Battle on the Topi Plains pt 2

The story i have told on part one,but i would like to add that this incredible predator and scavenger often dubbed a villian on the African grasslands has an integral part to play along with Vultures in cleaning up the reserves of disease.Without them there would be many sick animals.

To see a clan of Hyenas on a carcass or hunting game is a sight to behold.Very powerful and social,always a pleasure to photograph.

While watching this Clan on the Topi Plains i noticed one Hyena with a snare wrapped around its neck.These type of snares are meant for Bush meat and can cause a slow and painful death.

Our guide Ntuala reported this to the Kenyan Wildlife Service.The last i heard the KWS were going to dart this Hyena and remove the snare.

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Battle on the Topi Plains pt 1

These images were taken back in February 2017 on our annual trip to the Masai Mara.

Ntuala our Masai guide led us to this Eland kill on the Topi plains where we were greeted by the whole Mdomo pride including the pride males Lipstick and Blackie.

The pride had killed the Eland bull in the night and were well fed by the time we arrived.

The lions had stripped the carcass of all the most nutritious meat and left just the stomach lining and intestines in which the brave Jackels would steal avoiding mock charges from mainly the two young males.

Looming in the background a large clan of Hyenas massed calling each other trying to intimidate the young males to the point where one Lioness and Lipstick came to the aid  and charged the Hyenas.

One hour later the Lions well fed left the carcass to the mercy of the Hyenas in which part two i photographed.

This was an amazing time to watch the dynamics of two major rivals in the animal kingdom competing for food.

A huge thank you to Ntuala our Masai guide working for Governors camp.A fantastic guide who loves the Animals and proud to be Masai.His knowledge,where to position the Land rover that was not intrusive to the animals and great for us photographers was fantastic.

I used a Canon 7d mk 2. 100-400mm Canon lens with polarising filter.

Coming soon the Hyenas in part two.

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Death on the Mara river

I photographed these harrowing images on the bank of the Mara river. Even though the whole event lasted just ten minutes the experience for me was  hard to photograph,but as my guide Ntuala said this is reality of life and death in the Mara.

To see at least twenty large Crocodiles converge on this helpless Zebra was a rare experience,so with a heavy heart i shot these images.The sun was bouncing off the river,eventhough i was using a polarising filter many images were over exposed.

This is life in the bush.

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Freemans

I took these images earlier in the year on safari in the Masai Mara,Kenya

It was back in March when i photographed this young male in an area the locals call Freemans.This area was about thirty minutes drive by land rover from Governors camp,nestled by the Olare Orak river.This area of the Mara is notorious for Leopard sightings and at this time many people were getting regular sightings of a famous Leopard in this area known as Bahatti.

As we were on a afternoon game drive we knew we did not have much time when we got there,so all we could do was hope.With no sightings and distant rumbles of thunder as the light rains were coming in we were just about to head back when we noticed this young male Leopard sat by a dry lugga,we think Bahatti,s son.

I managed to rattle off a few frames before a loud rumble of thunder spooked him,sending him back in the bush to disappear in front of our eyes.

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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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Playtime

I took these images back in March on the southern plains east of the Talek river,Masai Mara.

At this time Malaika,the most famous Cheetah in the Masai Mara had two cubs.They were nine months old,one female and one male.

Malaika a great huntress has proved time and time again that she can rear young where Lions and Hyena reign supreme.Her status as a mother is unrivalled.

It was pleasure to watch and photograph these two cubs practicing their hunting skills in the heat of the day while Malaika lied under a croton thicket keeping cool.

Photography side was extremely difficult due to the sun being so high and no cover.Even using a polarizing filter did not make much difference.With a combination of a low ISO and a low light setting on my Canon 7Dmk11 i managed to get a few shots off,but many were also over exposed.

Currently Malaikas cubs have now separated from her mum and now are hunting for themselves near Governors camp.

Malaika is currently hunting in the Rongai area of the Mara.

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Paradise Pride

The Paradise Pride in the Masai Mara as from March 2017 has four pride males known in the Mara as the four Musketeers,six lionesses and many cubs at various ages.They have now split into two groups,some have crossed the Mara river and gone into the Trans Mara,and the other group are south near the main crossing point.

I had the pleasure of photographing this Pride in March 2017 on various occasions,my highlight being them feeding on a young Hippo kill near the crossing point.

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Madomo Pride, part 1

Earlier this year i had the privilege to photograph this pride in their home range on the Southern Topi plains and as far as Malima Tatu.

With two of the most impressive blacked mane males in the mara this group has grown strong with ten young lions,ages between five months and one year.Four powerful lionesses including one of my favorites Shingu.

With Blackie and Lipstick in their later years i do feel a pride takeover will not be far away.I do hope to see them in 2018 as they symbolize the African Male lion to me. I

used a Canon 7d mk2, 1-400mm is-usm Canon tele photo lens,polarising filter.

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The Marsh Pride Pt 1

These images were taken during March 2017

I have watched and photographed this famous pride since 2011 and have seen the highs and lows,the lowest being the illegal killing of two of the three graces ,Bebe, Sienna by Masai Herdsmen.

The highs for me being able to see White eye during her final yrs,and watching Red and Tatu grow and mature before leaving the Marsh to find their own territory.

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Marsh Lioness Charm

Charm was born in the Musiara Marsh area of the Masai Mara in 2003.Born into the Famous Marsh Pride she soon splintered off into a satellite group known during the B.B.C. series Big Cat diaries as the Three Graces  [ Charm-Joy-sienna  ]

Charm is the daughter of Red,a great hunter of times past.She returned back to the main pride in 2010 and now is the oldest lioness in the pride at fourteen,a good age for lioness,and still going strong.

Kit used

Canon 7d mk 2

100-400 Canon is,usm Telephoto lens

Standard Hoya polarising filter.

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