Skinflats RSPB Reserve (not as planned)

by Nick Strong January. 18, 2020 948 views

A gentle stroll round Skinflats RSPB Reserve in the fresh crisp Scottish winter air, with camera in hand was the plan. Capture some of the waders, geese, and other wetland birds that inhabit, or visit the saltmarshes and shoreline of the mighty Forth. Not a bad plan for a Saturday, after a week of rain, wind and work. Good for the mental well being, the heart, legs and the rest.

Industrial Grangemouth

Industrial Grangemouth

Kincardine Bridge with Ochils behind

Kincardine Bridge with Ochils behind

Skinflats is a village and an area of land near where the River Carron meets the River Forth.The name is allegedly a Dutch name and is linked to the Dutch engineers who reclaimed land around the area in the 17th century. Skinflats RSPB Reserve is a small area of salt marsh where the wall has been breeched allowing tidal flooding. So I was expecting a flood of water fowl and waders, but it wasn’t to be so. Maybe it was the time of the day, the state of the tide, or the recent bad weather, that kept the birds away.

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Corn bunting?

Corn bunting?

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

Instead I had to be content with a few trusty old woodland friends visiting the hedgerows. Wildlife can be fickle.

I will be back to Skinflats to capture the elusive water birds.



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Eiram Marie 1 year, 8 months ago

You captured some very lovely little fellows :) I am trying to take photos of birds lately, but I am nowhere as good as you - the birds do not like to pose for me at all :)

1 year, 8 months ago Edited
Nick Strong Replied to Eiram Marie 1 year, 8 months ago

Thank you, for the kind comment. You don’t see the few hundred shots taken to just get one ...  Patience, perseverance and a lot of practice and keep going is the advice I was given.  Can I be cheeky and say if you want any tips, or help, just ask.

1 year, 8 months ago Edited
Eiram Marie Replied to Nick Strong 1 year, 8 months ago

So kind of you! I have just a simple Lumix Panasonic  camera, so  always tell myself that maybe with a better camera my results would be better :)

1 year, 8 months ago Edited
Nick Strong Replied to Eiram Marie 1 year, 8 months ago

Hi, 
I don’t think the camera really matters too much. I’ve had some great shots with an iPhone. It’s mostly being in the right place and kind of knowing a bit about the birds habits, so you can be ready.I follow a couple of rules, which seem okay. The main one is I try to get the eye of the bird in focus, if I can. I also get as close as I can, without disturbing the bird. I don’t much editing after I’ve downloaded and chosen the shot. I tend to just crop , to get rid of distractions in the photo, like too many branches or another bird, if it doesn’t add to the picture. 

I found that when I stated photographing wildlife and birds the best thing I did was go to wildlife parks, and busy bird reserves to get a lot of practice in, in a sort of controlled environment , where the subjects are easy to shoot.  Hope that helps .

1 year, 8 months ago Edited
Eiram Marie Replied to Nick Strong 1 year, 8 months ago

Thank you so much for your advice! Really interesting! I need to practice more :)

1 year, 8 months ago Edited
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