Posts Tagged ‘photography


Australian Round-up

If you fancy taking a break from the winter weather we’re experiencing here in the UK you can pay a visit to the ‘latest’ section of the Wildcatch Photography site. A number of photos from my recent Australian trip have been posted. They are sure to warm you through as you sip your hot chocolate. I hope you enjoy them.


Over the border

A trip into Suffolk at the end of last month gave some astounding views of a Great Northern Diver near Lowestoft. Look at that incredible red eye. I wonder why the eye is such a red colour? It shares this feature with other divers and some of the grebes. Perhaps it aids sight in the dull light of murky water. Its eye was pointed skyward a few times. I feel sure the beast had seen something high in the air; a raptor perhaps? Try as I might I couldn’t see anything, but I’d be willing to bet my right arm there was something up there. I’m constantly amazed sometimes how the eyesight on birds has developed to an extent beyond our understanding.



Just the best day ever

So here we are. The end of the year. Some big changes for me in the last quarter; but what of the year in total, what were the best bits? Well, there were many that’s for sure. On the tours we had all the usual aspects of a visit to central Scotland in April with even some spring Waxwings making an appearance, followed by some astounding mammals in May; Salmon tossing Bottlenose Dolphins and Badgers you could have touched being the highlights. The trip to Mull in May gave us Eagles a plenty with some other notable raptors and auk sightings.  The Kites put on their usual display in a Welsh June with several dolphins thrown in. A summer tour to the Farne islands never disappoints and once again it lived up to its reputation. All this was capped off with a good scoop of rare birds on Scillies.

Day tours in Norfolk and beyond were again exceptional with some notable highlights of breeding Black winged Stilts and Cattle Egrets. Migration it has to be said was a little slow on the passerine front but seabirds and wildfowl came through in droves.

Personally there have been a couple of days that stand out in the memory. Seeing Blainville’s Beaked Whales in Madeira has to rank up there for sure. Madeira is a beautiful island and just kept giving. However, it was the South Atlantic in January that took my heart. One day in particular; 15th January and a ferry ride to Magdalena Island. The Commerson’s Dolphins, the Sei Whales, penguins, waders, passerines and the sheer biomass … and so much more. A memorable day which couldn’t be beaten.



As darkness falls

The park was busy on Sunday. Dog walkers, screaming kids, joggers and cyclists. I was beginning to wonder why I’d brought the camera. As dusk approached it started to quieten; a little at first but I soon found myself alone. I walked away from the path and stood under one of the big oaks. I was reminded of the first line of a poem – “I sat beneath a tree … and it surrounded me” – for the life of me I couldn’t remember any more. My thoughts were immersed in trying to recall where I’d heard it; so immersed I didn’t notice I wasn’t alone.

A Roe Deer walked right passed me; within a few metres. I gave a sharp intake of breath and held it, so as not to disturb my new friend. I dare not move. If I raised the camera she would be gone, As she started to graze and muzzle the ground I had the chance to slowly lift the lens. It was now quite dark and I could almost hear the camera groaning to gather enough light. Operating at the thin end of capability I managed to get a few shots before she moved slowly away and I was left just with the darkness.




Love of life

Whenever dolphins appear it shines a light into peoples lives. So it was yesterday.

Travelling out to the Isles of Scilly on the notorious Scillonian III conditions were flat calm. Ideal for seeing cetaceans. Bottlenose Dolphins were the first to appear; slow methodical, bulky dolphins these, we had around four of them. Harbour Porpoise were almost omnipresent and numbered in the 30’s. As we were watching them a large dark animal broke the surface. A Minke Whale gave four or five opportunities for us to get a glimpse…. and then they arrived!

In typical spectacular fashion Common Dolphins gatecrashed the party; leaping and bounding into centre stage. Everyone loves a playful dolphin!




We saw this Chinese Water Deer on tour last weekend. A small alien from the other side of the world but no less beautiful for that.




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 and by friending her on facebook.

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. Catherine is one of the people that will help to do that in future.

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March 2018
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