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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Lipstick And Blackie , Madomo Pride males

In my opinion the most impressive black mained males in the Mara at the moment.

How long they hold their territory for we will wait and see as they are 12yr old plus,old for pride males.I hope they are still there next year as over the years i have grown to love these charismatic and powerful lions.

My images were taken with a Canon 7d mk 2, 400mm  is,usm Canon lens with standand grad filter.Various iso parameters trying to keep it below 2000,less graining.With the sun set so high during the heat of day photography can be tricky.

I hope i have done these boys justice with these images.

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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 Great Grey Owl

The Great Grey Owl can be found in North America as far east as Quebec to the Pacific coast and Alaska.The species in North America has been classified endangered under the Californian endangered species act.In Europe the Great Grey can be seen in Norway,Sweden,Finland,Estonia,also Russia.

This owl feeds on small rodents such as mice and squirrels and has a wingspan up to 60 inches.The Great Grey territory are usually coniferous forests and open glades where it prefers to hunt and nest.They often nest in abandoned hawk and eagle nests or on tree stumps.Breeding pairs in North America successfully fledge 70 to 80% of their young.

I am sure you agree this is a beautiful bird which i had great pleasure in photographing.

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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 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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