Snow buntings

Snow buntings are quarrelsome birds like many species that go around in flocks. Here they are scrapping over food put out for them in the car park at the Cairngorms ski lifts.

Snow bunting, Plectrophenax nivalis, two birds fighting in snow, Scotland, March 2020. Olympus M1x. 300mm f4. 1/4000th at f4. 400 iso.

Coronavirus and getting refunds on travel

We were due to go to Sardinia (Italy) on April 1st. The car hire company ( emailed to ask if I wanted to cancel with no fees charged. Very proactive of them.

Easyjet cancelled the flight today, but did not email. I had to logon to their web site and I got a full refund. also did not email, but when I checked their website was able to get a full refund on the hotel and is was advertised as a none refundable payment. They recognised coronavirus as a special circumstance.

Purple Parking at Luton Airport refunded all but £10. Not a bad loss. I was expecting to have to claim on my travel insurance and expecting them to find a reason not to pay.

Dalmatian pelicans

Lake Kerkini in Greese is a well known destination for Dalmatian pelican photography in January and February. They are numerous and used to the fisherman throwing away a few fish so come very close to people. I was a bit disappointed with my Panasonic 14-40mm lens at first, but it was sharp enough when in focus. It is the slowest focusing lens I own and I was not giving it enough time initially.

Full trip report at here.


Dalmatian pelican, Pelecanus crispus, group of birds, Greece, February 2020. Olympus E-M1x. 400 iso. 1/5000th at f5.6. 14-40mm lens at 14mm

Yellow-crowned night-heron

My favourite image from a trip to Mexico. Many of the birds there remind me of Florida, which is not surprising, and they can be equally tame. The night heron spent several minutes catching and tearing this crab into bits and I had to make a choice. Video or stills. I took stills.

Full trip report here.


Yellow-crowned night-heron, Nycticorax violacea, Single bird catching crab, Baja California, Mexico, January 2020. Olympus M1x. 300mm lens with 1.4 extender. 800 iso. f5.6 at 1/3200th.



Coots fighting

The poor man’s Black grouse. If Coots were rare photographers would pay a fortune to sit in cold, damp hides to photograph them. If Coots had sharp talons they would be rare as they would slice each other to death.

Olympus Em1x and 300mm f4 lens and 40-150mm lens. 120 fps which is 5 times slow motion. I film in slow motion almost all the time now. I love the effect.