The Â European white-fronted geese at Slimbridge will be on their way back to their breeding grounds soon so I wanted to photograph them once more before they departed.
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 shall be showing a selection of work from this collection at the Found Gallery in Brecon in May 2023
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 monthsÂ 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.
We woke to rain, nothingÂ unusualÂ about that, but the van wasn’t shaking and it just felt stiller. Looking out to Handa was just too much, we had planned to move back south today but being opposite the island and now with the possibility that today the boat just might run, we had to give it one last shot. We could move down south a little quicker it was a chance we had to take. It had even stopped raining!
I spent a few hours in the ‘doorless’ hide at Forest Farm yesterday, being so close to the city has its problems but it’s a great little spot and always provides something of interest. There had been at least a couple of Bitterns there over the last weeks and quite possibly three!
Little Gulls used to be regular and in good numbers at Seaforth but in recent years they have fallen off considerably and apparently are now gathering in significant numbers on the Wirral. Something to do with a change in theÂ salinityÂ of the marina, which is just on the other side of the reserve, and has affected the insect numbers that predominate on the surface of the water.
Getting access to the Seaforth reserve took a little bit of time and effort, particularly as I’m not on the spot. You’ve got to apply to the port authority police and then have an a short interview with them and get passes for the car and yourself. The previous post looked at the site itself and framed it withÂ respectÂ to the book ‘Edgelands’ This post will look at some of the birds I’ve photographed at the site during a few recent visits.
Down to Labrador Bay (RSPB) for the Cirl Buntings on the way to Falmouth where my daughter is studying on the BA Press and Editorial photography course. Then up to Scotland with my mum and brothers for a long weekend to visit the loch where we scattered dad’s ashes.
A few days on the Solway during February to see the High Arctic archipelago Svalbard Barnacle Geese also bought some good sightings of Ban Owl, Whooper Swans, and the Yellowhammers feeding off the seed of the main paths at WWT Caerlaverock.
On a recent visit to Ogmore estuary I came across a Grey Phalarope, it’s the second time I’ve seen them at this spot. It’s a delight to come across such a delicate and confiding bird and then to spend two or three hours working with it.