Castle Espie and Ducks

About a month ago I visited Castle Espie. I think it was the first time I’d been this year. It was fine when I left home, just okay when I arrived and it got cold and wet while I was there. In short I could’ve picked a better day.

Castle Espie is a Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust centre on the shores of Strangford Lough and I planned to do some close up images of ducks and maybe geese using a wide angle lens.

I bought a packet of food to encourage them to come close and I didn’t expect problems. I’ve photographed them before using a long lens and when they see you they swim over because they expect you to feed them. Swimming nearer is not what you want them to do when you’re using a long lens but  today I was using a wide angle.

I had set up my camera on a tripod and scattered food around. They wandered around but wouldn’t come as close as I had expected.

I waited, it got colder and started to rain but still the ducks wouldn’t come close. I packed my gear away and that’s when they got stuck into the food. I walked over and they waddled back to the water. You know when something is just not meant to happen.

A member of staff told me they were on edge as they’d been getting moved in anticipation of the Vet visiting on in a couple of days to inspect them. Also the breeding season was coming near.

Marked down for another attempt on a warmer day when the vet isn’t coming.

A couple of weeks ago I found myself nearby so called hoping the ducks would be more co-operative. I arrived about 30 minutes after they had been fed and was ignored.

Why this effort to get close up pictures of ducks? Well I think there’s a good photograph to be had and I don’t like to give up on what I originally thought would be a simple job.

Anyway it was a nice sunny Spring day so on the way home I took some photographs of farmers working in fields outside Newtownards and sent them to Alamy Live News. Photographs of the weather are always popular.

I went home for lunch feeling the morning hadn’t been wasted after all.

Click on an image to enlarge.

Farmers work the fields outside Newtownards
Farmers work the fields outside Newtownards


Farmers work the fields outside Newtownards
Farmers work the fields outside Newtownards