Wednesday, 23 May 2012


The weather is London is WONDERFUL. 

Hot sun, cooling breeze and clear skies for a few days has been a huge uplift in the mood of the population. The parks are full, BBQs lit and revision is firmly on hold for a couple of afternoon hours!

So with this backdrop of summery goodness, I thought it would be an opportune time for a blog post about BEES.

Bees are brilliant. Buzzing about from flower to flower, they are the the herralds of spring and summer. These first two are a couple I snapped today at the London Wetland Centre :)

The LWC is a great place for photographing these fluffy chaps. Their flower beds draw in bees and bugs from all around and the variety of flowers gives the photographer some lovely variation.

Being very much an amateur at this photography business, Ive always found my bee photographs are more down to luck than anything else. The one below is one of my favorites. With a slightly slower shutter speed, I somehow manged to catch a bee in vertical takeoff from this wonderfully vibrant purple flowers.

And finally, these were some of my first bee pictures. Proboscises deployed, for me, these images capture the anticipation of a tasty nectar treat!


REMEMBER: Our bees are in trouble. If you can, a bee friendly garden is a great way to support our pollinating friends!

All Images © William Bermingham 2012

Monday, 21 May 2012

New Zealand: The best of the rest

Ergh. Revision. What a dreadful necessity! Whilst I am tied to my desk, I thought I would just fill up some blog meterage with some of the remaining highlights from my Christmas in NZ. Most of what will follow were shot near the Otago Peninsula (below, thank you Google maps!) or on the West coast in the fjords :)

No text today bar these few lines... Happy browsing!

(All images © Will Bermingham 2012)

Kingfisher: Halcyon sancta

Welcome Swallow: Hirundo tahitica

Cape Pigeon: Daption capense

Black Petrel: Procellaria parkinsoni

Royal Spoonbill: Platalea regia

South Island Takahe: Porphyrio mantelli

Fantail: Rhipidura fuliginosa

Monday, 14 May 2012

The 12 days of May-Time

On the 12th Day of May-time, the Wetlands showed to me...

12 (hundred) swifts a-swifting,
11, Martins a-nesting
10, Geese a-swooping

9, Gadwall floating

8, Bees a-buzzing

7 Wrens a-dancing

6 Herons a- sleeping

5 Shiny lapwing

4 red legged shank

3 Ringed plovers

2 Distant Dunlin

... and a tern fishing by the tow-er

Monday, 7 May 2012

For the love of mud

It's a fine line between mud and sea.

For the past few weeks, London has been stuck in that very British of paradoxes: A rather rainy drought. Now before you close this page in disgust, the weather is not the focus of this post. There will be no more mention of dought-brellas or drought-ingtons, believe me I am as frustrated by these throw away remarks as you dear reader. 

No, today I want to focus on the devastating effect a fairly insignificant amount of rain can reak when it all decides to come at once. Just a few days ago, I stumbled upon a BBC article which made me feel very sad indeed

All about the country, it seems that our much needed environmental hydration has tipped the scales to flood in some crucial areas. Those worst affected are the wonderful wanderers of the shoreline, the dippers in the mud, the snipes, shanks, plovers and all other birds that wade.

But I must confess to something. Yes, I am sad that the loods around the country are seriously impeeding the breading of our native waders. They are lovely birds and a joy to watch as they quietly move about the banks, ignoring the hum drum of the other birds. But their plight has also given me an opportunity to pull together a few of my snaps from my Christmas in New Zealand :) So here they are.

Lets start with this chap. Snapped down on the southern coast of the South Island, this is a Variable Oyster catcher. Interestingly, this fairly rare bird is the only oyster catcher that has a pure black variety. The population as a whole, true to their name, vary somewhat between a pied pattern to full black as you head south down the coast.

Im pleased to say that the group we saw seemed to be doing very well indeed, shepherding their clutch of chicks accross the petrified forest that made up the shoreline.

Any just to finish off this post (Ive been terribly busy recently organising events and preparing for exams that words are failing me somewhat), here are a couple of snaps I took of pied stilts up in the Mount Cook region. This delightful little bird introduced itself from Oz around 1800 and is thriving in its new home. Interestingly, I have read that they are masters of distraction when it comes to leading potential preditors away from their nests. Some have even been seen feigning injury to draw a foe over and away from their nests. A nice little account can be found at the link below.

So there you have it. A little expose for the waders. Spare a thought for them during this rainy rainy spring time

All images © William Bermingham 2012