Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Monday, 3 December 2018

The aggressive Robin of RSPB Greylake and the challenge of photographing small birds in flight!

Small birds are particularly challenging to photograph. They seldom stay still for long, and when they move, they move quickly!
  It's this challenge that drives me to try and capture small birds in flight. This is probably the toughest and most frustrating task in bird photography, however the rewards are fantastic!
    When you look at the back of the camera and see you've managed to 'freeze' an action shot of a small bird with sharp detail, the buzz is incredible. People never see small birds frozen in time like this usually, as the action all happens in the blink of an eye. I have some techniques I use to try and photograph them, and I hone these and adjust them regularly to push myself to improve and get better shots. I'm never truly happy, always wanting to get the 'perfect' shot. It's that forlorn quest that keeps me coming back. Small common birds may bore some people after a while, but I never tire of them, and always strive to photograph them in different ways and poses. Getting in flight interaction between small birds is extremely difficult.  The amount of things that go against your chances of nailing a good shot is too vast to list!

The humble Robin is probably the fiercest of the little birds in the garden. They are very territorial and will not tolerate other small birds or other Robins in their space, especially if there's a food source nearby!
The Robin in my pictures was at Greylake , an RSPB nature reserve on the Somerset Levels.
  If another small bird came to the bird table whilst the Robin was on it, it would chase it off aggressively! My favourite pic is probably of the Robin above the Blue Tit, hanging in the air like Keanu Reeves in 'The Matrix', before dropping down onto the unfortunate Tit to administer a decisive blow!

One of my photo's of a Robin attacking a Great Tit was used in the Daily Express newspaper today! (Monday 3rd December). It's always great having your work published, especially in a national newspaper!

 Below are pics of various common small birds, many in flight and some looking 'cute', plus other pics taken since my last blog post, including Redwings, Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff and Cattle Egrets.


^Above^ - The aggressive Robin at RSPB Greylake attacking Blue Tits and a Great Tit, But also acting 'cute' at times..... the master of deception! 

^Above^ - Great Tits at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Blue Tits at RSPB Greylake. (With Starling in the bottom pic).

^Above^ - Reed Buntings at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Dunnocks at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Chaffinches at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - House Sparrows at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Starlings at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Chiffchaff at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Magpie at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Chaffinch, Starling and House Sparrows at RSPB Greylake.

^Above^ - Fieldfare on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Mute Swan on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Cattle Egrets on the Somerset Levels.

^Above^ - Grey Wagtail on lily-pads at Chilton Trinity in Somerset.

^Above^ - Goldfinch and berries at Chilton Trinity.

^Above^ - Pheasant at Chilton Trinity.

^Above^ - Redwings at Chilton Trinity.

^Above^ - Blackbird at Chilton Trinity.

^Above^ - Grey Squirrel at Chilton Trinity.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tits in my Somerset garden on a miserable dark day!

^Above^ - Blackbirds in my garden.

^Above^ - Goldfinches in my garden.

^Above^ - Starlings in my garden.

^Above^ - One of my photo's from above in today's Daily Express! (3rd Dec 2018)


  1. i love reading this article so beautiful!!great job! Interior Photography London

  2. Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!.. portrait photographer