Photographing birds on New Year’s Eve

I like taking pictures of almost anything, I don’t mind if it’s still or moving. If there is something in front of me I will have a go, I’ll shoot it. Don’t like the result? Delete it. That’s the magic of digital. Whether I keep the photo or not, I will have learnt something new simply by taking it, even if it’s just realising that shooting that particular thing is not my forte.

Anyway, the thing is in all my time taking photos, I’ve never really stopped to take pictures of birds. Of course I’ve taken a photo here and there of a particular bird that I found aesthetically interesting, -never knowing its name- but have never spent more than about 10 minutes looking at a bird through the viewfinder of my camera.

As the year 2015 ended just yesterday, what better way was there to end it than doing something new. So we went to the Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve, stood inside a hide, -opened the shutters and everything- and took photos of several birds on and around a small freshwater lake with the Nikon 200-500m f/5.6 E ED VR.

I have to admit it’s much more difficult than I expected it to be; birds were static for 30 minutes, drying their feathers in the sun, and then suddenly without a warning they would just take off and in less than 10 seconds they were gone. Focusing was a real problem when they were flying because they were far away and moving fast so many of the shots in a burst were focused on the background. However, I managed to get some nice pictures and I really enjoyed the experience! Below there are some photos of a goldfinch, a heron and an egret which we were lucky to see.

It’s not that I’m going to start a Big Year but it was a good way of finishing year 2015. For sure, I’ll be taking more photos of birds in 2016, a prospect my wife is really looking forward to :)

Goldfinch eating

Heron and egret

Heron taking off

Egret opening wings

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