2020 what a covid year

Weddings

What a year it’s been, an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs. I started 2020 on such a high, I’d worked so hard to build my wedding photography business, and felt 2020 was going to be my best year in business so far, 25 wedding bookings coming in during January alone spanning 2020 and 2021.

From such a high came a massive blow in March 2020, Covid-19. The repercussions of Government restrictions on the people of Great Britain hit me like a sledge hammer, as one by one, every single wedding after March 2020 was postponed and moved to 2021 and beyond as Wedding Venue after Wedding Venue was forced to close their doors to the public. Not only Great Britain, but the rest of the world was locked down, stay at homes was the message, protect lives and save the NHS, close your business, stop trading. We came out on our doorsteps and clapped for the NHS every week.

2020 has been a tough year for everyone, and we have all tried to find our own way to deal with this crazy crazy world, a Global Pandemic was about to hit us like a ton of bricks and cause devastation throughout the country. Each and every one of us have been touched in different ways by Coronavirus.  

As we spent more and more time indoors, the natural world started to recover from years of abuse, wildlife seemed to gain more confidence and venture further away from their natural safe surroundings for longer periods of time. People saw species of birds and mammals they had never seen before, or even knew “lived” in their neighbourhood, opening up a whole new world before their eyes.

During Lockdown people noticed how important the natural world has been for our own wellbeing, with 77% of people in England finding that visiting nature has been important for their general health and happiness. Time spent in nature led to enhanced feelings of positivity and increased general health, including improved mental wellbeing. Whether you watch birds seek out nesting spots or stop and notice bulbs and flowers raising from the ground, those moments brought joy and helped relieve stress.

Nature has a remarkable way of restoring calm, as people enjoyed the uplifting sound of birdsong through an open window, went out into the Great British Countryside to welcome a dose of fresh air and exercise. Many of us found solace in nature and unearthed precious time to notice what’s going on around us.

I already had an interest in nature and wildlife, and as the Government restrictions eased and travel was permitted I used my new found “spare time”, to venture out with my camera looking for wildlife.

Here are some of the photos taken this year since lockdown was announced in March 2020 – I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did taking them.

Award winning wildlife photographer Lancashire
I often found myself being watched !
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Sheep
Even the sheep were having a nosey
Award winning wildlife photographer - Fox
One of my favourites which became an award winning image
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer  - Barn Owl
Barn Owl which again became an award wining image
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Dipper
Local dippers starting to build a nest
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer  - Goldcrest
I didn’t have to travel far, taken from inside my house looking into the garden – Goldfinches
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - moon
Sometimes I had to go out very early – the moon was still out
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit – another award wining image
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Sky Lark
Up with the Sky Larks – another award wining image
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - juvenile blackbird
Juvenile blackbird visited my little wildlife garden studio
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - starlings
Juvenile starlings waiting for the parents to come and feed them

Sometimes I sat waiting hours for what ever would come along. I was only too surprised to see this fox with a mouse in its mouth walking towards me. It didn’t stay long once it had seen me, but long enough for me to capture this image.

Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Fox
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Lapwing
Lapwing in Flight
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - roe deer
Roe deer – plenty to be seen
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - grey wagtail
Grey wagtail on its way to the nest with a mouth full of food for the young
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - hare
Even the hares were feeling a little jaded with Covid-19
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - kestrel
My favourite little Kestrel – another award winning image

Its always nice to see young birds when they first fledge. I sat and watched two newly fledged (days old) Peregrines, and thought this meadow pipit was chancing his luck bombing this Peregrine – dooohhh !!!

Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Peregrine
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Peregrine
Juvenile Peregrine – another award winning iamge
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - little owl
Always nice to see a little owl – I saw plenty this year
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Fox
Another surprise visit by the fox
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Pheasant
Pheasant waiting for the picnic to arrive
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Hare
Hare in the morning light
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Little owl
Little owl with that grumpy stare
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - bluetit
Another garden visitor – the bluetit
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - little owl
Little owl well camouflaged on the wall, I can watch these for hours
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - kestrel
Kestrel in a hover, watching for prey – amazing to watch them
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Barn Owl
I saw lots of bums – dohhhh. Here is the Barn Owl on the hunt

I’ve watched the little owls for a few years. However, this year I had the privilege of meeting the juvenile little owl. Just amazing to watch. Funny how they have that same ability to look grumpy.

Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - little pwl
Juvenile Little Owl
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - wren
Wren feeding their young, on its way to the nest with a mouth full of insects
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - heron
Heron in flight
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - hares
More bums – Hares running off
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Green woodpecker
Green Woodpecker
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Long Eared Owl
It took me some time to find these but what an absolute joy – The Long Eared Owl
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - little owl
Little Owl posing
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - long eared owl
Long Eared Owl in flight looking down the barrel of my lens
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Jay
The secretive jay

I had heard there were some long eared owls in this particular locality as dog walkers and joggers were very keen to inform me when they saw me wandering around with me camera. I tried on many occasions to find them but had no luck day after day, morning after morning, week after week. Then one morning a dog walker told me to look in the evenings rather than the morning, so I did. I was literally wandering round the area just before dusk, scouring the trees for the owl when suddenly it appeared in front of me and landed on the most amazing perch that I could ever have wished for. He clocked me straight away, but very kindly gave me about 10 seconds of his time to capture this shot whilst my heart was thumping away in my chest. I managed to get a few shots then he flew off as quickly as he appeared.

I was just so elated to have finally found the long eared owl which had eluded me for so many weeks. I couldn’t believe how it sat on this plain perch in clear view and looked at me with those piercing orange eyes staring down through the barrel of my lens.

Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - long eared owl
A rare opportunity to see a Long Eared Owl
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Squirrel
Did he jump – I was ready and waiting – grey squirrel
Award Wining Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - short eared owl
Short eared owl giving me the eye
Award Wining Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - short eared owl
Short Eared Owl having a rest from hunting
Award Wining Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - little owl
I can never tire of little owls, such characters
Award Wining Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - stone chat
Stonechat posing for me
Award Wining Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - stone chat
Stone chat
Award Wining Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - stonechat
Stone Chat in the amazing display of heather on the moorlands
Award Wining Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - wheat ear
Wheatear posing away for me – a fluffy one too
Award Wining Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - swallow
Swallow. Chosen by the BBC Magazine as image of the day
Award Wining Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - stonechat
Proud as punch – stonechat

Sometimes as a wildlife photographer you go sit and wait for something and you just never know what will appear. I was chuffed to bits to see this stoat pop up just in front of me

Award Wining Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - stoat
Stoat
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - goldcrest
Goldfinch chomping on the thistle seeds
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - grouse
Grouse trying to hide from me
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - stone chat
Stonechat in the heather
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - bluetit
Another visit to the garden – bluetit
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - little owl
That grumpy stare – little owl
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - blackbird
Blackbird fattening up on the autumn berries
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - wren
Wren singing its little heart out
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - kingfisher
Kingfisher – no more words needed
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - blackbird
Blackbird in the garden finishing off the berries
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - turnstone
A first ever sighting for me – Turnstone
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - redshank
Another first sighting for me – Redshank
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - hoopoe
A lost hoopoe – it should have been on its way back to Africa
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Barn Owl
The wildlife was starting to get used to me by now – Barn Owl posing
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - bluetit
Autumn bluetit
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Fox
Fox on the prowl
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - fox
Some of my favourite images of this fox – beautiful
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - red squirrel
The red squirrels with their winter tufts didn’t disappoint
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - red squirrel
Secret Squirrel
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - red squirrel
Red Squirrel posing for me
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - robin
Robin with a little added snow – who doesn’t love a robin
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - red squirrel
Red Squirrel

The gold crest. Britain’s smallest bird. What an amazing find and sight this was. The first time I’ve ever seen a Goldcrest

Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - gold crest
Goldcrest
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - robin
Two for the price of one – Robin
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - short Eared owl
Short eared Owl coming at me. What a sight
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - field fare
Fieldfares – another first sighting for me
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - dipper
Dipper on a local river

This has got to be the highlight of my lockdown year. A first sighting of a badger for me, what a great experience.

Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - Badger
Badger
Award Winning Lancashire Wildlife Photographer - kestrel with prey
Kestrel with prey

It truly has been a wonderful year for my wildlife sightings, and probably kept me sane throughout this year.

I have made some of my images into greetings cards and also a 2021 wildlife calendar.

My images are for sale as prints and I can be contacted at debra@docbphotography.com for more information

Thank you for looking. I do hope you have enjoyed seeing my photos

14 Comments

  1. Georgina Edwards

    Such gorgeous images Debra.

    Reply
    • Debra

      Thank You Georgina – Much appreciated x

      Reply
    • Paul

      A truly fabulous journey Debs and some lovley images along the way x

      Reply
      • Debra

        Thank You Paul, I really appreciate you reading the blog. Glad you like the images too x

        Reply
  2. Bryan Walker

    Beautifully written, with absolutely stunning photos

    Reply
    • Debra

      Thank You Bryan – very kind words

      Reply
  3. cliff Ferguson

    beautiful images Debra well done

    Reply
    • Debra

      Many Thanks Clifford. Much appreciated.

      Reply
  4. Lee Aaron

    Brilliant all those Debra. Well deserved all the award winners and most all local. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Debra

      Thank You Lee. Really appreciate you taking the time to read an comment. Many Thanks x

      Reply
  5. Caroline Dunstan

    Fabulous photos, Debra, and you know what all the birds are! It was great reading your blog, very interesting. Hopefully all will get back to normal next year for you., but I will miss your photos.

    Reply
    • Debra

      Thank You Caroline. I’m sure I’ll be able to find some time to carry on with the Wildlife – I’ve got the bug 🙂 x

      Reply
  6. Anna

    Wow Debra what an incredible portfolio of animal photography, i’m still not sure which one is my favourite I have so many!

    Reply
    • Debra

      Thanks for your lovely comments Anna, I’m glad you enjoyed looking at my images 🙂

      Reply

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LANCASHIRE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

I'm based In Rossendale, Lancashire but I will happily photograph weddings throughout Lancashire; Rossendale, Burnley, Clitheroe, Ribble Valley, Blackburn, Accrington, Preston, Rochdale, as well as traveling to the Lake District, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Manchester and Cheshire.

 

© Debra O'Connor Photography 2014 - 2021.

All rights Reserved.

Please contact me for prior approval and terms if you wish to use any of my images for any purpose. 

Tel : 07434724267