Friday, 30 December 2011


Just a quick heads-up to let you know that I've set up a Twitter account to run along side of this blog and the main website...

If you should wish to follow and you're more than welcome to, it's @ajdixonphoto

I hope everybody has had a good festive period and I'll be back in 2012...Thanks!!

Oh here's a photo of a Grey Heron, for no other reason other than I like them...

All the best for the New Year.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas

I'd just like to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year...Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Cheeky Visitor...

On the bird table!

Monday, 5 December 2011

House Sparrow

After a second day of zero sunshine, I decided I needed to look through some old shots to remind myself why winter is my favourite season for photography...

I have always felt there is something quite special about the winter light and when the sun is low in the sky, I feel it always gives the subject a lovely warmth that is often lacking from shots taken in the sometimes harsh light of summer...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Formby Reds On The Up!

Heartwarming news from the National Trust regarding the plight of the Red Squirrel at Formby Point on Merseyside...

Formby has been for many years one of the last English strongholds for our true native Squirrel, but a devastating outbreak of Squirrel Pox in 2008 left the animals on the brink of extinction at this important site.

The good news is, against all odds, the Red Squirrel has made a remarkable fightback and after a very successful breeding season, 2011 numbers are up 60%.
Long may it continue...

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Red Grouse In Snow

Following on from the other days wintry post, I thought I'd share a couple of shots of Red Grouse taken on a very cold but sunny morning in the Derbyshire Peak District...

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Frozen Planet

Myself like many of you I'm sure, have been captivated for the last few Wednesday nights by the BBC's latest brilliant wildlife series 'Frozen Planet'.
This amazing Attenborough presented masterpiece is set in the harshest environments on earth, namely the Polar regions.

In the winter of 2009-2010, Britain suffered arctic-like conditions for long spells as temperatures plummeted to as low as -20 degrees.
During this period, I was out and about with my camera, documenting the affect the weather had on wildlife and today, inspired by 'Frozen Planet' I thought I would share a few images...

                                                                    Sheep in blizzard 

                                                                      Grey Heron

                                                                      Greylag Geese

Sunday, 27 November 2011

A Robin Is For Life And Not Just Christmas...

It's only 4 weeks until Christmas and of course there isn't a bird that signifies the festive period more than the Robin...That is if you don't count the Turkey that is!

Like a lot of people, the charming little Robin is a favourite of mine and I  can never resist taking a photo of them whenever I get the opportunity.
To celebrate the humble Robin, I've chosen the bird to be the subject of the latest portfolio in the 'Showcase' gallery on my main website...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Red Deer In Red Mist

The goal today was to capture some shots of Red Deer, so I set off just before dawn and arrived at my moorland location just as the sun was rising.
It was a beautiful start to the morning and I was treated to the rather pleasant scene of the sun rising from behind the hills where a light mist was rolling in...

All the signs were that this was going to be a nice morning of photography and all I had to do was locate the Red Deer!
As I scoured the landscape for the Deer, it became apparent that the mist that was rolling down from the hills was getting a lot denser and the early promise of good light was evaporating quickly...

 By this time, the mist could no longer be called mist as it had become thick fog and visibility was down to only a few yards.
There wasn't going to be much chance of photographing Deer in these conditions, I thought to myself...It would be impossible to even spot them, let alone get pictures of them!

I was at this point ready to call it a day, but the visibility was so bad, it would have been treacherous to attempt to walk back through the fog over the moors, so I decided to sit it out until the light got better.
Eventually, the sun made an effort to break through the fog..

One thing to remember about the moors, is weather conditions can change in minutes and a short time later the sun had won it's battle and the fog had reverted back to a rolling mist.

Looking into the direction of the sun there was a wonderful golden misty glow and I surveyed the landscape through my lens hoping to pick up some sort of focal point so to capture the atmospheric scene.

I could hardly believe my luck when I spotted up on a hill, through the dreamy golden hew, three Red Deer Stags perfectly silhouetted...

It was the kind of shot that I'm always on the lookout for and I often find that shooting into the sun can  provide some stunning effects.

I've been successful using this technique with a number of species before, but never with Deer.
All in all a pretty decent mornings work despite at times feeling that it was going to be fruitless.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Brothers In Arms

According to his various news feeds, Andy Rouse one of the worlds leading wildlife photographers, this week embarked on a new project for 2020 Vision...
The criteria is for Andy to photograph Red Kite and on Monday he paid the first of several planned visits to Gigrin Farm in Wales.
Gigrin is a wonderful place that myself and of course hundreds of other photographers visit every year and seeing a few of Andy's images from the day prompted me to look in my archives at shots that I have taken at this location.

It's not just Red Kites that are attracted to the Gigrin feeding station, there are also good numbers of Common Buzzard that wouldn't pass on the opportunity of a free meal also, so I thought today I'd post something a little different from the usual close-up and show you a shot of the two species flying in tandem over the landscape...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


Juvenile Shag that I saw on West Kirby Marine Lake a couple of winters back.
I just had to remind myself after Sunday's disappointing trip, that there are more often than not some very nice birds to see on the lake.

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Wirral...One Of Those Days!!!

I had a choice to make yesterday...Stay fairly local and photograph Red Deer or drive the 50 or so miles to the Wirral and capture some coastal birds.
Having checked the forecast for both locations for a few days leading up to Sunday (bright sunshine) I decided on the Wirral.

I left the house at around 6.30am in darkness and the longer the journey went, the more I noticed that there was a distinct lack of any hint of a sunrise!
On arrival at my first planned stop at West Kirby, I was greeted by a very gloomy looking scene.
In fact not just gloomy, but very cold and windy too!

On the rocks by the Marine Lake, there were various waders roosting which included Turnstone, Dunlin, Knot and Redshank.
Unfortunately without flash and with a shutter speed of 10s at iso1000 I wasn't able to get any decent shots before the birds departed for the shore.

By the time I made it down to the shore, the light had improved enough for me to get some sort of photography out of the trip and with my Wellingtons sinking deep into the very boggy sand I made my way towards some distant feeding Shelduck...

I didn't attempt trying to get any nearer the Shelduck, because there was a real risk of quicksand and I had already prised my boots out of the sand several times up to then!
I next headed (on much firmer ground)  on the fruitless venture of trying to capture some feeding Redshank.

Missing out on the Redshank didn't annoy me as much as missing the Little Egret that had taken to feeding at the spot where I stood photographing the Shelduck!
To be honest, the morning was turning out to be a very frustrating one indeed and despite there being large numbers of birds on the beach, getting close to them was becoming a real problem.

The one highlight at West Kirby yesterday as always, was watching the large flocks of Knot lifting to the sky every time something spooked them...

The sad news is, that on a 5 hour shoot at one of my favourite and most productive locations, the best I could do at getting close to a bird was this Herring Gull...

After spending a very cold and frankly disappointing morning at West Kirby, I decided to move down the coast and try my luck at Parkgate.
Parkgate despite being a birdwatchers paradise is a place where no small amount of luck is required to get decent images and it isn't always the most photographer friendly location.
The trouble with Parkgate is the more interesting subjects are usually quite a fair distance away in the scrapes.

I only stayed an hour or so at Parkgate and after missing out at West Kirby, there was a little consolation after I spotted a distant Little Egret...

By now I had just about had enough for the day and after receiving a phone call telling me how sunny it had been back home, I decided it was time to head back there.
I did however very nearly give into the temptation of stopping off at Burton to try and photograph a reported Glossy Ibis...Sometimes though, you just know when your lucks not in and when to cut your losses!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Shall We Have A Robin?

Well it's Friday, I haven't taken any new photos this week and I really like Robins!!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Dark Peak Grouse

I was up and out at first light this morning for a first trip in several months to one of my favourite locations, the Dark Peak region of Derbyshire.

The ice on my car windscreen was a bit of a giveaway, but I'm experienced enough to know that clear Sky's and sunshine don't make things any less harsher at one of the most remote and hostile places in Britain...It was bloody freezing up there!!

I was hoping to capture the elusive Mountain Hare today and walked deep onto the moors to an area which is always a decent place to spot them...Sadly I had no luck though, despite finding plenty of tracks in the soft peat bogs.

One creature that was a lot easier to find was my old favourite, the Red Grouse...

Did I say easy to find? They can be pretty aloof too when they want to be...

Unless of course you start to get too close...

Interested in photographing Red Grouse?  Then please visit my website...

Saturday, 5 November 2011

A load of Bull...

We all know how frustrating it can be when trying to photograph a subject in poor or flat light and the same can be said when the light is good and there is nothing of note to photograph!!

Sometimes you just have to make the most of things and grab what you can and this is exactly what I did with the image below...

It was taken on moorland in Derbyshire last Autumn and I had got up there early with the intention of photographing Red Deer.
It was a cold morning with a light dusting of frost which evaporated into a mist as the sun rose and looking straight into the sun made for a beautiful golden glow.
Sadly, there were no Deer present at this time, but all was not lost and I settled on capturing the only other creature around...A Bull!!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Making A Splash!!

                                                            Female Goldeneye

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Up Close & Personal...

As a general rule, I tend to like to include a bit of my subjects environment in my wildlife pictures, but every now and again I can't resist zooming in and capturing the finer details, especially with the smaller subjects.

Here's a couple of images that emphasize this point...


                                                                     Blue Tit

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


 A few shots taken on Sunday of a very obliging Lapwing...

Monday, 31 October 2011

Speckles In The Sky...

Yesterday morning at Marshside, looking out towards Marton Mere (not to be confused with Martin Mere) and Blackpool, I was treated to a preview of an amazing spectacle which would occur later in the day at dusk...

A flock of around 30,000 to 40,000 Starlings were darkening which was already at that time in the morning a very dull sky.
Reports from Marton Mere suggest more than twice this number of birds performed their amazing display at dusk and I'm kicking myself that I didn't hang around to witness it!
I'm not too downbeat though because over the next couple of months, these displays are fairly commonplace at this location.

I felt quite privileged to be present at this smaller daytime display and even more so when several thousand Starlings landed about 100 yards from where I was watching...

 I was treated to a close and very noisey flypass...

Why Starlings perform theses incredible mesmerizing feats has always been somewhat of a mystery and has baffled scientists and ornithologists for years.
It really is one of the true wonders of nature...

Sunday, 30 October 2011

More Whoopers

A couple  more Whooper Swan images, taken today at Martin Mere in bright midday sunshine...

Whooper Swan

Last week, the first 500 Whooper Swans arrived from Iceland to spend the winter at the WWT centre at Martin Mere in Lancashire.
These birds are the first of up to 2000 Whoopers which are expected to take up residency at the site.
Thousands more of these beautiful Swans will settle at other sites on the coastline of North West England  and many other locations around the UK.                                                           

 I love this time of the year when Migrant species leave the harsh environments of the far north of Europe and lower Arctic to descend on our 'warmer' shores.
Other notable species that arrive in Britain in great numbers to escape the bleak conditions include Pink Footed Geese and on a good year Waxwings.

I fully recommend a visit to Martin Mere at this time of year because the scene played out by the masses of Whoopers is nothing short of spectacular and there probably isn't a better place in the UK to get close up views of the birds before they make the long flight back to Iceland around March.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Happy Grazing

Young Red Deer on a crisp morning...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Autumn Colours

Autumnal tree canopy captured at Etherow Park, Greater Manchester...