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 Heron

These images were taken on a visit to a nature reserve in Pembrokeshire Wales called Westfield pill.

I was given a tip off from a local man that there had been regular sightings of otters by dog walkers,so i went to check it out but to no avail.On the way back to the car i noticed a Heron stalking the bank and quickly shot these images.Take note one of the images taken i thought was this Heron snatching a frog but on closer inspection realised that this was part of a plastic bag.Discarding plastic causes high numbers of fatalities in all aspects of wildlife.So when i see discarded poo bags from dog walkers it makes my blood boil,we have all got a responsibility to take care of our wildlife.

I used my old camera set up which consisted of a Canon 7d with a Sigma 120-500mm lens.My focal length was set at 450mm due to the distance of the Heron.ISO-1250. Spot metered.

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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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The Canadian Goose (Branta Canadensis)

These images were taken back in the spring at my local wetland reserve using an old Canon 7d accompanied with a 500mm  Sigma telephoto lens,a basic package.

The Canadian goose is a native species to the Artic and temperate regions of North America.These geese are migratory and often reach us here in the U.K.

They are well known to be seen in wetland and park areas and large in numbers,but that does not distract it from being an impressive large bird with plenty of attitude.

There are people who consider them pests with issues such as crop deprivation and noise levels,and in North America Canadian geese are the most commonly hunted waterfowl.

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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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Wild Wales

These images were taken at two different locations in Wales.

The Buzzard was taken near Dale Pembrokeshire,and the Red Kites were taken in the Black mountains.

I shall begin with the Buzzard images in which we had just pulled into a car park close to an estuary off the main Dale road when i spotted a Buzzard sat upon an old brick ruin about 70 metres away.

Notoriously difficult to get close to i grabbed my Canon 7d which had an i.s 400mm lens attached and quietly as i could dodging traffic on the road approached this ruin.

I got to within 40 metres of the bird when it took flight resulting in a few rapid frames from my camera.

As the background was dark i had to use a fairly high ISO,and that is why the images were slightly graining.Also against me was the distance i was shooting,a great challenge though.

The Red Kites were taken at a feeding station in the Black mountains,a quite beautiful place even though overcast and showery,again had to use a fairly high ISO setting but that is what i love about wildlife photography,never easy always a challenge.

Just to see these magnificent birds in the wild was a real treat,and now in particular the Buzzard are a common sight in the skies over the U.K.

The Red Kites are becoming a success story as they once were persecuted by mankind to the point of extinction.But now they have made an incredible comeback due to the hard work and dedication of conservationists.

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The Swallow, Hirundo Rustica

This series of images was taken back in June at Martins Haven Pembrokeshire.

The story behind this was that i was totally unprepared heading down to the dock to catch the boat taking us to Skomer island to photograph the puffins when i needed to go to the public toilets,there i will spare you the details when i noticed swallows sat upon the roof of these buildings,but as i entered i noticed in the eves a swallows nest.

As i could not take my camera in there,unless i was going to spend a few hours behind bars i decided to grab a few frames outside and even though i was getting odd looks from the general public it did not deter me from taking a few cheeky photos.I had also noticed that the swallows were grabbing nest material and then swooping down.

It was such a beautiful day and i hope i captured their electric blue and rustic plumage.This was a real treat for me.

Swallows are a fairly common sight around the U.K.during the summer months before they migrate to Africa in the Autumn.

They have a wonderful fluent and graceful action in flight and catch insects on the wing.

Swallows nest between April and August usually having 2-3 broods,4-6 eggs throughout this time.

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The Sparrow, Passer Domesticus

These images were taken sat in a car at a national trust car park waiting for a boat to take us to Skomer island.There must have been at least ten Sparrows bouncing around chirping away.Just observing these birds i soon realised that they were adolescent and the parents were that not far away watching them.For so long we have taken this busy,beautiful little bird for granted,but in recent studies the Sparrow population has declined as much as 71% with substantial losses in rural and urban populations due as usual to loss of habitat and farm pesticides.Cant we learn to live with nature!

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