Autumn 2016 Wildlife Matters Article

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.

Enjoy.

wm-autumn-2016

My Latest Published image

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.

starling-14

Somewhere new to buy my cards

Somewhere new to buy my cards

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

http://www.oakesfarmshop.co.uk

10,000 Greeting cards sold

10,000 Greeting cards sold

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

Grey Herons

Between my talks to Stockport and Macclesfield RSPB groups a few weeks back, I visiting Pennington Flash to see what I could photograph.

I recalled my last visit to this site, which was to see a first record for Britain of a Black-faced Bunting and was horrified to discover 22 years had elapsed, where did that time go!

The site is renowned for it’s population of Willow Tits, which are tricky to find anywhere in the UK these days. From one hide these showed very well, in fact so well they were all too close to focus on. It doesn’t always pay to have a big lens!

I did however have some fun with the resident colony of Grey Herons, who where flying back and forth and occasionally dropping in to collect nesting material.

Below are a selection of the images I got.

 

 

Another image published

Great to have another one of my images published, this time in the April issue of Birdwatch Magazine.

One of my Hooded Vulture images taken in The Gambia was used to help highlight the plight of the worlds vultures, who are severely in crisis.

A big part of the issue is the use of pain killing drugs used on cattle, which still carry the chemicals in their bodies when they die. The vultures subsequently get poisoned having fed on the carcass.

You’ll have seen the many Vulture pictures I’ve taken during my visits to the Spanish Pyrenees leading tours, but the ‘Hoodies’ being the most numerous of the species we see in The Gambia, get a little over looked.

Here’s a selection of my favourites, but if you want to see them for yourself, there is still room on my next Gambia tour.

A week in Southern Spain

A week in Southern Spain

I’ve not visited Southern Spain before and I guess had a vision in mind of high-rised waterfront apartments and beeches with more flesh on show than shorebirds. This was pretty much accurate in the area we stayed near Fuengirola, but there were some unspoilt areas to the rear of the complex.

Birds like Sardinian Warbler (Below), Crested Lark and House Sparrows were abundant along with a very healthy population of Blackbirds, which are a little different to those we get at home. They appear to be slightly longer in the tail and although their song is very like the British birds, some of the calls were very odd.

Spain-3

Spotless Starlings were very obvious nesting around the apartments in the chimneys, which were a first for me and more different than I thought they would be. Yes there is the lack of spots, but they are a lot blacker looking, with less iridescence and the feathers on the crown and throat are longer than our starling, giving a shaggy appearance, which is well illustrated in my picture below.

Spain-12

We had House Martins nesting above our apartment which were great fun to watch and attempt to photograph in flight.

Spain-14

More from this trip coming soon.

Grebe Photography

Grebe Photography

I visited Brandon Marsh in Warwickshire last week, a wonderful site owned by The Wildlife Trusts. My reason for being there was to give a photography lesson, but I couldn’t resist taking some shots myself of a pair of Little Grebes showing well in front of the hide.

I was able to get a variety of images, with reeds reflected in the water in some shots and the sky in others.

lgrebe

lgrebe2

This weekend I was in York, exhibiting at the RSPB members weekend and during down time I was able to take advantage of a very obliging pair of Great Crested Grebes nesting close by.

The first shot shows those amazing grebe feet, with one of the remaining eggs to hatch just visible.

gcg3

The one baby grebe to have hatched already was sitting pretty on Moms back.

gcg2

Finally a slightly arty one of the adult settled on the nest.

gcg

 

Spring is in the air

Just returned from a week in Southern France where Spring has arrived already. Bluebells flowering, House Martins and Swallows in the air and even the sound of a local Golden Oriole calling, although not yet in full song.

Although not a prolific weeks photography, I did manage a few images worth sharing, like this Starling singing with full iridescence on show. And below that a Short-toed Eagle hunting over the garrique.

starling-11

ste

A Taste of Trinidad & Tobago

A Taste of Trinidad & Tobago

I launched my wildlife watching tour of Trinidad & Tobago the other day and had my first booking within a couple of hours and lots of interest, so I can’t see the remaining places being around for long.

If you’d like to see a little of what Trinidad & Tobago has to offer, I’ll be doing my talk on the islands “Home of the Hummingbird” on Tuesday 8th March for South Shropshire RSPB group, at Culmington Village Hall, which is not far from Ludlow.

For more info, visit my ‘Events page‘ or if it’s out of reach for that evening why not get inspired by some of the images on my ‘Gallery Page

To see details of the tour it self, take a look at the overview on my ‘Tours & Workshops‘ page, or contact me for a full itinerary.