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It’s all white by me

PUBLISHED: 12:12 01 December 2015 | UPDATED: 12:12 01 December 2015

Red legged partridge

Red legged partridge

Archant

Wildlife photographer Kevin Sawford is hoping for some snow to add sparkle to his winter pictures

RobinRobin

For two years now East Anglia has had a couple of relatively mild winters with hardly any snow. Many of you will be hoping the trend continues, but for I and other photographers across the region we will be asking Santa for a good deposit of the white stuff.

Snow really adds something extra to many photographic images, and for a wildlife photographer it can really enhance even the most common of subjects. It fills my portfolio with seasonal images for calendars or cards.

When we have a significant snow fall I often work close to home trying to cover as many subjects as possible. By already knowing the likely locations of my local wildlife I give myself the best chance of capturing them in their winter environment.

The red-legged partridge image is a good example of this. Our region is home to thousands of partridges and pheasants which are bred for the shooting season. Often these birds are easily approached, particularly in a vehicle, and this image was taken from a public road near Bury St. Edmunds a couple of years ago.

On this day I found a small covey of partridges by the side of the road and I photographed them by resting my camera and lens on a beanbag on my open window sill. By having the birds happy with my presence they carried on searching for food, and I really like this image of the bird walking across the snow.

One of my other favourite photographic subjects when we get snow is our garden birds. Whether it’s in my own garden, or visiting a nature reserve that puts out bird feeders, you can get some really nice images with the addition of the snow.

Of course the bird needed for those classic Christmas card images is the robin. This image was taken at West Stow Country Park. The bird was perched in the snow covered branches of the trees surrounding the area where the bird feeders were located. By watching the behaviour of the birds I noted that they would wait in the safety of the trees before flying to and from the feeders. It’s watching the behaviour of the species that I believe helps me to get better images as I can predict where and how they are going to react.

So, season’s greetings to you all, but please don’t blame me if we do get snow this winter! If we do I can promise you I’ll be out searching for next year’s Christmas card images.

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