© Karen Mason - September 2019
This is no ordinary hide! I booked my visit to the pond hide through Jamie Hassell, who runs an online photography group called F-stop Photography Rutland. He helped set up the session and even lent me a camera as I didn’t realise there were two aspects to the hide and only took the one camera. I was amazed at the hide; comfortable seating, tea and coffee, even a stove for those nights that are a little on the chilly side! Once everything had been set up and the three of us were left in the hide, it wasn’t long before the wildlife started to arrive. First the owl, then the otters. Oh, the otters! What a privilege to be able to watch and photograph them feasting on fish from the pond. The owl and the otters alternated for several hours until there was a bit of a lull around 2am. Then at around 4am the heron appeared, closely followed by another, resulting in this picture. What an experience! Just before we left in the morning the Kingfisher appeared. Perfect end to the night. To top it all, this picture was picked as the winner in a photocrowd contest by the expert judge! Would I go back again?.....I have already booked my next session!
© Alan Robertson - 1st July 2019 - Common Kingfisher - The Pond Hide
Camera: Sony A7Rii - Lens Sony FE 100-400mm GM OSS
This was my second session in 2019 at Wildlife Photography Hides and both have proved to have been very successful, with some of the best birding images that I have in my collection. I’m pleased I’m on Tom’s mailing list as new developments seem to be coming thick and fast. Well done Tom.
© Kestrels - 5/2019
I had a great day at your Wired Hide on Wednesday taking loads of images of the resident Kestrels. Both the male and female were active and they even appeared together for short while.Lots of great images and looking forward to returning soon. Highly recommended.
© Rob Brookes - Otter - 21/1/2019
Taken at the pond hide on the night of 21/1/2019 using a Canon 1Dx / EF 400mm/2.8 iso 1250, f4.0 / 250th flash sync
Very many thanks for the opportunity to use your fantastic hide Tom. Well worth the trip down from the Lakes for us and something we'd definitely like to do again. This otter was shaking off the excess water after diving for fish and first arrived around 2 in the morning. We had plenty of time to get our shots but were grateful for the professional flash setup as I hope this shot demonstrates
Red Fox - 22/1/2019 at Pond Hide
© Sue Brookes, Taken 22/1/2019 using Canon 7D Mk2 with Canon 100-400mm L IS 11 lens at 400mm, 1/250 sec at f5.0 ISO 1000
Thank you for an amazing overnight session in your very comfortable Pond Hide. We were given great opportunities to photograph this red fox, a tawny owl and an otter during a long but productive night. The professional flash set up worked really well and we are looking forward to a return visit.
Green Woodpecker - 07/01/2018 - Dyke Hide
© Alan Robertson - Canon 70D with a Tamron 150-600mm lens
Thank you for a cracking day in the Dyke Hide last Thursday. It was worth the money just to get such wondrous views of the male green woodpecker who must have visited his nearby feeding spot on six or seven occasions during the day. To get excellent views of a buzzard, g.s. woodpecker, jay and a whole host of other woodland birds was a terrific bonus too.
Green Woodpecker and juvenile - 27/07/2017 - Dyke Hide
© Penny Dixie - Canon 1DX Mark II Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM - 1/2000sec at f/5.6 ISO 1600 400mm
Having spent time in the Dyke Hide earlier in the season, I couldn’t wait to rebook! The opportunities are exceptional. This time I was even luckier than previous occasions and witnessed the moment that one of the Green Woodpecker parents visited the ant-hill with a demanding juvenile close behind! During that morning, one parent bird also visited with two youngsters and spent ages around a perch. They all indulged in lots of preening and beak cleaning, they tried to dig for their own food and spent lots of time calling and posing beautifully for the camera! You’d have thought they’d be trained and paid extra for putting on an amazing show that included lots of wing flapping and stretching. All in all, quite magical.
Eurasian Otter - 17/11/2017 - Pond Hide
© Malcolm Clements - Nikon D500; Nikon 80-400mm lens; x4 remotely triggered Nikon SB5000 Speedlights (x2 @ front, x2 @ rear of the otter); x2 Lastolite Ezybox Speed-lite 2 flash diffusers; x2 Magbeam fresnel flash extenders
Tom has a knack of providing photo opportunities with enigmatic subjects. And so it was that I found myself at 5.00 pm recently sitting on a comfortable padded seat in his newest, insulated & heated Pond Hide (tea and coffee provided) with lens positioned in a water level port thro’ a one way glass viewing panel, all set up for an all-night session.
And I wasn’t disappointed – a Grey Heron arrived at 6.00 pm and although initially frightened off by something in the darkness it returned again later (on previous occasions I’ve had the bird in front of me for over 5 hours!) But things got better – at 3.30pm tell-tale ripples on the surface of the pond signalled the arrival of the star species – a Eurasian Otter.
To see such an animal only a few metres away was magical – to photograph it for about 20 minutes whilst it acted in a totally relaxed way was one of those dream situations.
I left the hide at 7.30am; tired but happy!
© Ian Haskell - Canon 1DX, 500f4 -1/3 1/2500 @f4
I have photographed Herons, Green Woodpeckers, Kestrels and Buzzards from some of the Wildlife Photography Hides setups that Tom has been developing. My favourite image so far has been that of a wild juvenile Kestrel running along a footpath sign. Wildlife Photography Hides offer a differing service covering a wide range of species, specialist setups and are also willing to workaround the requirements of the photographer to help achieve different images. www.ianhaskellphotography.com
© Shirley Russell - Canon EOS6D, 1/4000/ ISO 500, F/5.6
On both occasions when visiting Tom's hide, I had the most wonderful day, getting loads of close up shots and spending some time just enjoying watching the birds behaviour. Tom really tries to give you every chance of getting to see your favourite bird. He rang me to say that the Short Eared Owls were no longer on his site. I decided to go anyway and photograph the buzzards instead, but he found time to take me on a trip to see about six short eared owls hunting over the fields in the area. My most recent visit was to his new pond hide - the two way glass makes it so easy to watch the Kingfisher diving and I can't imagine that I will spend such a long time again watching a kingfisher at such close quarters.