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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Marshall

For my first ever Blog, this is whats going on at Otmoor RSPB this month !

Otmoor RSPB reserve is my local patch; its where I learned to be a wildlife photographer and I have spent many happy days there photographing an amazing variety off wildlife. There have been some days with perfect light for photography lately, so I couldnt resist taking my new Nikon D810 down for a test run.

This is a high resolution camera with a comparatively slow frame per second count but it combines a quieter shutter noise, great ISO capabilities for low light and the huge resolution meaning you can crop in on very distant shots and still get acceptable results.

This Marsh harrier was a fair way away even with a 500mm plus 1.4 x converter, but the big crop brings it in closer while maintaining the detail.

The last few days have been the first of this winter and the cold weather has brought wintering thrushes (fieldfares, song thrushes,migrant blackbirds and redwings) en mass to feed on the winter berries.

Providing the opportunity to test your skills with the obligatory 'berry in mid air' shot!

When the lights this good its worth taking the time to work with the more common species like this stonechat;

(Nikon D4)

Or even this blue tit, an extraordinarily pretty little creature often overlooked as a photography subject!

The frozen water has pushed the elusive Bitterns out to the pool edges where they have become more visible, frequently stalking a long way off on the waters edge and in flight over the reeds as they search for better feeding spots. Again the gorgeous evening light makes the image.

But the highlights for me have been the marsh harriers, a common sight now in Norfolk and Suffolk and Somerset but these are the first marsh harriers to breed in Oxfordshire for the last hundred years and its a joy to watch them hunt the reeds with their characteristic legs dangling in flight and beautifully varied painted plumage.

All images copyright Andrew Marshall 2016

Contact me at if you are interested in one to one photo tuition days, or guided wildlife trips.

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