At last I was back in my happy place, South Devon. Our daughter moved there some years ago so I am now a fairly frequent visitor to the area and I have descovered that it is indeed a wonderfull place. From the rugged and beautiful coastline to Dartmoor, beauty and nature abound.
I had a couple of hours one afternoon so I decided to have a walk along the River Dart that runs through Totnes. My first encounter was with a couple of Cormorants resting on a log in the middle of the river.
I had brought my 1.4x convertor which, when added to my 100-400mm lens gives me an effective focal length of 560mm. It does mean that the aperature is smaller but on this occasion it was a bright day so not too much of a problem.
I also took time to review my camera setting as I had not been too happy recently with my camera settings and the sharpness of my images. I decided to try shooting in JPEG rather than RAW and limit my ISO to 800. All of this is a journey to find the optimum settings and practice more to hone my skills.
I did have some wonderful encounters with the gracefully soaring Buzzard and managed to get some images of them against the blue sky.
Overall I had a fantastic couple of hours in a beautiful area surrounded by nature and to cap it all off I saw a little Egret which provided a final image.
My next outing was to a place that both me and my good lady absolutely love. We often come here and just sit for hours, watching the sea and the wildlife.
With Deb happy taking in the surroundings I set off for a walk along the coast but before I had gone too far I encountered a herd of Highland Cows on the path. Although they look quite intimidating they are realy peaceful and provided a couple of decent images.
I had recently watched a video from another Wildlife photographer that I follow, Espen Hellend. His channel is excellent and worth checking out. I was now trying to shoot in manual mode using a high shutter speed in an effort to get some sharp images and I was please with teh photos of some Herring Gulls that I ended up with.
While there was not much else about I still really enjoyed just being out by the sea, breathing in some fresh air and generally feeling good about life.
Finally I took a walk along the River Yealm to the Estuary. I had timed it so the tide was out, and this being February, (and my birthday) I was hopeful of some waders.
After a while I saw a Redshank in the mud ahead of me. Although he was quite a way out I felt I could get some shots, conditions were good and the Curlew was calling in the background, perfect. The bird stayed around for some time, probing in the mud and it gave me pleanty of oportunities to get some shots. I was able to use a shutter speed of 1/1600 and, with the help of my tripod, I was happy with the result, although it did need quite a bit of cropoping in the edit.
I was also lucky enough to see a pair of Black Headed Gulls larking about which provided some good action images.
Not long after shots rang out from a nearby wood which basically made all the birds fly off and while this wasn’t ideal it did give me an oportunity to get a couple of shots of the Canada Geese and Wigeon flying off.
The afternoon was rounded off nicely with another pair of Wigeon flying as the light started to go but overall another perfect afternoon in South Devon.