Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Magic Mallards

Whilst I was up at WWT Martin Mere at the weekend, concentrating on flight photos..... more to follow in the next post..... I was struck with how beautiful the Mallard is.
This is a duck that is more often than not completely ignored as we pursue more rarer or exciting species, but when you take some time to look at them more closely they are beautifully marked ducks, and especially when the sun shines on them. Below are a few snaps taken at Martin Mere, see what you think, your opinion may change as mine has!!






Monday, 28 January 2013

Robin the brave!!

The day after the heavy snowfall on Friday, Sharon and I headed for Chester Zoo, hoping to see a lot of the animals out in the snow. I headed to my favourite big cats hoping they would be active, and the Tigers and Lions didn't let me down.
But it was a little Robin that stole the show, the Tigers were fed a nice joint of meat, and Kirani the female tucked into her lunch, only for a little Robin to appear and creep closer and closer to the Tigers jaws, before nipping in quickly to grab titbits that were falling off the joint.
It was an amazing thing to watch and shows how brave these little birds are, or how desperately hungry they get in the depths of winter.
The shot below I am really proud of, the Robin perched ready to take his chance with the Tigers head in the background.
















Wednesday, 23 January 2013


After seeing reports of a Woodcock showing at Martin Mere, I drove up on Sunday morning in the faint hope I might get this elusive bird in front of the camera at last. I have flushed these birds out on walks many times, but never had the camera to hand.
Thankfully my visit was not wasted, as despite it being a really gloomy morning, with frequent snow showers, I managed to locate the Woodcock and with a little patience it showed itself some distance away and I managed to get some half decent record shots.



Monday, 21 January 2013

Drosgl and Aber Falls

Our latest walk is over on our walking page.... Two Pairs of Boots, was a great day up on the Carneddau in arctic conditions.... pop across by clicking on the link below.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

2012 A Video look back

Its took a while but I've managed to sort some of my favourite shots of 2012, and set them to the beautiful music of Eva Cassidy, so if you've ten minutes to spare grab a brew, pull up a chair and I hope you enjoy it, just click on the link below

Click on full screen to get the full effect.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Carneddau Pony surprise!!

One of my favourite photographs I took last year, was completely un-planned, I didn't know it was going to happen, but it was just one of those magical wow moments. Sharon and I had been out walking on the Carneddau, a beautiful, rugged and wild landscape on the eastern side of Snowdonia, an area where the Carneddau ponies roam free.
We often see them on our walks in this area, and each time we do it gives such a thrill to see these wild ponies living free in such a harsh environment. They are so beautiful, exquisitely marked and normally have big shaggy manes.
This particular day we hadn't seen many and as we were coming off the final summit this solitary figure appeared on the skyline, but it was the way it just magically appeared and seemed to be walking with a complete purpose straight towards us, I just looked at Sharon and we were both thinking the same thing.....magic.
Well I had the camera to hand grabbed a few shots, and that moment will always stay with us. But Sharon has said ever since that she wanted to paint the photo, and the image she had in her memory, and at last she got it done last week, I think it is just amazing, and she has absolutely captured the magic of the moment. She has a bit more of a write up on it on her art site HERE
We've seen loads since and it is exciting each time, but that one moment when that magnificent pony sidled over the horizon will stay with me forever.



Saturday, 12 January 2013

Tiger Tiger!!

Another post from my recent visit to Chester Zoo, this time it concentrates on the Sumatran Tiger, and Kirani and her daughter Tila. I adore Lions, but I think Tigers are my favourite big cat, and it saddens me that they are in desperation out in the wild, and everything must be done to help save this magnificent animal. Take a look at the tremendous work they do at South Lakes Animal Park

Firstly, this is Tila, not even one year of age yet, but a mighty impressive Tiger

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 1119

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 1138

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 1141

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 1145

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 1170

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 1242

and this is mum, Kirani

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 1266

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 1312

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 1384

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

So Proud!!

There are many reasons why I get so much joy and pleasure from photographing the natural world, it is being out in the beautiful countryside, seeing our amazing wildlife, visiting spectacular places on our walks, and getting that killer photograph that really makes the effort worthwhile.

But I truly think the biggest sense of pride is when I have finished photographing and have the final images, my amazing girlfriend, Sharon transforms them into amazing watercolour paintings. I share a lot of my images with an artists site called Paint my Photo, where photographers provide images for artists, and its really great to see your photos recreated in many mediums. But when it is your loved one who produces amazing paintings I cannot describe how it feels. She is extremely talented and the standard of her work is improving all the time. More of her work can be seen on her site
but below are some of her recent paintings all from my photos.
Thank you Sharon xx

Saturday, 5 January 2013

African Painted Dogs

The beauty of having membership at Chester Zoo and living so close is having the ability to call in when I have a few hours spare, this was the case on New Years Eve, and I decided to concentrate my efforts on photographing the African Painted Dogs. These are really beautiful animals, their markings are lovely, and it was interesting to spend some time watching them interact, showing their natural behaviour of living in a pack, and the enclosure they have at the Zoo is really natural and spacious.

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 478

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 468

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 164

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 187

This one looks like he is stood in front of a mirror!!

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 316

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 319

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 144

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 376

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 468

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 489

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 496

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 407

Chester Zoo 31.12.12 217