Good weather may not be as forthcoming during winter, but I’d argue that winter light is the best of the year, if you can find a break in the clouds.
I checked the forecast and saw a long line of sun symbols, so I donned my thermals and headed out to see what wildlife I could photograph. First I tried for hares at sunrise, but they were otherwise engaged. Frustratingly, golden hour was flaring bright and I was itching to get photos of something, anything, in those syrupy hues.
After several hours with a numb bum, looking at diddly squat, I visited the library to return a book and warm up. When I came out, a flock of tufted ducks were bobbing in the city pond. The light was still fantastic, so I lay on the ground and got snapping. Like mallards, tufties have stunning iridescence if you catch them in direct light. I hadn’t set out for ducks, but it was a happy accident and I loved photographing something so closely for a change.
Rejuvenated by my unexpected success with the ducks, I moved on to one of my local lochs, where there’s always some sort of activity. As usual, the feeders were swept up in a feather storm: chaffinches, dunnocks, robins, great tits, long-tailed tits, blackbirds, woodpeckers and song thrushes all muscled in in for a mid-morning snack.
As my eyes snagged on each passing bird, I realised I couldn’t remember the last time I photographed a blue tit. I’m always looking for rarities and don’t appreciate common birds as much as I should. When I actually paid attention to the blue tits that were zinging in the bright sunshine, I appreciated just how multi-coloured they are. A British bird of paradise!
The sunlight may look warm in my photos but it didn’t feel it, and after a while I was ready to retreat for tea. Before I headed home, a small gaggle of greylag geese swept over the loch, dipping in flight until they skidded to a halt on the surface. Luckily for me they were facing the sun, so I caught some high-contrast shots of their smooth landing.
After an uncertain start, my trip became a common bird appreciation day, which I probably needed. I get blinkered looking for the rare and exotic, but with winter light as special as this, every bird looks superb.
3 thoughts on “Winter Sun”
Beautiful photos. And bonnie birds. 🙂
A wonderful read, and amazing photos aswell
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Thank you so much!