Archive for January, 2013

BirdGuides Photo of the Year 2012 – Runner up…

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

I am delighted to be able to announce that I am a Runner Up in the 2012 BirdGuides Photo of the Year.

This is the second consecutive year that one of my images has been selected for this annual competition. By my estimate, no less than 50,000 bird images have been uploaded to BirdGuides over the course of 2012. To be one of the top 10 selected photographs is personally very rewarding and humbling.

The winning image is superb and is one that I had previously commented as a worthy winner when it was uploaded to their website back in December 2012. Here is a link to that winning image and the article on BIRDGUIDES PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2012.

Here is my runners up image. A Little Owl running…


Watching with mother…

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Here is a Cheetah family that I had the pleasure to spend some time with during my stay in Kenya.

This mother had these two cubs and seemed to have motherhood totally under control. She was always alert, keeping the youngsters safe and was a very capable hunter. On this particular morning the family were in a fairly quiet part of the Masai Mara and the usual “targets” for breakfast were nowhere to be seen. I had noticed on several occasions that the cubs were calling, almost crying despite being close to their mother. I had witnessed the calling behaviour before but only when the mother had gone off to hunt and left the cubs alone. It soon became clear that they were very hungry. They walked as a group from termite mound to termite mound and on one such walk they disturbed a hare. An immediate chase broke out and the mother ran fast and furiously. I was convinced that she would be wasting her time. The grasses were quite long so most of the time all I could see was the top of her tail as she steered her way in circles chasing the unfortunate hare.

To my amazement she returned successfully with the hare and the cubs were able to feast and stopped crying. This picture was taken shorty afterwards during a period of rest…


All things bright and beautiful – A Malachite Kingfisher…

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Staying on the theme of bright and beautiful birds in Africa, this has to be another favourite.

I struggle to get close to the so called “Common” Kingfisher that we have here in the UK, whereas in Africa I always seem to be more successful finding them in front of my camera. This is the Malachite Kingfisher and is probably the closest, in terms of size and colours, to the Kingfisher that we have here in the UK. The African species is certainly brighter and the colours are more saturated. That said, I am not taking anything away from our Common bird as when I have seen them in the UK their distinctive electric blue colour is uplifting and unmistakable.

This bird was flying up and down a small river landing on various perches and even long grasses that happen to be overhanging the river bank.


A Lilac Breasted Roller to kick start the New Year…

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Firstly, I’d just like to wish you all a very Happy New Year with lots of exciting wildlife encounters ahead…

Well I had been looking forward to a few weeks of photography over this recent festive holiday period. In recent years we have had cold crisp winter days, plenty of snow and frost which always adds something to a photograph and typically causes the wildlife to behave differently as it goes in search of food. Well all of those thoughts and dreams were shattered when the weather dealt up almost two weeks of rain, permanent grey skies and little in the way of exciting wildlife encounters. So to look forward to brighter times ahead I have picked out this image of a Lilac Breasted Roller from Kenya to kick start 2013.

Although this particular bird looks a little scruffy it has to be the brightest coloured bird to be found in the Masai Mara region of Kenya. Hopefully its warm and cheerful colours will encourage the sun to put in an appearance in this part of the world sometime soon.