… So to the evening session and a good couple of hours with the Kittiwakes but this time with an overcast sky.
Category: Birds Eloquent Project
Birds Eloquent looks at the visual poetry of birds within the environment and the context within which they are found. It explores the relationship between place and species and also looks at how birds interact with each other within a fragile ecosystem.
The project simply grew from a love of being with birds all my life, watching and recording from an early age and accompanying my brothers on bird outings. All the work is carried out in the British Isles, a country offering so much diversity but under so much pressure.
Never chasing, never collecting species, never year lists or life lists, just a love of watching, anticipating and being in the company of birds. Photographically, I came late to birds, and would rather, at the end of a days shooting, have an eloquent image of a more common species than a record shot of a rarer one. My main focus is exploring how the medium can help convey a sense of place and the extraordinary habits of birds, giving a sense of my own experiences in the field.
As the work continues to develop I find myself pulling back from the bird and working more with how it is experienced in the field. Time waiting for the ‘right moment’ is time not only invested in the image but in my well being and this aspect of ‘slowing down’ is becoming central to the work.
‘I’ll just leave it for you to see’ were Mike’s words as we were driving through South Shields towards Marsden. He’d mentioned nothing about Kittiwakes, a lift or a pub and as we drove into the car-park none of this trio were evident, but he’d said something about a grotto?
A week spent in Northumberland with my brother to see a few exhibitions he’s been involved with was inspirational in many ways and has pushed me forward in thinking about my own work.
Here’s the follow on from the previous post. The puffins are the stars but there’s a pretty good supporting cast as well. The evening produced a subtle sunset and the piece we had craved for during the day.
Gilfach is a wonderful example of how farming can co-exist with the welfare of wildlife. All to often maximisation of produce for profit has stripped the land bare of the habitats that are needed to maintain a balance that allows a place for both production and wildlife, here it is different.
A trip up to RSPB Dinas, and a new CCW reserve for me yesterday, proved very productive with regards to the expected species, although the woods did seem a little quiet for this time of year than I remember from previous seasons. I’m wondering if this has anything to do with the lateness of spring in general?
The cuckoo is a remarkable bird and has always had a special relationship with spring. Since the 1980’s they have declined by 65% and I certainly remember them in places that they have long since gone. Why, is a bit of a mystery.
A recent visit to Slimbridge served to emphasise how images can be applied to various different aspects within the field of bird photography.
I was walking through the grounds in the morning and became aware of one of the wardens, James Lees, searching a particular stretch of bushes by the side of the South Finger hide. He’d thought he’d heard the call of a rare warbler but couldn’t locate it. I owned up that if I saw the warbler he was on about I wouldn’t recognise it for what it was, let alone be in a position to identify its call.
A few days spent on the river Wye, close to Fownhope, gave a good opportunity to work with what appeared to be a resident and local population of mute swans. There were 25 birds in all and during the time I was there spent all of their time within an area of a couple of hundred yards.Continue reading
Up on the mountain road yesterday, between Bridgend and Maesteg, I came across six fieldfares and a redwing, a little further on and a small group of mistle thrushes were feeding in the short grass.
The white-fronts appear to have gone and the Bewick swans are on their way. Favourable weather for migration over the last day or so has encouraged the move and it wont be till late next autumn that the chance to see these classic birds comes our way again.Continue reading
This set of images are beginning to acknowledge the context in which the geese and swans birds are experienced and were all taken at Pilling, Lancashire. Rather than always trying to get closer and closer and thus denying the space that they exist within, the aim is to give over a more holistic experience of being in the landscape with the birds.
I’ve spent a lot of time of the last few weeks and months photographing wild geese and swans. They hold a fascination for me and one that I’ll explore soon in a essay in the ‘Birds Eloquent’ section of the web site.