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01
Sep
17

AFON

Wouldn’t it be good if the politicians sat down and talked properly with the CEO’s of the wildlife organisations in the UK? Wouldn’t it be good if the CEO’s talked among themselves and they all sang from the same hymn sheet when lobbying the politicians? Just think what could be achieved if this happened.

The only way of making this happen is to bring these people together at an early stage. AFON (A Focus On Nature) probably has the future leaders of the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Natural England, The Forestry Commission etc, etc, already within their ranks. These people know one another. They know one another NOW as they are developing their skills as individuals within a group. They are experiencing their early years TOGETHER. There are probably future wildlife law makers among their number too.

I am a mentor for AFON and have been in there from the start. I realised then, and I maintain now, that we must rear a new breed of wildlife enthusiast to protect our future.

I went out again with Catherine Bullen the other week. I am one of her AFON coaches guiding her on the next steps within her career as a wildlife photographer. Note her name. She’s good. You will be seeing more of her work in the future I’m sure. Take a look at some of her photos on her website http://www.catherinebullen.co.uk and by friending her on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/catherinebullenphotography

To reach people; to touch people’s hearts and minds, sometimes words are not enough – you need a good image to make them sit up and listen. Caroline is one of the people that will help to do that in future.

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29
Aug
17

Spoonies

After the first breeding a few years ago spoonbills are now very much a part of the Norfolk bird-scape. On tours last week it didn’t matter where we went, east , west, coast, Brecks or Broads there they were. These two, an adult and a rather vocal begging youngster, were at Holme.

26
Aug
17

A Mothers Love

Young life is precious. I was on Madeira a couple of months ago. Well, to be accurate I was at sea off the south west corner of of the island. We came across a very young Sperm Whale. It was flanked by two grown up females. Presumably one was it’s mother; the other maybe an aunt or sister.  This is an animal with the largest brain of any organism on earth including ourselves. This complicated and advanced species has a developed social infrastructure. Any which ways it was obvious this young fella was being protected and defended from all comers.

23
Aug
17

Turn Turtle

The way we treat our land and the wildlife that occupies it is coming to a watershed. Some would say we have already reached a point of no return. One bird that has become very scarce in the UK is the Turtle Dove. A massive reduction in numbers has been caused by insecticides in the UK, destruction of their wintering habitat in Africa and sky pointed guns in the Mediterranean. This is a bird that’s onto a loosing streak wherever it goes.

This summer a pair have sought breeding sanctuary at Titchwell RSPB here on the north Norfolk coast and have been frequently visible in the car park. I photographed one there last week. Reading old copies of the Norfolk Bird and Mammal Report it wasn’t uncommon to see hundreds during a day on the coast. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a sizeable flock of these birds. Do I think they will be seen again in the UK in those numbers? No; but we can hope.

18
Aug
17

Magnificent Beast

He may look a little coy but don’t let him fool you, this magnificent beast is a predator. He’ll have one of your fingers off in heartbeat. This large male Grey Seal was basking off the boat on one of our tours the other week.

15
Aug
17

Charming Choughs and Delightful Dolphins

As one of my guests put it this weekend: “Charming Choughs and Delightful Dolphins”. She was referring to the Wild Weekend in Wales tour we were on. We got to see both Choughs and Bottlenose Dolphins. Among everything else we saw for me it has to be the Red Kites that topped the list. They are so enigmatic and powerful. To see 250+ of these birds wheeling in a kettle above us is just one of the UK’s wildlife spectacles. Next year’s tour is up on the website and open for bookings.

12
Aug
17

Flity

There have been a few sightings in coastal locations of Broad Bordered Bee Hawkmoth this year. We encountered this individual on tour the other week and although a bit ‘flity’ he did hang around long enough for us to photograph him. Wonderful little beasts.

 




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