Great Crested Grebes and chicks…

May 25th, 2014

I have spent a significant amount of time this month with a family of Great Crested Grebes.

This time last year I undertook exactly the same project only to see the Grebes nest destroyed after three weeks of incubation. I wasn’t certain what caused the devastation but it left me down heartened at the time and I gave up on the project.

This year I decided to have another try. Initially, I spent several days just watching these graceful birds as they constructed their nest. As soon as the eggs were laid and the adult birds were comfortable with my presence, I started to take some images of the birds. Over the next four weeks of incubation I spent lots of time with the Grebes. I knew the chicks wouldn’t arrive for around 4 weeks but I wanted the Grebes to be totally relaxed in my company when their young came into the world.

Fortunately this year both the Grebes and myself were successful. They brought two new Grebes into the world and I got an image or two…


The Little Owls are back and they have started nesting already…

April 13th, 2014

I did my first photo session of 2014 with the Little Owls this weekend.

I had spotted a Little Owl a few weeks ago when I was out scanning the fields with my binoculars. It was at the same nest site that the Kestrels used successfully last year. Over the last few weeks I have increased the amount of time I have spent searching for wildlife and last Friday, I found another Little Owl, at a farm where they raised a single Owlet last year. Over the course of this weekend it has become apparent that the female Little Owl is already sitting on eggs.

Last year I didn’t see the first newborn Owlet until 8th August 2013. So calculating backwards the egg sitting time would have been in June 2013. So, either I missed the first brood last year or they are a complete two months ahead of schedule this year.

Either way, it looks like June 2014 could be the time for the Owlets, with a bit of good fortune all round. Here is the expectant father…


Eagles in Poland…

March 30th, 2014

I have recently returned from a trip to Poland to photograph White Tailed Eagles.

I was expecting to see and photograph these Eagles in temperatures as low as minus 20 celsius. I was anticipating lots of falling snow which would have been challenging photographically, but very rewarding in the final image if I was able to focus the camera through the snow and onto the Eagle. I can remember sitting on the plane going through methods and ideas in my head how I would operate the camera in such temperatures with falling snow. Well let’s just say I didn’t need to worry. Poland was rapidly approaching spring when I got off the plane. The temperature was plus 3 celsius, it wasn’t snowing and the snow on the ground was melting, rapidly…

Well, despite the conditions not being the way I had imagined in my thoughts, the Eagles were still active and I thouroughly enjoyed my time in Poland. I have already started to discuss a return trip to the Eagles next winter, when hopefully the weather conditions will be back to “normal” in Poland.


My new photography hide…

February 28th, 2014

Here is a sneak preview of the inside of my new Photography Hide.

Last October I set about constructing a hide in my garden for the purpose of photography. It started off as a little thought in the back of my mind and quite quickly developed into a full scale construction. I am fortunate to get good numbers of birds visiting my garden, probably helped by feeding them regularly for the last ten years. However, apart from the odd project I really haven’t put that much time into photographing the birds in my own back yard. Well that is about to change.

I have tried to make it warm and cosy to make photographing from the hide a pleasant experience. Therefore I have included mod cons like Electricity, Lights, Ethernet and Wi-fi. I might even fit a carpet…


Nature’s Best – Highly Honoured Award – WILDLIFE

January 26th, 2014

I am delighted to have received this photography award in the post this weekend.

My image of a Galapagos Tortoise is a “Highly Honoured Winner” in the 2013 Nature’s Best Photography awards. I don’t do a lot of Black and White images so it was a very pleasant surprise to see my image printed in the 2013 Awards book together with a shiny certificate.

I am not certain if every image in the book appears in the Smithsonian Exhibition Hall in Washington DC. If you do happen to visit the exhibition then I would appreciate to know if a print of this tortoise hangs on their wall…