British Bird Photography: David Cookson Images

Although birds are not generally trusting animals, they are relatively easy to spot, especially when compared to mammals or reptiles. But that does not mean that they are not afraid of humans and that we can approach them at close range.

Photographing birds is not easy: they don’t usually pose for you, and if you get too close, they are likely to fly away.

That’s why the main difficulty in this type of photography is movement.

A hummingbird can flap its wings up to 60 times per second, and an imperial eagle can fly at 150km per hour!

David Cookson’s Passion: Wildlife Photography

David Cookson is a renowned wildlife, and most notably bird, photographer. Here we share an original account from David about his passion for bird photography.

Throughout my younger years I loved to trek and climb, and coming from the North West of England rarely would you find me outside of the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales, and every year I would make a long-distance walk or go climbing in the Scottish mountains….of course, my camera went along to record these events. I have thousands of landscape images taken on clockwork cameras, subsequently, these photos are all on glorious slide film (Fujichrome Velvia 50 for those who know how special this film was).

Nowadays my ambitions are curtailed somewhat, the gentle hills of Northumberland can be demanding but I still find the coastal routes exhilarating.

A few years back my wife Margaret asked me to take some snaps of wildflowers she had found in a local field, one thing leads to another and before I knew it, I was trying to get more ambitious shots of birds and other wildlife, and believe you me it becomes quite infectious.

I have always been ambitious - not in the competitive sense of me against the world - more, striving to get a better image of a particular subject than the ones I had taken previously, I was….am, in competition with myself. It is probably the way I was brought up…" if a job worth doing it’s worth doing properly". Of course, I don’t always succeed in my endeavors, but that is the challenge of photography.

British Bird Photography

Photographing British birds can be very frustrating - the light is rarely favorable - dog walkers are a nightmare - set a camera up twenty miles from the nearest habitation and wait three days for your quarry to come into shot, you will hear someone shout “what are you photographing” the answer is “that bloody bird flying off over there” - that said when it all comes together, it’s the most fantastic feeling in the world and very rewarding.

Time is the photography word - Time spent waiting - Time spent observing - Time…a click of the shutter and the moment is frozen never to be repeated.

If you live in Britain and have a passion for bird watching, then you’re lucky. There are plenty of beautiful birds all over Britain, even in the gardens near your home.

This is just a list of the most popularly seen birds that live with us. We encourage you to look through the list to identify the ones you have seen or pictured, or to go out into the field to find them.

The Starling

British Bird Photography - The Starling

By hedera.baltica /

The Blue Tit

British Bird Photography - The Blue Tit

By Kev Chapman /

The Robin

British Bird Photography - The Robin

By A S Morton /

The Long-tailed Tit

British Bird Photography - The Long-tailed Tit

By Steve Herring /

The Chaffinch

British Bird Photography - The Chaffinch

By Noel Reynolds /