Common Darter

This is only my second attempt at photographing dragonflies and it’s by no means my best photography. I find them quite tricky little characters to focus on as they rarely stay still long enough to capture their detail in full focus. I happened by this dragonfly purely by chance while exploring a local nature reserve in Nottinghamshire a few weeks back, I believe this to be a Common Darter Dragonfly. After my last attempt of photographing a Damselfly, when I spotted this one I wanted a second attempt at photographing these incredible insects, hoping I could capture it in more detail that my previous attempt.

I have been inspired for a little while now by photographer Mike Powell and his amazing photographs of dragonflies. The attention to detail in his photographs of these flighty little characters is superb. I could only wish that my shots were half as good as his.

Next Summer I need to plan to seek out dragonflies in the hope that I can get more practice as photographing them and capturing them in all their glorious detail.

Female Mallard

When we think of ducks, we usually think of Mallards, and then it is usually the male of the species that first comes to mind with their bright green heads. Even if you type ducks in to Google the first picture that comes up is that of a male Mallard. Although their plumage is a little more understated than that of their male counterparts the female of the species are just as beautiful.

This female seemed quite oblivious to all the other ducks & geese on the lake. She looked quite content on her little rock that was nestled just below the surface of the water. Almost as though she was posing, so it would have been rude not to photograph her.

Common Guillemot

When we visit Scotland to see family & friends we try to make time to explore more of the country of my birthplace. I have to admit I have probably explored more of the North-East of Scotland in the 10 years since I have moved away than I ever did when lived there.

Earlier this year we took the opportunity to explore RSPB Fowlsheugh (Crawton, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire), which we had been informed was an excellent location for seeing nesting seabirds such as Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, and Puffins. It’s estimated that Fowlsheugh is home to more than 130,000 breeding seabirds during Spring and Summer. So with cameras packed and off we went exploring along the cliffs and coastal path.

One of the many seabirds that I was lucky enough photograph on this visit was the Common Guillemot aka Common Murre. We were being careful and respectful of the wildlife by sticking to the paths along the cliff tops. The views over the North Sea and of the seabirds are breathtaking. I would highly recommend visiting.

Red Campion

After 15 months of not being able to travel much further than our own local area due to the COVID pandemic, we finally managed to venture over the border to Scotland in June to visit family and friends. This meant we were able to explore more of the North-East of Scotland’s coastline and take in some of magnificent coastal views.

This was our first trip to Bullers of Buchan (Aberdeenshire), which is about 6 miles south of Peterhead. We’d heard several reviews stating it was a perfect location for Puffin spotting, so we actually went with the mission of hopefully being able to photograph some Puffins. Sadly we did not manage to spot any to photograph. We did manage to capture a few good photos of some other seabirds, which I’m saving for another post.

As well as being a perfect location for photographing seabirds, the rugged coastline and flora are just magnificent to photograph. The cliffs are covered in various wildflowers including these Red Campions, which line the edges of the foot-trails along the cliffs. I couldn’t resist photographing the flowers as they swayed in the wind looking out to sea.

Drumstick Primula

Memories of Spring…taken earlier this year while exploring a local woodland garden. These Drumstick Primula’s (Primula denticulata) caught my eye, their delicate white flowers highlighted by the Spring sunshine through the trees.

Two of my favourite seasons are Spring and Summer. Seeing nature spring back into life and burst with colour again as the weather begins to warm up after the colder Winter months always lightens my mood.

As we now slowly move in to Autumn I thought I would look back at some of the photos that I had taken earlier in the year, that I’ve not had the chance to share until now.

The Bumblebee & Ragwort

Our garden continues to be a source of photographic inspiration. The Ragwort that we planted last year has flourished the last few months, attracting various pollinators (bees, butterflies, and hoverflies).

The last few days I have managed to capture some great shots of hoverflies with my iPhone 12 Pro, but somehow I always feel like I’m cheating using my phone camera. So this time thought I should use my trusty DSLR. I didn’t spot any hoverflies on this occasion, but there were plenty of Bumblebees enjoying our Ragwort.

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