I’m sure most of you will have seen the developments in The Gambia on the news over the last couple of days, with Thomas Cook bringing back holiday makers early due to the countries political unrest.
Yaya Jammeh, who had been in post for 22 years was voted out in Decembers Presidential elections and has refused to step aside for the peoples choice, Adama Barrow.
What a shame that the greed and ego of one man is single handedly killing off tourism in The Gambia, just as Ebola did a couple of years back, even though the country was not effected.
Yes we have to go on the UK government advise to stay away from the country at the moment, but spare a thought please for the poor Gambian people who rely on tourism, almost totally to put food on the table.
Having led tours in The Gambia twice a year for the last 6 years, I was there during the “Ebola Epidemic” which effected some West African Countries. The group witnessed what an impact media hype and general geographic ignorance can have on a country and it’s people. Baring in mind that The Gambia has never had a case of Ebola in it’s history and only one case was reported in Senegal, which borders The Gambia on all sides, tourism all but disappeared.
So if you have been thinking about visiting this incredible country, to experience it’s fabulous wildlife, friendly people and guaranteed sunshine etc, please don’t be put off and dismiss The Gambia as a future holiday destination, the country will need our support to get back on it’s feet when things settle down, which I hope will be very soon.
I was due to take a group over for two weeks on January 24th, but have been forced to put it on hold of course, but I look forward to going back to see my friends over there and see more of these wonderful birds.
Had a great day today catching up with my old friend and fellow wildlife photographer Oliver Smart.
We decided to head up to Derbyshire to see the Dusky Thrush, which we saw easily enough thanks to the birders already on site with telescopes, but it wasn’t even worth us getting the camera gear out of the bags, way to far off.
Having then searched unsuccessfully for a local Great Grey Shrike, we headed to Carsington Water and got again distant views of a Great Northern Diver.
There was plenty of other wildfowl on the water, but just out of reach, so sometimes you just have to take whats in front of you and with the light being so lovely it was a shame to photograph nothing.
So some images below of the birds that did come close enough, Mallards and Canada Geese. Common birds, but very beautiful just the same.
Luckily as yesterdays weather was atrocious, I normally count January 2nd as my “New Years Day” due to being pretty worse for wear from the previous evening frivolities, so todays glorious sunny day was a great start for my photographic year.
I’d been pretty busy in the months leading up to year end, so had missed a lot of the amazing birds that had turned up during Autumn migration and lingered, so I was determined to make a good start to to 2017.
I headed down to Stow-on-the-Wold, about an hours drive, hoping to see the Blue Rock Thrush that had been there for a week or so. I was on it within 20 minutes of being there and got a few shots, although it was pretty impossible to get a picture of the bird where it was not obviously on a roof top.
However, I was pretty pleased with the record shots I got of a very rare bird for the UK indeed.
Some samples below.
A slight detour on the way home took me to Evesham to catch up with a bird I’ve not seen for a few years, the Waxwing.
Just one solitary bird, but it showed well enough for a few shots, non of which will win any awards, but a cracking bird all the same.
We’ve not had whats known as a Waxwing winter for some time, when birds get pushed South by cold weather in Northern Europe, so I wasn’t going to let a relatively local bird go unseen.
Lets hope for more of the same weather and plenty more fabulous birds for the rest of the year.
I’ve had the below article published in a few local magazines, namely, Connections Magazine (Bidford and Alcester area) and The Local Directory Magazines which cover Wythall, Earlswood, Solihull, Shirley and Alvechurch areas. If you are not in the delivery area for these, then here it is below for everyone to read.
Just got news that my image below of Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire got published in this months issue of Birdwatch magazine.
I’m only just beginning to take my Landscape photography seriously, so pretty pleased about getting this one out there I can tell you.
Actually I’ll be up to Bempton again in a few weeks to photograph Gannets, Puffins and other seabirds, really looking forward to it, hope we get the same weather as last time.
So on the back of selling my 10,000th greeting card, I’ve been given the opportunity to sell my cards in a new location.
Oakes Farm Shop in Balsall Common is a family run business established ironically around the same time as mine around three and a half years ago.
They have a full card spinner of 36 of my designs on sale from today, May 27th 2016, so if you are in that area, why not call by for tea and cake and don’t forget to buy one of cards on the way out.
Thank you to Chris and Leanne for backing their local wildlife photographer and take stock of my cards, which compliment their ethos of supporting locally sourced produce and business.
If you’d like to visit and check out what they have to offer, here’s a link to their website and address details.
Oakes Farm, Balsall Street, Balsall Common, Coventry. CV7 7AQ
I’ve had a bit of an admin day today and have been logging sales of my greeting card range which I sell at my events, talks and at various retail outlets.
It appears I’ve just passed the milestone of 10,000 cards sold which I’m really pleased about as you can imagine.
My cards are available for purchase at various places listed below;
Becketts Farm Shop, Wythall
The Village Florist and Grocer in Alvechurch
The Hungry Horse Equestrian & Pet supplies, Earlswood
Flower Thyme Florist, Kineton
The Grant Arms Hotel, Grantown-on-Spey
and as of May 27th Oakes Farm Shop, Balsall Common