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|Category:||Animals / Wildlife|
What to Shoot in February - It might be cold and snowy out there, but there is still plenty to aim your lens at
Despite the apparently desolate appearance to the casual observer, February is a time of gradual but steady change, not only in the Woodlands and Parks, but in the fields and waterways too. On the high ground, the snow line begins it’s slow march skywards creating a swelling in the rivers below. Daylight is starting to become noticeably longer and the sap resumes it’s rise in the still dead looking trees.
|Animals and Birds
The behaviour of the birds is starting to change also. Now that the ground is softening, they are more able to probe for food. Those that moved south for the winter will start thinking about their spread north and west again. Some, like the Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) will start to re-establish pair bonds and re-populate their nest sites. The garden birds will start to get louder and their plumage will progressively take on breeding colours as the hunt for a mate commences.
Mammals that haven’t hibernated begin their quest for a summer lodge in which to birth their young, but those that have will probably stay dormant a while longer. As the foliage on the trees is still noticeable by it’s absence, make the most of this month as it will soon be bursting into life and the longer shots will be much more difficult.
The Grey Heron will pair up again with its mate.(SD9, 170-500)
|Landscapes and Habitat
Misty or crisp mornings are still a distinct possibility though, but the best of the light will now be earlier as the days ease their way towards spring. With a favourable forecast it can often be worth rising an hour sooner to catch that golden hour on the way in to work. The sunsets will still last a while longer than they will in high summer, as the sun still sets at an angle. But don’t forget to look behind you on a clear evening for a rising moon too. Mist, at this time of year, takes longer to be burnt off by the sun and can often be seen lying in valleys and hollows allowing you to introduce an ethereal element to your pictures.
Mist can add an eerie element to the landscape. (Minolta Z1)
|Don’t forget to look behind you during sunsets, there could well be a stunning moonrise there! (SD9, 170-500mm, beanbag on car roof)|
|At the coast
The weather can be very unpredictable in the early part of the year but don’t let this put you off getting the camera out. If you live near the sea, and there is no-where in Britain more than an hour or so from the coast, have a go at capturing the power of the Sea. Or find a tree on a cliff and try to show it’s isolation. Rock formations are well worth the effort of donning waterproof boots and walking the beach for, but check the tide tables for your locale before venturing very far.
|Stormy coastal scenes are a good subject.
(John Short, 300D, 200mm)
Words & Pictures Ian Andrews (unless stated)