Saturday, 28 February 2009

Frogs (Spawning)

Here are some pics of some spawning frogs in a local pond in the Forest of Dean.

There were well over a thousand frogs in the entire pond. An awesome sight.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Forest Fallow Deer

Here is a nice scene, a couple of fallow bucks and some doe's just after the rut in November 2007.
Even though the patchy sun looks nice, it made the conditions difficult for a good photo. I had to wait for the deer to be become vertually motionless or else I would have ended up with motion blur, which happened on around 80% of the pics from this shoot.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wild Boar

Here are some wild boar (sus scrofa) taken in the Forest of Dean in 2008. Not a great photo, but any pic of wild boar is keeper.

There was a big female , but she kept herself hidden and it wasn't long before she moved the rest of the sounder (group) on.

I tracked them for around a mile before they decided that they had enough of me and moved out of the area.
Notice the big scar on the male in the bottom pic? There are quite a few critics that say the wild boar are unhealthy and are diseased! If this boar was unhealthy and diseased it would not have recovered from a wound like this, probably inflicted in a domestic fight. Male boar do not breed until they are 4 years old so it is unlikely it was caused through territorial fighting.
As soon as males reaches sexual maturity the females drive them out of the sounder, the males then live a life alone, only returning to sounders to breed.

I have seen quite a few in my time, the largest sounder contained between 25 - 30 adults, this was at night near Speech House. This may sound exaggerated, but I can assure you it isn't and I have a witness who was with me that night, who also couldn't believe his eyes.

Check out my link to an article I wrote for the BBC about the wild boar at the very bottom of this page.

Female Adder (Vipera berus)

Here are a few pics of a female adder (Vipera berus) taken in the Forest of Dean in 2008. I try to get as many different angles as possible to show the detail of these beautiful snakes.

Having a relaxing time on a low tree branch.

Here she is concentrating on photographers Paul Skelton and Andy Carey.

A perfect example of the V marking on the back of the adder's head.

Ever wanted to see an adder up close? Here you go, don't touch the screen, she may bite!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Some More Forest Dwellers

This is a pic of my first grass snake up close (taken in 2004), she had just swam across Lightmore fishing pond and came out onto the bank near where I was sitting. This is the only decent pic I managed to get as she didn't hang around after she saw me! Around a metre in length.

This was taken in October 2008 at Speech House woods. The light levels were very, very low.

This adder was also taken in 2004 and I used a 400mm lens with 3 extension tubes to get close. This meant that I had to manually focus while hand holding on my belly!

This Owl is my favourite non-native species, the Great Grey. I photographed him at the National Bird of Prey Centre in Newent, Gloucestershire.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Some Winter Birds

A tree creeper at the Cyril Hart arboretum, taken in Feb 2009.

A mistle thrush in the snow at the Cyril Hart arboretum, taken in Feb 2009.

A robin in the snow at the Cyril Hart arboretum, taken in Feb, 2009.

Various Forest Wildlife

I photographed this red kite at the National Bird of Prey Centre at Newent, Gloucestershire.

This grass snake had it's eye on a meal, sadly a strike opportunity didn't happen? Maybe next time?

A female adder on a low tree branch, I used a reflector to bounce the light back under her.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Forest Deer

A fallow doe in 2007 near Woorgreen lake.

Gigrin Farm Red Kites, Rhayader

Red kites at the feeding station at Gigrin Farm, Rhayader, Mid Wales. I was lucky to see the rare white kite and here he is.

I have met some great people while out and about with my camera over the years. I recently added another friend to my list the other day, his name is Bob Bushell and it will always be a pleasure to meet him in the future.

Just a few pics to get me started.
The female grass snake was around 4' long, I found her near Speech House.
The female adder was around 14" long, again found and photographed near Speech House.
The Blue Tit was photographed during the snow in Feb 2009 at the fallen tree near the entrance to the Speech House Arboretum.