Category Archives: Seaside Views

Out and About Around Brighton

In between all the foxes I’ve been spending a little more time out and about with the camera. Still all in the local area, but finding new subjects and places to explore. A few days ago I decided to explore the area opposite one of my usual haunts (Sheepcote Valley) and took a wander along the tracks that run between the meadows on the north of the main road. It was an eye opener. There were some lovely views across the valley, and loads of horses in paddocks.

horse in paddock

Horse in paddocks around Woodingdean, East Sussex

portrait of horse's head

Portrait shot

white hrose

White horse with view of houses in the distance


Loved the colours on this horse and the soft reflected sunlight on the distant hill

That’s an area I’ll certainly be re-visiting.

A few days later I was really bold and wandered down into Brighton proper. I did have a particular subject in mind… the murmuration of starlings that takes place at sunset around the Palace Pier, but I was there much earlier which gave me some time in the afternoon. Apart from the usual shots of the i-360, I spend an age watching the Brighton Bubble Man entertaining the small crowd alongside the West Pier. The bubbles he creates are huge. Here’s just a few shots that worked out ok. Worth stopping by if you are ever down there.

giant bubble

Child’s hand reaching up to a bubble

Giant bubble framing the West Pier

Bubbles over the West Pier (by The BubbleMan)

A cup of coffee and a slice of cake later, the sun was beginning to go down and I got ready for the main event. Sunset was at 5.16pm and at 5.00pm I was still wondering whether anything would happen. There were starlings to be seen. But nature knows its stuff and as the sun went down below the horizon, small flocks of starlings started to gather and very quickly merged into a massive flock. And then they started the sky painting. This was my first attempt at murmurations and I made a few mistakes. I should have had more of the western sky in the shot (better colours), but my aim was to also grab plenty of the pier itself for context. I tried to keep the shutter rate high (above 1/250 with a decent depth of field). Inevitably it gets more difficult as the light disappears. I’ve included shots where the classic shape of the murmuration is more evident.

murmuration of starlings at Brighton

Murmuration of starlings at Brighton Palace Pier

murmuration of starlings at Brighton

Murmuration of starlings at Brighton Palace Pier

murmuration of starlings at Brighton

Murmuration of starlings at Brighton Palace Pier

I mentioned the advantage of looking west to catch the true colour of the sunset. These were taken shortly before the sun disappeared.

sunset brighton beach

West Pier (and i360) at sunset

sunset brighton beach

West Pier (and i360) at sunset

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II. I used the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM for the horses and the EF 70-200mm f/4.0L IS II USM lens for everything else.

Also posted in Birds, coastal, horse, Landscape, starlings, Sunset, Wildlife Tagged , , , , , , |

Four Photos from Rottingdean

It was a unseasonably mild day today, with blue skies and almost no wind at all. Perfect in other words for taking a stroll along the Undercliff walk between Rottingdean and Brighton Marina.

Just four photos from the walk (an easy 2 miles in each direction). The first is the only wildlife shot (am I branching out? Probably not). It’s one of the rock pipits that scoot around the cliff face and occasionally pose for photos. This was taken near the tea rooms on the Undercliff.

Rock pipit at Rottingdean Cliffs, East Sussex

Next up is the Marina itself, effectively the half way point on the walk there and back. I’ve converted it to black and white, but other than that it’s just a typical view.

Brighton Marina

Another animal next, but a domestic one. The dog was enjoying itself chasing a ball, which it would carefully place in a rock pool and then bark until its human waded in to fetch it out again! One of my better ‘running dog’ attempts.

Dog running at Rottingdean

The last shot is a really nice example of graffiti painted on the one of the wooden groynes. It looks fairly new but I liked the balance and simplicity of it.

Graffiti at Rottingdean, East Sussex

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Also posted in Birds, coastal, dog, graffiti, Wildlife Tagged , , , |

Cat and Blackbird in the Garden, Peregrine on the Cliffs

A long descriptive title, but there’s little in the way of a theme to today’s post. Just a collection of photos, starting with a blackbird in the garden.

Female blackbird

Female blackbird

Female blackbird

Female blackbird

Overhead, a buzzard put in an appearance, to the annoyance of the local gulls.


This is a neighbour’s cat (which uses our garden a lot), jumping up on the fringe of the pond. For some reason it likes that spot 😉 The first three are consecutive frames, which are a nice demonstration of the benefits of the 10fps capability of the 7D Mark II.

Cat jumping up on to wall

Cat jumping up on to wall

Cat jumping up on to wall

Cat (close-up)

Cat stepping over pond

Later in the day we headed down to Rottingdean, taking advantage of a mild and sunny afternoon.

Rottingdean Undercliff walk

The Undercliff Walk at Rottingdean

The first rise of cliffs in the distance is Saltdean, and beyond that are Telscombe Cliffs. We didn’t go as far as Telscombe, but I did take a couple of long range shots of one of its residents. This is uncropped, taken at 400mm.

Peregrine falcon

Peregrine falcon perched high on Telscombe Cliffs

And now a couple of crops (with the 1.4 extender added). It’s still a very long way off.

Peregrine falcon

Peregrine falcon

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens. The final two shots had the Canon EF 1.4xIII extender added.

Also posted in Bird of Prey, Birds, cat, coastal, Landscape, Wildlife Tagged , , , , |