Recently I have made some posts on niche photographic topics. While these are interesting, they aren't actually supposed to be the main focus of my website. Most of my photos are of wildlife and birds in particular, but I haven't written anything about either. Without engaging in apologetics too much the reason for this is because it is winter. Winter is bad for wildlife photography for a few reasons. Firstly, it is really hard to get out and photograph. Being cold is usually easy to deal with. The wind on the other hand can make outdoor activity a real chore. The days are short which limits the amount of available to time go out and photograph. This is an acute issue because the free time I normally go shooting, the morning and evenings, are severely curtailed. Secondly, the lighting in winter is generally very poor. It is often cloudy which lowers the available light. Bird photography requires fast shutter speeds so poor lighting forces you to use uncomfortably high ISO levels. Further the quality of the light is poor as the clouds soften it and thus degrades the quality of the pictures taken. Thirdly, birds are more difficult to find. As part of the seasonal cycle many birds die off over the winter before being repopulated in the spring/summer. Obviously this means there are less birds around. Some birds migrate away so there is simply no chance of seeing them. A few token birds like the Eurasian Coot migrate here in the winter, however they are intensely uninteresting.
With all that being true, it isn't impossible to get some good birds shots in winter. I tried a few times and failed miserably. This time I set out for Sherwood Forest, which yielded better results. I have been to Sherwood plenty of times and it was featured in an earlier article Infrared Photography - The Cure For Haze as the vantage point from where I took my photos. Sherwood forest in a fascinating place. It marks the change in geography of the region from open grassland to the foothills of the Australian Alps. The actual 'forest' is part of a pine forest plantation which has its own unique ecosystem. There are wild pigs which live in the forest although I don't have any pictures. Getting some would be somewhat dangerous. I found a dying Bassian Thrush there in the summer which was truly fascinating. All that is to say there is a lot to see there if you go looking for it.