Sunday, February 10, 2008

Woodland Birds Experience

On Thursday I taught a one-to-one Woodland Birds Photographic experience. My student for the day was the very enthusiastic and willing to learn Stephen Cotterell. We had fantastic weather for the day with some lovely light shifting from slightly soft to full sunlight. This showed the woodpecker's plumage off superbly and Stephen managed to get some great shots as they came down to feed in the baited area. I now manage to get up to 4 individual great spotted woodpeckers visiting my feeding area and although I am loath to use the word 'guarantee' when it comes to wildlife I have never had a student who didn't go away with a full-frame portrait of a 'great spot' since I've been teaching the woodland birds days at Scrag Copse. Other birds that Stephen managed to get were the usual woodland birds such as great tits, blue tits, marsh tits, chaffinches but also nuthatches and a lovely little wren, shown on the left. We were also lucky to get a male sparrowhawk 'contour hugging' as it streaked through the feeding area. If you bait an area regularly enough to attract concentrations of small birds you are sooner or later going to attract the attention of a sparrowhawk...EXCELLENT!
As the light began to fade we left most of our gear in the hide and decided travel light to look for deer. After some stalking we were lucky enough to see up to 6 roe. These beautiful creatures are sometimes called the 'fairies of the forest' and I am proud to have them delicately and silently feeding in their small family groups throughout Scrag Copse.
In all the day was excellent fun and we both came away with full memory cards. You can see some of Stephen's images from the day on the ephotozine website. To enjoy one of the woodland birds photographic days yourself please go via the website and go to the courses page.

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