Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Norfolk woods

 I keep my eye on quite a lot of blogs, websites and photo sites (mostly Flickr it seems).   It's a good way to learn what works, see what's around locally and get ideas for photo projects.  One person who has consistently posted good shots on Flickr is David Whistlecraft - in addition to some cracking barn owl shots he has set up a woodland hide and over this winter has posted a good range of species. 
 What really caught my eye were some shots of crossbill drinking at a small pool.  Crossbill are one of my bogey birds and as past readers will know I have also have a bit of a thing about pictures of birds at pools or puddles.  David rents out his hide for photo workshops, so the idea of going to see his set-up, get some ideas and have a chance of some good photo's (maybe even a crossbill) seemed to good to miss.
 Then again it's in Norwich and I'm in South Wales!  I had left on a list of 'somedays', but a week off work led to some plans to head up north, and I persuaded myself Norwich wasn't too big a diversion for me to make on the way home (OK I know, but it's an hour nearer!).
 So plans were made, and although they all went wrong I still made it to Norfolk through a bit of snow for a day and a half of pure bird snapping.  I'll come back to the half a day, but the day in the hide was great.  A bit of snow, some lovely warm light and good views of the birds, along with good company.  I learnt a lot about setting up a photo hide, including a drinking/bathing pool, and just hope I can find somewhere to do something similar.
 No crossbill, but I'll come back to them soon in another post.  I did get some good shots of GS woodpeckers, nuthatch and a range of tit species.  You can see an album of more pictures here , and see some of David's excellent pictures here


Jeremy said...

Great shots. Funny, but I only stumbled on David's Crossbill-at-pool shots a day or two back. Looks like he has a great set-up there.

Brian said...

He does have a good set-up Jeremy, and has done well to find a landowner happy to let him put it together. I'm just hoping I might be able to do something similar, but ideally you need mixed deciduous/conifer woodland. The main wood is used for a shoot so there are also a couple of keepers to discourage unwanted attention.