Seal Beach

Lately I have found myself busier at work, which has resulted in spending less time behind the camera and writing blog updates. When I have been able to spend behind the camera, I’ve not quite managed to find the time to sort out any photos that I have taken.

Last month we finally managed to travel North of the border to Scotland to visit family and friends for the first time since the COVID pandemic. As well as catching up with family and friends we always try to go out and explore some of the natural beauty of the North-East of Scotland and this time was no exception.

One of our favourite places in Aberdeenshire to visit has always been Newburgh Beach (aka Seals Beach). We usually stroll along the beach and watch on the seals on the other side of the bay and in the sea. But on this particular occasion we were lucky enough to have a seal venture onto the same side of the beach as us, only feet away from where we were walking, and happily posed for us as we snapped away. It was one of those situations where you wanted to get closer, but also wanted to keep your distance as to not spook the seal. Although I don’t think he would have cared much even if we had we sat right next to him. He seemed quite relaxed just lazing on the sand almost oblivious to people strolling along the beach. I’m pretty sure we were all more interested in him than he was in us.

Bumblebee on Cosmos

A lot of patience is usually required when photographing bees (any winged insect for that matter) just as you have focused on them they are off to their next plant or flower. I love watching them as the busy themselves collecting nectar and pollen from the plants that they visit.

I captured these shots while photographing some Cosmos flowers (aka Mexican Aster) where the soft pink of the blooms caught my eye, clearly I was not the only one they caught the attention of.

Woodland Feast

A slightly overdue post due to not having been out exploring much with the camera lately. So another collection from my archives.

Anyone who is a regular follower of my photography will know that squirrels are my favourite woodland animal. These particular shots were taken during last Autumn. Although Summer is my favourite season of the year, I love the colours of Autumn, especially when exploring woodland. Being able to capture some shots of this little fellow in the splendour of the Autumn golds and browns was magnificent. His own colours complement and blend well with the Autumn hues.

Hopefully as Summer approaches and the world returns to a resemblance of “normal” times I will be able to find more time and motivation for photographic expeditions.

Little Robin

On a nature walk a couple of weekends ago we spotted this little chap. Robins can be so tricky to photograph as they rarely sit still long enough to capture the perfect shot. Thankfully on this occasion this little Robin posed quite contently as I photographed him.

As the weather is starting to warm up slightly I’m trying to find the motivation to go out for walks, which I’m not finding easy at the moment. But when I do find the motivation to venture out with my camera for nature walks and you spot sights such as this it makes it all the more worthwhile. It reminds you how important it is to try and connect with nature on some level.

Looking for Nuts

A much needed splash of colour after my last few Winter themed posts. Although I took these shots last October they make me think of Spring. Maybe it’s the luscious green grass, or possibly my longing for Spring to be in full swing after what feels like such a long Winter.

I had forgotten that I had taken these shots or at least forgotten that I’d not shared them. They were taken at Peasholm Park, Scarborough during our only holiday last year. Peasholm is probably one of best parks that I know for Squirrel watching and most of them are fairly tame.

Squirrels are definitely one of my favourite woodland creatures and I could spend hours watching them. Although they are usually quite skittish it is always extra special when they trust you enough to come and eat from your hand.

Bumblebee

Bees may not bee (pun very much intended) everyone’s favourite insect. However they are very important to the life-cycle of our planet, and how can you not love these little pollinators? They may not be the easiest subject to photograph (patience is definitely required to get the perfect shot) but when you get that perfect clear shot they are interesting subjects. Its not always easy to see them in full detail with the naked eye, but armed with my trusted zoom/macro lens I can capture them in all their glory.

Little Duckling

On one our many getting in touch with nature / photo expedition walks we spotted this little fellow. As you can see he was quite tame, coming right up on to the riverbank.

I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to spend more time recently getting closer to some of our native wildlife. This year has been hard in many ways, but it also has given me some simple moments of joy. The joy of reconnecting with nature.

Wild June

Throughout June I have been taking part in The Wildlife Trusts annual “30 Days Wild” challenge, which I have modified slightly from taking part in something wildlife/nature related to a wildlife/nature photo challenge. The concept has been the same I have been able to enjoy the nature and wildlife around me.

As I predicted, I find committing to daily challenges, well, quite frankly, a challenge! I managed to see the challenge through until the end of June even if I may not have shared photos every day. The extra spare time of being in lockdown has definitely helped, allowing me more time to spend connecting with nature. While abiding by our lockdown guidelines obviously. I have enjoyed connecting with nature more through my photography and I am sure that to some extent it has helped me survive lockdown.

Because I can’t just take one photo when I’m on a photo expedition most of my daily photos are part of a larger series of photos that I have taken on that day, which I have not shared the additional shots as part of this challenge. I shall share these as future portfolio posts.

A Snail’s Pace

A #30DaysWild themed post. So wildlife photography isn’t always about photographing birds, squirrels, and other bigger creatures. Sometimes you have to slow things down to a snails pace (see what I did there? Sorry but not sorry, lol) and get low down to see the smaller creatures that we share our beautiful planet with.

Snails was my muse of choice for day 3 (3rd June) of my 30 Days Wild photo challenge. The weather had been miserable as it had rained most of the day and was much cold than we’ve been used to the last few weeks. So I wasn’t motivated to go much further than our garden in search of nature. The rain had brought all the snails to life. I know most people aren’t a fan of snails (especially if your a gardener), but all animals and insects etc serve a purpose. Like people we should all learn to get along and live side by side. I hadn’t realised that snails are a fan of bird seed or at least this little fellow is. The bird seed that we’d left on our garden wall had clearly attracted him away from our flowers. There was also another perched on our bird table, I’m sure that’s a risky venture when your a snail and he’s bound to be a birds next meal. The circle of life.

Woodland Squirrel

Taken last month during one of our lockdown walks here are some more shots of my favourite woodland squirrel. This little fellow sat for quite some time allowing me to get as close as I dared without scaring him off. He quite happily sat within touching distance for at least 20mins if not longer watching me take photos of him.

Squirrels are one of my woodland wildlife favourites, though usually they prove quite difficult to photography as they can be quite elusive. Lockdown seems to have tamed them of late, we have also been lucky enough to have a squirrel visit our back garden semi-regularly. Our quieter parks and streets are becoming more inviting to our native wildlife. I hope that nature and our native wildlife will continue to encroach in to our lives after lockdown, sadly I fear that this may not be the case. It has been lovely to witness first-hand some of the wildlife around us up close.

Blackbird on the Wall

One of the benefits of the current UK Lockdown / social distancing and being at home more than usual is having the time to notice all the wildlife that visits our garden. Most of our garden visitors are birds, including; Sparrows, Blackbirds, Pigeons, Crows, Tits, and various other birds.

This little fellow settled down to enjoy some of the nibbles that we left out for our garden visitors.

Back Garden Wildlife

How are we all surviving lockdown / self isolating? In between spates of home working some of our extra spare time has been occupied by wildlife watching. Our living room window that looks out on to our back garden has been delighting us with views of various garden visitors. Normally our visitors are various breeds of birds, including; Sparrows, Tits, Magpies, Blackbirds, Crows, & Pigeons. But twice now we’ve been graced with the presence of a Squirrel who seems to enjoy the seeds & nuts we have put out for our feathered guests.

Although most us are social isolating it doesn’t mean that we have lock ourselves away from the natural world. In fact I believe that getting back to nature might actually help us all get through self isolating. We’re lucky enough to have a garden, for those that don’t have gardens we can all still get back to nature while out walking for our daily exercise while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.