• Claire Stott

2018 Memorable Moments

I can hardly believe it is that time again where I take a look back on the highlights of the previous year. Here are some of my personal favourite photos.

Top row: 1. Hoverfly covered in pollen 2. Mallard duck portrait 3. Starling hunting for grubs         Middle: 4. Male sparrow defending territory 5. Turnstone reflections 6. Mute swan with cygnet     Bottom row: 7. Blackbird in berry bush 8. Mallard bathing 9. Allium flowers


2018 has been somewhat quiet in terms of photography, with less opportunity to visit new places and explore new subjects but I am hoping to improve on this next year, my health allowing.

Despite this there have still been many special encounters, several firsts and even a couple of rescues!

My most memorable moments from the last 12 months:

When thinking back to the events of 2018, the first thing that springs to mind is the day spent caring for a tiny orphan house martin after it fell from it’s nest. I felt an immediate attachment to this tiny, vulnerable little bird and was very sad to have to part with it. I only hope it survived and is now flying free in the wild.

At home with a house martin

Another close encounter was with a much larger bird and in happier circumstances, as a very trusting rook was brave enough to feed from my hand. It was quite a privilege to have shared such an intimate moment with a completely wild bird.

A bird in the hand

Weather also played a significant part in this year’s events. As the ‘beast from the east’ swept over the country the freezing, windy conditions brought a few unusual visitors to my local patch. These included my first sightings of stonechats and a lapwing!

Calm after the storm

At the beginning a rare covering of snow enabled me to take some wintery photos of my dog and cat. Sadly by the time the birds emerged to brave the cold, much of the snow had already melted away! Better luck next time…

Snow day

The pigeon flock once again featured in a lot of images this year. Having gained their trust over the years I have been able to watch much of their natural behaviour up close. On this occasion a pair of birds were even comfortable enough to perform their entire mating ritual right before my eyes.

Love birds

Finally the year would not be complete without a look at our mute swan family whose lives I have now followed for over three years. This summer they raised just one youngster to independence.  Here it is trying out it’s clumsy new wings.

Cygnet at 3 months

2018 awards/achievements:

  1. Shortlisted in the ‘International Wildbird’ photo competition

  1. Runner up in ‘Hill’s Kitten of the Year’ photo competition

  1. Runner up in the ‘Arden Grange 20th Anniversary’ photo competition

  1. Finalist in the Humane Research Trust Christmas card competition

  1. Featured in two calendars for Love Cats World charity

  1. Published in New Nature magazine – June & July 2018 issues

  1. 8th place in Picture Frames Express ‘Winter’ photo competition

  1. Photo published in the Wales Bird Report

  1. Published in Wildlife Photography World magazine spring 2018

  1. Photos provided for promotional leaflet for Riding for the Disabled Association

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2018 © www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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#birdwatching #aberystwyth #photographer #ornithology #birdphotography #wales #birding #nature

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