It is amazing the lengths we will go to in order to get the shot. Over the years I have done all sorts and received some very odd looks from passers by as a result. Wading through streams, hanging from trees, laying in grass to get that low angle only to find the grass is wet on a hot and sunny afternoon in a dog related way. I have lost count of the number of times I have gotten up only to find my jeans covered in goose poo.

One of the weirdest sights to your average onlooker must be a bunch of grown men pointing their long glass at a steaming, fly covered pile of rotting manure. Writing it like that seems odd even to me, someone who has done just this on more than one occasion. Why? Well it is amazing how attractive these festering mounds are to a lot of our wildlife. They seem to be magnets to many a visiting bird, rodents, insects and even some reptiles. One local mound a young fox decided to use it as a bed most mornings, maybe he was enjoying the warmth. The picture of a Yellow Wagtail below is not one of mine but was shot on the same pile at my Wheatear shot above. The photographer is Paul Higgs, you can see more of his bird images over on Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/120985317@N08/

Male Yellow Wagtail - By Paul Higgs
Male Yellow Wagtail - By Paul Higgs

Especially as my longest lens is a mere 400mm, getting low and dirty is sometimes the only way I have managed to get a decent shot. This can sometimes annoy birders but in all the years I have been photographing wildlife I have done my best to not disturb anything nor break any laws. I always try and be considerate and thoughtful of others. It is not in my interests to scare anything away so I will often carefully pick a spot and just sit for sometimes hours until my chosen target comes near me. The shot below of a Godwit taken in Ireland is a prime example of this. I sat on a slimy lump of rock with my feet en estuarine sludge for over an hour. I never was happy with the result but it was an interesting session.

Godwit - By Phill Luckhurst
Godwit - By Phill Luckhurst

Finally, this next shot resulted in my jeans smelling like a carpet in a home for incontinent alcoholics. It was taken at Marsworth, one of the reservoirs at Tring, Hertfordshire. I wanted to get that low angle that seems to work so well especially over water. I made the usual checks for goose and dog poo and all looked clear. Maybe it was my slightly hay fever blocked nose that didn't alert me to my impending predicament as it was only after 5-10 mins of shooting that I realised what I was laying in.

 

Great Crested Grebe with Chick - By Phill Luckhurst
Great Crested Grebe with Chick - By Phill Luckhurst

 

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