Our Photographs

An interview with Paula Blake

Many of the wonderful photographs on our website were taken by one of our members, Paula Blake.  In this interesting interview she tells us a little about herself and how she captures these fantastic images.

Paula in action by David Blake

What first got you interested in wildlife photography, how long have you been doing it?

I think it was seeing wonderful photos of birds in wildlife magazines that really sparked my interest some time ago. However, I only started making a serious attempt at bird photography in 2014.

How do you go about capturing such perfect shots?

I wouldn’t call my photos perfect! I consider myself a keen amateur and I am still learning.  I venture out in search of photo opportunities as often as I can, usually in the Henfield area but sometimes further afield. I also have a pop up hide in my garden which is great for getting good shots of birds that visit my feeding station.

What equipment do you use?

I have several different DSLR cameras and multiple lenses, but I usually use either my Canon EOS 7D Mk ll with a Canon 100-400mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM lens attached or my Nikon Coolpix P900, which is bridge camera with an 83 x wide optical zoom. The latter is much lighter and easier to carry and consequently very useful on the occasions that I walk around for hours searching for birds to photograph.

Juvenile Green Woodpecker - Paula Blake
Juvenile Green Woodpecker © Paula Blake

Do you have a favourite picture?

Whenever I get a really good photo of any bird, it tends to be my favourite until the next good shot that I take. If I manage even   a reasonably good photo of a bird that is more often heard than seen, such as a Nightingale or Cetti’s Warbler, it gives me quite a sense of achievement.

What are your favourite locations/birds/wildlife?

Currently, it’s the Mill Stream opposite Woods Mill and the wetland area that lies between it and the Downslink. I love all birds and other wildlife, so it’s difficult to have favourites. However, I definitely have a soft spot for Owls, Whitethroats and Little Grebes. I also love butterflies, Hedgehogs and small furry creatures such as Dormice and Voles.



Any top-tips for the rest of us?

Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler © Paula Blake

Familiarise yourself with the Countryside Code and Bird Watchers Fieldcraft; the first rule of which is to put the welfare of the birds first. I always go out dressed in camouflage clothing in order to blend in as much as possible with the environment because the last thing I want to do is to cause alarm or interfere with a bird’s normal behaviour. Always make a point of moving slowly and quietly. When you spot a bird you want to photograph, keep very still and raise the camera slowly.  When on a shoreline or open ground with little cover, keep well down in order to reduce the chance of being seen. Because birds have a habit of flying away or disappearing back into bushes just as you press the shutter, bird photography does require a lot of patience, so don’t give up if at first you don’t succeed!

Linnet © Paula Blake


Can we buy your photographs anywhere?

I can supply 10 x 8 (£15) or 7 x 5 (£10) prints of any of my photographs. Contact: thebirdtable@btinternet.com

Thank you Paula for allowing us to use your photographs, we look forward to sharing many more!