One of the things I haven't photographed in great amounts over the last few years is the wildlife that surrounds our villages and towns, the animals that you see every day. I have been more inspired by the landscapes and architecture, but recently I have found my focus changing.
With the new year comes new challenges and one of my efforts in 2022 will be to capture some of this wildlife and to learn a bit more about the behavior and patterns of the animals in the local area.
Let's start with some of the things you might see in the back garden:
First off the most popular visitor of all, the common sparrow (this one nestled high in some thick undergrowth)
A close relative of the common sparrow is the dunnock (or hedge sparrow) - you see, I am learning stuff all the time! - this very similar bird can be found feeding on the ground or hiding in thick bushes It's quite a shy creature really.
One creature that is anything but shy is the blackbird with its jet black feathers (male) and its bright yellow beak - quite a thing to witness in the sunshine.
Obviously, it's not only just birds we see in our gardens these days, virtually every garden has a grey squirrel population, and if you stick some seeds out you will quite soon get a visitor. They are great to watch and monitor as they go about feeding.
Moving out of the garden environment and on to the farmlands that surround the town, you will soon come into contact with sheep - another great animal to study and timing is key to getting a good shot.
Lots of the farmland has ponds and small stretches of water that attract ducks and of course seagulls and I prefer to capture the female ducks who seem to have more about them than the green-headed mallards.
I caught this duck stretching his wings and getting ready to move off - the extended wingspan is just a thing of great beauty.
When you get ducks on a farm, you also get chickens, and again these are great animals to shoot, such detail in the head and eyes.
Moving away from the feathers for the next shot we go to horses, where again patience and timing is the key to getting a great image - this horse in a field didn't let me down.
For our final two images, we return to the trees and bushes firstly for a not-so-familiar bird, certainly to gardens, the Nuthatch. I captured this little chap in the sunshine as he was looking around for his next meal.
By the looks of him, I think he has just found it.
Last but by no means least, the classic British bird, with its very familiar redbreast - the Robin. A small shaft of relatively warm sunshine split the trees and he was not going to miss out.
I really have enjoyed my first few weeks foray into the world of wildlife, I am starting nice and simple before moving on to more challenging targets, but for now, I hope you enjoyed the sights of the creatures that live amongst us.