Roosts by Robert Canis

01 December 2015

Region: London

RPS London is delighted that award-winning wildlife and landscape photographer, Robert Canis, has joined the London blogging team.  Each month, Robert will be telling us what’s happening in the natural world and how to get the best images. 


As autumn closes so a new chapter in the natural world begins. Birds that left these Isles in the spring for their northern breeding grounds are now returning and, depending upon the species, in very large numbers! In certain parts of the country (including cities) ducks, geese, swans and starlings can be seen in huge numbers either leaving their night-time roosts for their feeding grounds or returning.


The spectacle alone is worthy of an early start or a late finish as there are few sites more mesmerising and atmospheric than a skein of geese in flight against a dawn sky or a murmuration of starlings as they produce sweeping shapes before flying down and roosting in the trees or reedbeds. A quick search online will reveal those areas worthy of a visit and even if you have to travel quite a distance – just do it! You won’t be disappointed.


Arrive early and be prepared. A telephoto-zoom works well on such occasions where you can zoom in for close-ups and zoom out to reveal its environment. Keeping the ISO high and aperture wide will freeze the birds in flight while dropping the ISO and closing down the aperture (thereby producing a slower shutter speed) will produce a more artistic interpretation rendering the birds, as a whole or in part, as a blur. Regardless of how you photograph the event just remember to take your eye away from the viewfinder, even just for a short while, and enjoy this very special moment.


Image:  Starlings © Robert Canis


See more of Robert’s work on his website.



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