes.

George