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Late arrival



The Egyptian geese in Kelsey Park, Beckenham (UK) have a habit of producing late broods. For the second straight year they conjured goslings in September. This ...
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The Egyptian geese in Kelsey Park, Beckenham (UK) have a habit of producing late broods. For the second straight year they conjured goslings in September. This one was taken early in October. I saw them feeding on the grass, so lay down at a non-intrusive distance and hoped they might eventually wander into a pool of sunlight. Unusually for wildlife, they obliged. Taken with Nikon D800 and Nikkor 300mm f4.
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3 Comments | Report
Witmar
 
Witmar November 10, 2016
beautiful shot
Daisy00 Premium
 
Daisy00 August 12, 2017
Stunning!!
Byronfairphotography PRO+
 
Byronfairphotography May 15, 2018
Cute Capture / Voted

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Behind The Lens

Location
Kelsey Park, Beckenham, UK - a favourite haunt. It is only about 20 kilometres from central London, in a small, suburban town, but you would never know you were a short train ride from one of Europe's busiest capitals. It has an abundance of wildlife species and you can never be sure what you might see. Egyptian geese are not indigenous to the UK, but first appeared in the park circa 2009. They come and go, but there has been at least one resident breeding pair for the past few years.
Time
Early afternoon, if the EXIF data is to be believed (I rarely remember to change it when the clock moves fore or aft). It was the beginning of October, 2016. The Egyptian geese tend to have two broods most years, the first circa March and the second in September. The later arrivals have more chance of survival because there are fewer predators around. Kelsey has a sizeable heron population from November through to June/July, so whole families of ducklings sometimes disappear within a matter of days. Crows and large gulls contribute, too.
Lighting
All purely natural. Although Kelsey has many trees, it is also blessed with lots of open spaces and on a sunny day much of it tends to be well lit. You never have to walk far to put the sun behind you, though I do sometimes shoot into it for the sake of experimentation.
Equipment
Nikon D800 and Nikkorr 300mm f4, hand-held with no bolt-on gizmos. It was taken while lying flat on my stomach, because I prefer that perspective.
Inspiration
Nothing more than a love of nature. The leaf adds a bit of balance to the shot, but it was pure luck that the gosling chose to pose next to it. It isn't always possible to photograph everything you see or hear, but I very rarely come away from Kelsey Park with a sense iof disappointment. The local wildlife is accustomed to humans, many of whom carry bread or seed, but I try to maintain a respectful distance. If I'm lying down, it's not unknown for birds to wander up and have a peck at my lens hood, just in case it contains bread. Canada geese are the main offenders...
Editing
None, other than a slight crop and a quick auto-fix in PS Elements.
In my camera bag
Two Nikon bodies - D800 and D700 - plus a lens or three: options include Nikkor 200-500mm f5.6, Nikkor 300mm f4, Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, Sigma 24-105mm f4, Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro and Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 (a crop-frame lens, but works OK on a full-frame body from about 21mm and is very useful in poor light). That apart, I have a few spare batteries and cards and two Storm Jacket rain covers, which are absolutely essential as I shoot lots of motorsport and it sometimes rains (particularly if I'm working in the UK).
Feedback
Keep your eyes and ears open, experiment with different angles (standing/lying/sitting) - and don't rush to fire off a shot as soon as you see something. I always consider the background first and foremost. If the subject isn't in the right place, I'm prepared to wait until it strays into a suitable pool of light, or until people/pushchairs etc have moved out of the frame. Patience really is a virtue...

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