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.