White Perkin

Since the weather has turned colder I have been less motivated to venture out with my camera of late. So I have dug in to my archives for this collection that was taken earlier this year while visiting one our favourite nature reserves. Just as well when I do venture out with my camera I tend to take way too many photos, so always have plenty to fill my photo collections.

I believe this white duck to be a White Perkin, which is a breed of domestic duck. If they are domesticated then no one told this duck, as he may be a long way from home. He seemed to be the only duck of his breed on the lake, surround by mostly Mallards, Swans, and Geese. His white plumage definitely made him stand out against the Mallards, but was almost like he was trying to blend in with the resident swans.

When I photograph wildlife I rarely go out looking for a particular subject (story of most of my photography to be honest), I let the subject find me. Although I had ventured to the nature reserve and I figured that I would probably spend some time around the lakes, I usually let what is around me inspire me.

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.

Swan & Goose

A visit to Rother Valley Country Park is one of our go to places to take in nature, while also getting in some exercise walking around the lakes.

On this occasion it was the swans that captured my attention. The overcast sky reflecting off the water, highlighting the contrast swan’s white plumage against the darkness of the water is what particularly caught my eye. There is never a shortage of water birds on the lake, so it didn’t take long for the resident geese to get in on action and try to steal the show.

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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