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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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 Talbenny Fox

During cubbing season i spent the most incredible and emotional week with my favorite species the British Red Fox.I was staying in a holiday cottage where my fiancee spent most of her holidays as a child and fell in love with this beautiful part of Pembrokeshire,Talbenny.The adjacent land belonged to a local farmer Russell and his wife Debbie. The valley they own was high in bracken with clearings the cows had grazed, with a stream running at the bottom,just the right place a fox would rear its young cubs.All i needed was permission to investigate. Russell and Debbie could not have been more obliging  and just warned me there was a small herd of cows down there.My first evening i  investigated  the area,found a den;found somewhere i could build a natural hide downwind.The next evening i thew out a few cocktail sausages near my hide in some scrub,set my camera up with an iso of 1600 on a fairly long focal length and waited.It was around 7pm when i first encountered the vixen on her own,very wary at first but still enjoyed eating the sausages i threw out.The second night i was introduced to three beautiful cubs.In the subsequent evenings i had gained their trust.By the end of the week mother and cubs were within six feet of me,and on my final night put my camera down and marveled  at these incredible,beautiful animals that grace our countryside.This for me goes down as the most uplifting,unforgettable animal interactions in my life.A huge thankyou to Russell and Debbie,without them i would never had this story to tell you. I will never forget the Talbenny fox.

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