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From the Diary of an Image Hunter • General Subject Knowledge


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Nikon Shooter

Nikon Shooter

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When image hunting in Mother Nature, knowing what's happening
in the part of the world you're in, the time of year — or specifically  
the season — what is going on and how all this affects the fauna
and the flora at the time you are there becomes crucial.

Water Birds

Water birds are most spectacular looking in Winter. Their respective
plumage is complete to protect them from the cold and colourful as
it is new and the mating season is in full swing; the season to obser-
ve and capture their beauty, their courtship and dominance fights.

When Spring comes, they're mostly already gone nesting, some oc-
casional individuals will come to feed and return to their nest. All that
is left are the birds that are either too young or too old to breed; and

they are quite less numerous than in the second half of the year.

Environment

If we stay by ponds, marshes, or any body of water, the ice and snow
are no inconvenience to dabblers like many Ducks and Swans, — if
the whole surface is not frozen that is. Divers like Tufties, Pochards,
Goosanders as well as fishers like Grebes and Kingfishers will have
a harder time when there is not enough free water. Geese are mainly
feeding on land. They will overcome the sleeping vegetation thanks to
the fat reserve they accumulated.

Moult
After the breeding season — when food sources are still abundant but
chicks are no longer so demanding — is in two ways, the ugly time of
the year. The moult drops feathers everywhere — a PITA to remove in
post — birds are less "presentable" but then birds can focus their e-
nergy on refreshing their plumage just before the migration and the
coming colder weather.

Flora
Spring and Autumn also have their challenges. Spring will spoil the wa-
ter with pollen and the ever nasty dandelion seeds — that have the sa-
me visual effect than floating feathers — and Autumn will carry lots of
dead leaves or wind broken twigs but these may some times present
great subjects.

These tips were just a hint of all that happening, there is way more. Just
get out there and explore.