A change of direction with my latest blog entry - it's a return to some nature photography, after an absence of a few months. It's generally Springtime when I kick start my nature photography and this year is no different as the breeding season kicks in once again. And what better location to reacquaint myself with nature photography, it has to be Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve on the door step that is Houghton le Spring. It's always a challenge to capture those eye catching shots of Mute Swans at sunset, especially at this time of year when these territorial birds let you know in no uncertain terms who is boss. Get too close and you'll know about it, let there be no doubt about that. A little bit of field craft comes into play in these situations and that has developed of the years with experience in similar situations. I've got to know the tolerance levels of Mute Swans, mainly due to many visits to this locations and also by monitoring their habits and behaviour close up. I've gained a lot of knowledge after photographing these birds and have learned not to push the limits. Let them rule their habitat at all times. Do the job and then get out.
So here is my latest set of images, caught shortly after sunset on a mild March evening. The water was still and only a solitary swan on show, which was all I needed. When the sun had gone it was a brief waiting game as I prepared to take my shots with a nice colourful backdrop. And so it came and went, lasting a mere ten minutes. Only a short window to bag the shots, but it was enough. I was only a few feet away from the Cobb (male swan) as it posed for me on one of the many ponds at Rainton Meadows. It seemed more than at ease with my presence and sat contently on the water as the colour appeared in the sky behind it. I appeased the bird with the occasional food pellet, which it welcomed. Without the grub I may have been out of luck. As it was, luck was well and truly on my side on this occasion. I was chuffed with the shots. Here is 3 efforts from a batch of a dozen keepers. Hope you like them. Until the next time, stay tuned...