Wednesday, 4 August 2010

How to photograph Bag End wildlife

It's not as easy as you might think.

Our window cleaner disappeared at the beginning of the summer and hasn't returned. Despite my best intentions I can't keep the glass clean and it is surprising just how much muck accumulates. This has the effect of making pictures taken from the kitchen very cloudy. Hopefully I've now found a new cleaner and he starts next week.

Whilst many of the birds will fly away at a moment's notice, some of the squirrel are relaxed beyond belief around us. One Sunday afternoon we were walking back to the house from the shed and realised a squirrel was on the feeder. James had time to get his camera and crawl around in the best David Attenborough fashion. He got very, very close!

It was worth it - these are some of his shots from the afternoon.

At least he was able to stand up to take these:

Of course, it does help if you've got some serious Canon glass on the camera - yes, I am saving up for a bigger lens.

I had a wonderful photography assistant arrive in May - thanks to a milestone birthday I acquired some very high quality Manfrotto kit. The tripod is a present from James and I am still bowled over by him and Management conniving behind my back! The pistol grip head was purchased thanks to generous donations from family; we have a tradition that on Big Birthdays we give money so that a significant gift can be acquired.

The tripod has made a huge difference, I've only set it up in the kitchen so far but there are Big Plans (4 letter word?) for a semi-hide between the house and the Bag End Buffet and hopes for some even better photographs next year. Thanks to Treebeard (well, what else do you call a tripod at Bag End?) I was able to take these:

Who knew when we bought this house that in addition to the fabulous view we would be blessed with so much wildlife? The only downside is the ability to take far more photos than I have time to process properly but thanks to the wonders of digital photography it doesn't really matter. It is only a few short years since we used 35mm film but it feels like a lifetime ago.


  1. Thank you for providing the squirrel, and sorry for what you are about to spend on a new lens!

  2. You are so lucky to have red squirrels. We have a couple of greys that keep us amused.

  3. Lovely photos of the red squirrel. They are such beautiful creatures.

    pao would be very jealous of that lense :)

  4. Mrs Pao - I am jealous of that glass too

    GLA - don't get me started on furry tree rats, pure vermin; I will buy champagne for everyone in sight the day we finally eradicate them

  5. Those photos are classics. The little thigs are posing!

  6. Thanks VH, both James and I are pleased with this collection.

    I am sure the squirrels are posing - they know we are watching them and often stop and stare straight back, if only we knew what they were thinking?

  7. Lovely pics, both yours and James'. Better not let OH see this post, we do have a manfrotto tripod somewhere which was bought for birding, but the lens is another matter :o).

  8. SewAli, now you know what to buy him for birthday/Christmas {pfnar, pfnar, pfnar}

  9. Oooh, I love the one with the casual 'back leg over the feeder' pose. Have you stared your Wildlife list yet? Don't forget to put James on it, he has to qualify as Bag end Wildlife if he is photographed crawling around the lawn like that!

  10. CB - smack upside head - no, I haven't started "the list" but I must. Not too late to begin in August I guess.

    Don't call James wildlife, he is housetrained and a very well-behaved guest {grin}

  11. What perfect timing there. I was talking to 4 yo grandson about squirrels while looking at your blog, and what did we see there ... he loved the photos, thanks.

  12. Red do not know how lucky you are....such beautiful creatures. I hate the fact the greys have taken over....they are an absolute pest. And they are not native......

  13. QuiltSue, glad to provide educational assistance!

    Cheryl, trust me, we do know how fortunate we are :}

  14. have fun with your new toy - I'll look forward to more cracking shots from the Bag End Buffet bar. I swear that squirrel is grinning!


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