• Peter Howarth

Baby by the River

Having found my motivation to get back outside, I am spending more and more time by the river. The longer I spend sitting on its banks the more wildlife I see, from Trout to Kingfishers there is a lot of activity at the moment. Most of the birds I see are catching food for their young.


I have found Grey Wagtails most fascinating parents. They seem to predominantly hunt flying insects, which they do by leaping into the air snatching an insect as it passes by. Amusingly, it appears one insect at a time is not enough and these birds can often be seen with a mouth full of flies before choosing to return to the nest. I have been attempting to photograph these birds for some time and always return with sub par images. Today that all changed.


I arrived at the river and quickly noticed an adult Dipper sat in the distance. After a careful approach, I managed few interesting images before being distracted by a low flying Kingfisher. The sudden movement must have alerted the Dipper as when I turned round it had vanished. Taking this as a sign, I chose to walk back up stream and cross over to other bank. While sat on an island I noticed a young bird perched on a rock, I lifted my lens and was shocked to see a recently fledged Grey Wagtail looking at me. After a few snapshots to prove it was real I re-positioned myself and began to photograph this wonderful bird. A few minutes later the bird flew off to join its brothers and sisters on the far bank and I set off home happy to have finally photographed one of these awesome birds.

D7500 Sigma 150-600c 1/800th sec at f/8.0, ISO 2000


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