The Musuria Elephants

These images were taken back in March 2017 in the area in the Masai Mara known as the Musuria Marsh.

We were just outside camp on our early morning game drive when we came across this small family of Elephants with a bull calf.It was amazing to see these Elephants gather round this young Bull calf as if to protect it, and led him out in front of us for a days grazing in the Mara.

Incredible iconic African mammels in which i never tire of photographing,a particular favorite of my partners who not only loves them but also a keen supporter of the David Sheldrick Trust, an incredible organisation which heads a major rehab and release programme for orphaned Elephants in Kenya.

If your ever in Nairobi please go and visit the orphanage its an emotional and rewarding experience.

Elephants are in mass decline due to the illegal ivory trade.Without worldwide support for these majestic mammels soon viewing them will be in the past.Please dont buy ivory,some poor Elephant has been hacked to death for it

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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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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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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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