Top UK locations for bird photography
There are some truly wonderful locations right in the UK that are perfect for a spot of bird photography. Below are a few of my favourites and some of the best popular spots for creating some stunning images.
It’s a birders’ paradise and one of my favourite spots, especially during autumn and winter. The beach is my ‘go to’ place for shooting images of waders, offering a wonderful place to get eye level with a range of species. For the best shots, work with an incoming tide, which helps push the birds up the beach towards you, and get down low for eye-level views. Ditch the tripod and work with a bean bag or ground pod for shooting and be prepared with waterproofs and some warm clothing. Also, cover your camera up with a rain cover or similar to protect it from salt and sand, taking care to clean it off after a day on the beach! Sanderlings, Turnstones and Oystercatchers are highlights here.
GIGRIN FARM (MID WALES)
One of the key locations for the re-establishment of Red Kites in the UK, Gigrin is a wonderful place to get to grips with some ‘bird-in-flight’ images. The kites offer fabulous opportunities and there are a range of hides from which to shoot. When shooting, often it’s best to wait until after the initial free for all… wait for the kites to come in on a more singular basis. Large birds are a great subject to hone your ‘in flight’ skills.
Off the coast of Northumbria, the Farnes are one of the UK’S best wildlife locations for spring and summer. Full of Puffins, Guillemots and other seabirds, it’s a fantastic place for shooting images. Taking a boat over for a full day you will have to opportunity to work with an array of subjects. Staple Island is my personal favourite, although it can often be harder to land on owing to wind and tides. Be sure to take your time, don’t rush up to the key lookout areas. Stick to a small spot and settle down to watch and focus on what’s going on. Remember, it’s far better to come home with 10 perfect images, than thousands of half decent ones! Oh, and if its sunny, be sure to slap on the sun cream as there’s little shelter.
Getting started in bird photography is fantastic fun, learning the new skills of using your camera and being able to create the images you want give a huge amount of satisfaction. Working closely on a local patch or exploring abroad, shooting images can really bring you closer to your subject, as you take in every detail before pressing the shutter. Hopefully, over the last three tutorials you have taken away some tips and ideas for your own photography and now comes the fun part, putting them to use!