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Garden Starlings

Whilst I’ve been busy with non-photography projects and time behind the camera has been limited I decided to try bit of classic backyard bird photography. It’s often said you can make the best images close to home so I decided to try and capture some new images of the starlings that visit everyday, lured by the fruit trees in my garden. Here’s a couple of initial results, a portrait and a group action shot.

The first thing I wanted to capture was a top-notch portrait so using a tree stump as a natural perch I settled down in my hide to try and achieve a “3/4 angle” portrait that showed the starling’s spectacular plumage. After a few duff efforts I managed a result I was happy with.

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One of the things you very quickly notice about Starlings is their mob mentality! They are gregarious birds, always present in numbers but with a clearly observable hierarchy. Squabbles over food are constant so for a different type of image I tried to capture the indignation the birds showed to each other. With the movement of multiple birds it wasn’t going to be likely that I would capture the perfect angle to show off colour very meaningfully so I opted for a black & white process. This starkness helps magnify the attitude of the central subject bird.

starling squabble

These are just a couple of early results and I’ll revisit this project over the months ahead to try and add new aspects to it so keep a look out for more starling-related posts in the future.

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Posted in: The New Forest

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