Greater Spotted Woodpecker just after taking off from a post.

Bird photography is challenging but very rewarding.

As I am interested in nature photography, as well as macro work, I also enjoy trying to capture good images of other natural subjects. One of the most difficult subjects is wild birds.

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

The photo above is my current favourite bird photograph. This was taken with a Sigma 150 – 600mm lens mounted on a Canon 5D4 DSLR. This was all mounted on a gimbal head. The DSLR I have does not have “eye tracking” which is a clever focus system on the more modern mirrorless cameras, where the camera can lock onto, and follow focus, on the eye of birds and animals in the frame.

Capturing birds in flight is something I find very difficult, so I was please with this one, though it is not perfect.

I have had a few sessions where I tried to get good bird images. the best to date were either at Denny’s Wood in the New Forest, UK. or at Windows on Wildlife.

Windows on Wildlife is run by Dean Mason, and is located near Wimborne in Dorset. Dean has a wonderful hide set up to allow photographers good opportunities to capture the local native bird life. The hide is very comfortable and the “set” outside is cleverly laid out to provide a few different types of setting to maximise your chances. Dean also places bird food around the hide, and has been doing so for a number of years, so the birds know it as a good feeding location. Here are some of my images from windows on wildlife.

Another successful location for me was Denny Wood, in the New Forest. Some camera club friends mentioned it as a potential site and agreed to meet me there one day and show me around.

Denny Wood, in the summer, is a campsite. However, in the off season it is simply a car park, but what makes its above average, is the fact that people regularly feed the wild birds here so they have become accustomed to a steady food supply.

Because it is just next to a car park, it can attract a few photographers, but with patience and consideration, it is possible to get reasonable photos here.

When the other photographers left, it was possible to find a more attractive branch to use as a perch.

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