Nest photography is not done. Period. Well, maybe not if the bird breeds in a busy place in a city, like many Coot do. Or what about a tit breeding in a nest box, they will fly in and out no matter what you do (almost), so that can’t hurt either, can it?
This is always a very complicated discussion… First of all, taking a picture should never be more important as the welfare of the subject. If photography starts to become that important that you loose the love for nature, then something is seriously wrong. On the other hand, when taken the right caution measures and a lot of time, a lot is possible. Working from hides, being very patient, slowly, slowly, slowly coming a little bit closer and of course, knowing when to stop. This means you have to invest a lot of time, more as many of us want to invest. Hence, just don’t try it before you disturb the bird.
But sometimes you get lucky. Last weekend I was sitting on a bench in the Dwingelderveld, when I saw something moving behind me. I quickly grabbed my camera (which I just had gotten out if the bag for a Red Kite) and took this picture. This Yellowhammer apparently had a nest somewhere nearby, so I quickly moved out. I had a look at a larger distance, it was nice to see both male and female flying back and forth to feed the chicks. I hope for them that the bench wasn’t used that often, because I don’t know if everybody would have moved… Oh, and yes, this is also nest photography, even though the nest isn’t anywhere near the picture (it was several meters away). But by staying here, the bird didn’t dare moving closer to the nest, so it would still have caused disturbance.