The Castle Bay Pup

This Seal pup was our second discovery on our Autumn trip to the beautiful coastline of Pembrokeshire Wales.

My partner and i were on a coastal walk around St Annes Head when we came across this plump Seal pup.We never noticed it at first as it was hidden behind a series of rocks during low tide.

Mum had beached this pup,and as you will see it was well fed.I grabbed my camera from the car and shot a few images at about ten metres away being mindful of not disturbing it.

When we got back to the car we notified the Seal rescue team,just to let them know of the location and condition of this pup.

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The Autumn Pup

On our Autumn trip to the beautiful coastal county of Pembrokeshire Wales we happened to spot several seal pups. These images were taken during low tide at Mill Haven cove near to where we were staying.

My partner and i usually walk down there to sit and watch the crashing waves but on this particular day we were shocked to see this seal pup lying high up the beach during low tide.We gave the pup the once over to make sure there was no external injuries,but the pup seemed fine.My partner spotted the pups mother in the bay so we quietly retreated further up the beach and this is where i started photographing this healthy plump seal pup.

We spent the next three days every evening during low tide checking everything was ok and making sure it was not disturbed from dog walkers.

Photographing this seal pup was tricky as the weather was bad and the light poor.but never the less it was a pleasure.

We called the seal rescue team to let them know of the pups location and status.

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The Talbenny valley Badgers

These series of images i photographed over a one week period during the month of June.

With kind permission of  Upper Broadmoor farm i was given the opportunity to set up a hide ten feet away from an active Badger set.

The hardest point was whether these Badgers would, except my hide being so close,and whether i would have enough light in my camera to photograph them,i arrived at the location at six pm,scattered peanuts around the set and settled in my hide in the hope they would appear before the sun went down.

I set my Canon 7d mk2 to the highest light optimiser setting and used an ISO parameter of no more than 1250 as any higher my images would gather too much noise.

The sow first appeared at 8pm and within five minutes four younger Badgers appeared.At first the sound of my shutter sent them back down the set,but as time passed the Badgers were more interested in the peanuts than the sound of my shutter.

I spent every evening with them and watching their interaction was amazing,an incredible experience and one i will never forget.

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The Stranded Seal pup

September is always a good time to see Seals as it is pupping season,usually on rocky outcrops where humans cant reach.Sometimes however sadly some seal pups either get stranded or abandoned.

My partner and i were on holiday in Pembrokeshire,a place called Dinas cross where we were planning to do several coast path walks.Due to the high winds we planned to on this particular day visit Pwllgwaellod beach.

Once there we headed towards the surf to watch the crashing waves when my partner noticed this well fed Seal pup fairly high up the beach.I ran to the car to grab my camera and quickly took these images while my partner ran to seek help.

I was so happy when my partner came back with a local man named Langley who has dealt with these situations before and knowledge was far greater than mine.Langleys wife called the Seal Rescue team and kindly brought us out a welcomed mug of coffee.

The Seal rescue team advised us to keep dogs away and keep an eye out for the adult as sometimes they beach their pups in rough weather and come back for them later.Most dog owners were really good but on occasions we really had to work hard to keep ignorant dog owners away to the point where this pup made a dash for the surf and found itself in rough swell.All we could do was cross fingers and hope it made it.

The next day we found ourselves back on the beach and once again this Seal pup appeared trying to escape the high tide to no avail,being swept out with the tide.All we could do was hope the adult Seal would appear.Once again we patrolled the beach with Langley trying to keep dogs off the beach.

Langleys daughter in law Sarah who runs the Old sailors Restaurant came out with coffee and put a sign on the beach trying to keep dogs off the beach which worked.

Sarah called the Seal rescue team and one hour later they were on the beach.Eventhough we lost sight of the Seal pup in the swell suddenly after over twelve hours the adult seal was spotted and we could all relax and hope that the Pup made it as it was not seen again.

A big thankyou to Langley and his wife,also Sarah of the Old Sailors without their knowledge help and kindness the situation could have been alot worse.

If you are a dog walker on holiday please if you come across a stranded seal pup be responsible and keep your dogs away and call the Seal Rescue team

If your ever down on Pwllgwaellod beach pop into the Old Sailors and say hello,the food is great and what lovely people.

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The Elk

These images were taken at the Bison Center near Mere,Wiltshire,U.K.

The Bison Center is a wildlife park that concentrates on native American species which include Elk which is very similar to our native Red deer found here in the U.K.

Yellowstone Park is on my bucket list,but for now being able to photograph these impressive mammels in a spacious natural surrounding was a treat.

Wapiti is the native American word for Elk which means light coloured deer.Their lifespan in the wild is 8-12 years and a bull can grow to 500kg

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Rescued Hedgehogs

These two Hedgehogs were rescued and cared for by the Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital.They were rescued from a garden during the daylight hours,and were underweight.They would have not survived the hibernation period.Since these images were taken they are both doing well.

Myself and my partner do voluntary work in our spare time for the Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital based in Newton Toney near Amesbury.

Mike and Marilyn run the hospital with a host of volunteers,and give all their time rescuing and rehabilitating sick and injured wild mammals and birds.This time of year is particularly busy with underweight Hedgehogs as its hibernation time and only the strongest will survive.

The Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital has well over 100 sick and injured  Hedgehogs at the moment,in which Mike and Marilyn work all hours keeping them fed,medicated and sheltered over the long British winter before the spring.

With very little funding,relying on mostly donations from the general public Mike and Marilyn are true heroes in which i have the utmost admiration and respect for.Without them and others the world would be a worse place for all wildlife.

According to the people’s trust for endangered species P.T.E.S. hedgehog numbers have declined this century by nearly 40% in towns and cities and nearly as much in the countryside due to loss of habitat,pestisides reducing earthworm numbers,also slug pellets,rat poisons used in our gardens without thought.Rule of thumb,if you have hedgehogs in your garden do not use them.Give nature a chance,otherwise in the years to come our hedgehogs will only feature in a child’s bedtime story.

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The Mill Haven Cub

These images were taken back in June on my annual pilgrimage to Pembrokeshire looking for my favorite British species the elusive country red fox.This year was particularly  difficult due to the bad weather when i was there,but it did not deter me as my passion for this beautiful animal drove me on.With time running out and only the occasional dog fox spotted from a distance out of camera range i was beginning to lose hope.Then out of the blue a local farmer on the lower Broadmoor dairy farm informed me that he had seen fox cubs drinking from a cattle trough and to look there.After investigating the area i noticed fox scat and remains of a sea gull on this farm track between two fields.I then prepared a natural hide in which i was lying amongst  bracken 3.ft high, alongside this path with my camera nestled on my beanbag.This was not ideal as a photography point of view with the sun in my face and also on a slight gradient,but what the heck this is wildlife not a zoo.The sun was setting at 9.pm so i got down there at 6.pm poured myself a coffee and waited.It was around 7.45 when i first noticed the tops of those triangle ears and quietly punched the air in delight.As i had put down cocktail sausages and pizza scraps the cub could not resist,even though shy at first soon set about these tasty treats.This beautiful little fox knew i was there by the sound of my shutter but over those golden 15.mins knew i was no threat,and even sat with his back to me eating pizza.When he had eaten every last morsel he headed towards the gate out of my view.I then broke cover and was about to head back when i noticed this little cub sat there looking at me from the edge of this track.We stood looking at each other for a few seconds until he finally turned around and disappeared into the bracken.This was an overwhelming experience that brought tears to my eyes.I would like to say when you look at these images that there are people out there that take great pleasure to watch dogs rip them apart in what they call ” SPORT “.Even though this barbaric,senseless,inhumane and cruel event is currently banned there are people who are trying to reintroduce this vile act of fox hunting back into our countryside,even though 85% of the people are against it.I hope our government supports the majority of people in this country and that the 15% that agree with it take a long hard look at themselves,the people that call ripping an animal apart alive “SPORT”

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The Tamar Otters

These photographs were taken at the Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre near Launceston Cornwall England.The wildlife centre concentrates on rescuing injured and abandoned otters,with the aim of rehabilitation and eventual release back into the wild.I was shown round after all the visitors had left which was an amazing privilege for me to spend some quality time with these incredible intelligent animals.It is great to know that otters are now on the increase in the U.K since the banning of hunting them which was totally barbaric.I have yet to see them in the wild as they are very secretive,also rarely seen during the daylight hours,but i am an optimist and with more and more daylight sightings i hope to get a glimpse sooner or later of these powerful aquatic mammels.

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Dyrham Deer

Dyrham deer park is situated between Bath and Bristol in the United Kingdom. It is set in over 270 acres of beautiful grounds and woodland, and is owned and managed by the National Trust.Dyrham parks name originates from the Saxon word for deer,and is home to over 200 wild fallow deer.It took me a while to locate these deer,but because the weather was warm i knew i could find them in a cool woody area.Such Graceful beautiful animals.

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Chance Meetings

Badgers are one of the most iconic mammals in the UK.They are predominantly nocturnal but sometimes can be seen at dusk.The three badgers i have photographed here were chance meetings, infact i stumbled upon them foraging totally unprepared with only seconds to react before they disappeared into scrub.Because their eyesight is poor i had a few seconds to depress my shutter,and with poor light it was with more hope than judgement.Unfortunately due to the British Governments  controversial badger cull in the UK  which many people including myself are opposed to i can not tell you where they were taken, but i hope you will like them.

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