goldfinch

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Maybe it’s because it very rarely happens these days or perhaps because it offers new challenges for a wildlife photographer, but am I the only photographer out there that fills up with excitement and anticipation when it snows?!  I just love it, even though as a country we are particularly useless at dealing with the white stuff when it comes to a stand-still.  I am amazed, given the warning, that hardly any gritting took place on so many major roads where I live and even more so, the speeding idiots who think their car will stop even on black ice!  I own a 4WD and it has proven it’s worth over the last few days, but that hasn’t stopped several near misses with those driving way too fast.  I’ve driven for many years along local country roads and always expect the unexpected so whilst driving gingerly at under 10 mph to my feeding station several miles away, I wasn’t at all surprised to come face to face with a van hurtling towards me then locking its brakes and as a result veering here and there.  It stopped just a few metres away where my expert use of international sign language came into use! 

So late Friday morning I headed to my feeding station in the hope of obtaining images of birds in the snow.  They were coming in thick and fast, so much so that there was hardly sufficient time to frame the image.  Eventually I managed to get a few half decent ones, including this splendid goldfinch.  You can see the effect of the snow on the ground, acting like a giant reflector.  

Goldfinch. Nikon D300, 300mm f2.8, manfrotto 055 with gitzo head, dome hide.

Goldfinch. Nikon D300, 300mm f2.8, manfrotto 055 with gitzo head, dome hide.

Great-spotted woodpecker

Great-spotted woodpecker

My favourite image however is this one of a robin perched on a fence post.  It was pure chance and to me sums up the English countryside in winter, much more so than close-up’s.  Perhaps one day it’ll get used as a Christmas card!

robin

It never lasts long enough though and the day after, most of the snow on the trees had disappeared.  A few weeks of snowy weather would allow me to relax a little and think of interesting images rather than trying to get as much as possible within 2 or 3 days and the way the climate is changing I guess there is less and less chance of prolonged severe weather.  What a shame.  

Heading home at sunset.

Heading home at sunset.

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Sunday, December 20th, 2009 Notes from the field, Ramblings No Comments