Bird Photography in West Sussex – Arundel Wetlands
You might be wondering why I’m sticking an animal related blog post here, when I have a separate dedicated animal photography area (with its own separate subscription system for those who only want to receive animal related updates). I’m putting these photographs here for a change because I don’t want to give the impression that the only personal photography I enjoy relates to seascapes or historical re-enactments. In fact animal photography is one of my key motivators – not only is it challenging, it’s relaxing in a away the many other forms of photography aren’t. There’s just something so uplifting about animals. They also make for convenient subjects since most of us will live near to one kind of animal spot or another, be it a local pond or park, or sanctuary. We do have wild animals here in the UK, the most common of which are foxes and deer (the latter have reached pest status in recent years). Aside from that, birds are pretty much everywhere and I think they’re great to photograph, mostly because of the variety they offer and the way they place themselves within the landscape.
The last couple of months here in the UK have been dire in terms of our weather – never really getting light, with darkness starting to close in as early as 2pm. And warm – currently we have temperatures which are bizarre, resulting in record highs of up to 17°C (when it should be below freezing). This isn’t as pleasant as it may sound – with it has come endless rain and darkness, and the effect on the animal population has been unfortunate. Animals which would normally be deep in hibernation at this time of year are awake, confused, and hungry. Very recently a neighbour’s dog was bitten by a viper on the local heath – not something you would normally need to watch out for in winter time. There are daffodils blooming everywhere, and cherry blossoms. And I have seen some changes in bird species, at least in terms of normal winter migration patterns. This made it quite interesting to walk around the local wetlands at Arundel here in West Sussex. As usual it was raining today, but that can be a good thing if you’re setting out to photograph waterfowl – they love rain. Providing you are well covered and your equipment can withstand some water, the rain shouldn’t be a problem for you either.
During today’s walk I met some gorgeous birds, some of which are extremely rare but who have found a safe environment amid the reedbeds and lakes at Arundel. This is a managed environment where bird welfare is paramount. As a consequence many birds will stay here year-round, or will make this their regular migratory resting place.