A male King Penguin trumpets its safe return from the sea to a passing female whom he hopes to attract. All this against a backdrop of a spectcular deep red sunrise. at 0430 on a summer's morning. Volunteer Beach, East Falkland, Falkland Islands.
This image was expert-commended in the 2017 Bird Photographer of the Year.
FLOATING ON SAND
Very much alone on a remote, South Atlantic island, I resisted the temptation to seek shelter and took this photograph of a gentoo penguin returning to its rookery from the sea, appearing to gracefully float above the sand whipped up by gale force winds. The Neck, Saunders Island, Falkland Islands.
This image graced the cover of Wildlife Photographic magazine in September 2017.
Despite the temptation to seek shelter myself, I took this photograph of a small group of gentoo penguins as they struggled against driving sand whipped up by gale force winds to return to their rookery on Saunders Island. Falkland Islands.
This image was Guardian photograph of the month in January 2017.
Peale's dolphins congregate in small pods off the coast of South America. I had spent several minutes trying to capture one riding the bow-wave of my boat and porpoising against the dramatic scenery of Westpoint Island. I got several average shots, but I was much happier with this image of a sleek dolphin, completely at home in its underwater environment, appearing to emerge from the splashes of our bow-wave like a torpedo. Falkland Islands.
This image was highly commended in GDT European Photographer of the Year 2017
King penguins undergoing the annual moult often outcast themselves from the main colony until they shed their old feathers and are ready to breed. A small group of such outcasts are seen here wandering into the enclosed waters of Volunteer Lagoon. I particularly liked the drama of the sky and light of the setting sun on the water. East Falkland, Falkland Islands.
I stalked (I use the term loosely) this stag for some time as it climbed up the hillside before being positioned in front of this jaw-dropping backdrop and looking me straight in the eye. Taken on the spectacular Applecross peninsular, Scotland.
KING OF THE ROAD
I watched for nearly twenty minutes as this adult giraffe slowly emerged from below the horizon, like an apparition, silhouetted against a mountain backdrop, on a lonely perimeter road in Timbavati Private Reserve, South Africa.
A young leopard cub strays a few yards from its mother and pauses briefly in its attemps to climb a small tree. A few days later she was sadly killed by a hyena when her inexperienced mother took a kill back to their den. Sabi Sands Private Reserve, South Africa.
A pride of eighteen lions of mixed ages and looking in need of a meal, gathered closely in the early morning to greet a returning female. Sabi Sands Private Reserve, South Africa.
This image was shortlisted for 2018 GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year and published in Outdoor Photography Magazine in June 2018.
A group of giraffe congregate at Umgodi waterhole contemplating an early-morning drink whilst remaining wary of threats lurking nearby.
I was particularly intrigued by the slightly distorted effect created by the use of the very wide angle lens needed to capture the scene from so close. Zimanga Private Reserve, South Africa.
A small herd of elephants, illuminated from behind by the setting sun, pick up speed and kick up a backlit dust as they approach the edge of the Okaukeujo watering hole. Etosha National Park, Namibia.
This image was featured in Wildlife Photographic magazine in September 2018.
CHEETAH IN FOCUS
A collared cheetah, the only image from Okonjima to make it to these pages. This was the first time I had seen telemetry used to track wild cats and this one, together with its brother were closely guarding an impala kill. Unperturbed by humans, this cat shoulder checks the horizon for competing predators.
This image appeared in Outdoor Photography magazine in May 2018.
It was shortlisted for Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2019.
Persistent conservation efforts in Scotland and the north of England are slowly returning the indigenous red squirrel to our forests and woodlands; maintaining vigilance against the dominance of the larger, native North American grey squirrel.
This image shows a family group of three squirrels resting peacefully in the fork of two tree branches. Smardale Nature Reserve, Cumbria, England.
WHITE TAILED EAGLE
By the beginning of the 20th century the once-indigenous white-tailed eagle was shot and poisoned into extinction. It has now been gradually reintroduced to several sites in the UK, making it’s Britain’s largest bird of prey. This bird is one of fifty pairs that has now been successfully established in Scotland.
He is seen here, taking a fish from the surface of Loch Harport, Isle of Skye.
PURRFECT BIRTHING PARTNER
I watched this lioness sitting in the shade of a hot, sunny day alongside another restless female who was imminentlly due to give birth. A hundred yards away both were watched intently by a small herd of zebra. Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.
Matriarch elephant leading her small herd to the waters of Silale Swamp, Tarangire National Park.
This image came second in 2017 WMP Digital Photography Section Annual Awards.
This photograph of a captive eagle owl in flight, was taken in a field of clover outside the Barn Owl Centre, Gloucester. Unusually, for a bird of prey centre, this bird is not restrained by jesses.
This image won the “Photocrowd” new-member vote in November 2017.
Returning from a hard days fishing at sea rockhopper penguins patiently wait their turn to have a freshwater shower and drink.This allows them to complete the preening process necessary to maintain the condition of their precious feathers. Although initially wary, the penguins soon grew accustomed to my presence. I lay down under the shower to get the necessary perspective for this shot. Saunders Island, Falkland Islands.
This image was expert-commended in the 2017 Bird Photographer of the Year awards.
AWAY WITH YOU
I watched this scene unfold for several minutes. A female king penguin was courted by two males until she finally made her decision and chose her mate. The pair then sent the loser on his way. Volunteer Beach, East Falkland, Falkland Islands.
A cheetah pauses for a moment during a dawn patrol, looking over her shoulder, straight through me and my companions. Timbavati Private Reserve, South Africa.
Sabi Sand game reserve is internationally renowned for the opportunity it offers for observing leopards in a completely natural environment. This female was patrolling along a beach at the outer edge of her territory, periodically stopping to scent-mark her territory as a warning to intruders. Kruger Private Reserves, South Africa.
Female leopards routinely mark their territories using scent glands. This individual is about to use a scent gland in her cheek to scent mark a bush on the boundary of her domain.
NEVER LOOK BACK
A curious young male impala turns his head in a quirky position and looks fleetingly back over his shoulder. Timbavati Private Reserve, South Africa.
A pair of zebras create an interesting pattern as they pose together. Timbavati Private Reserve, South Africa.
Captured from the confines of a hide I love the high degree of symmetry, silken fur of the giraffe's head and the pouting top lip as she stoops to drink. Zimanga Private Reserve, South Africa.
This image was a finalist in 2018 GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; shortlisted for 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year and published in Outdoor Photographic magazine in June 2018.
This leopard had sensibly secreted itself in dense vegetation and avoided a soaking from a heavy downpour, which is more than I can say for myself. While we paused to watch him, I paid the price for occupying a full row of rear seats to myself. When we pulled forward, the rainwater that had collected in the canvas canopy went over the rear edge, onto my head and straight down my collar. Yuk! At least my cameras stayed dry.
Small herds of zebra drinking quielty by the watering hole are almost invariably spooked by some, occasionally real, but usually imagined threat. I timed this backlit shot to take advantage of the young foal in the foreground and sparkling water drops kicked up in the panic. Nebrowni waterhole, Etosha National Park, Namibia.
This image was published in Wildlife Photographic magazine in September 2018.
An adult barn owl peers down from his temporary residence in a ventilation duct on the side of my neighbour's house. Cumbria, UK.
Over the last 25 years, the AfriCat Foundation has rescued over 1100 cheetahs, lions and leopards that have been trapped as a result of human/wildlife conflict on the farmlands in Namibia.
Amongst other conservation programmes, the AfriCat project provides an environment for previously non-releasable large carnivores to hone their hunting skills. Based on a 22,000-hectare nature reserve at Okonjima in central Namibia it allows for cheetah and leopard to become self-sustaining prior to returning them to their natural environment.
Prior to release in the wider park, cheetahs are protected at the AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre where they are given food and care, including the exercise necessary to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.
This image shows the morning exercise routine of one of those cheetah, chasing an electrically-powered, mechanical lure moving around a circuit at 100kmh.
A large matriarch elephant stood between me and her small herd as they made their way to the Silale Swamp. She held her ground until they had all passed. Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.
THE RAINS ARE COMING
Huge herds of wildebeest in their tens of thousands engage on an annual migration; following the rains and lush grass across the plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya to the Serengeti in Tanzania and back again.
These wildebeest graze on the dying grass of the 'Wedge.' The distant rains and lusher grass will soon drive the migration south. Lemai Wedge, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.
This image was shorlisted for the 2017 Asferico Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
A lone elephant grazes slowly across the wide and sweeping plains of the northern Serengeti, Tanzania.
RUPPELL'S GRIFFON VULTURE
Ruppel’s Griffon Vulture is a large vulture that occurs throughout the Sahel region of central Africa. The current population of 30,000 is decreasing due to loss of habitat, deliberate poisoning by ivory poachers and other factors.
This captive bird was photographed at Newent International Centre for Birds of Prey.
My daughter Kerry was travelling in New Zealand and I visited to catch up with her. We ventured to the South Island’s remote Fjiordland National Park and cruised up the mighty Milford Sound. This iconic location is hemmed in by huge mountains, imposing cliffs and thundering waterfalls. I anticipated taking some great pictures of this iconic location to be frustrated by heavy, overcast skies and persistent drizzle. I needn’t have panicked. The sun broke through and the clipper sailed into position just as the rainbow revealed itself. Within seconds, the moment was gone, but I had my picture.
This image was published in Lonely Planet Traveler magazine in 2016.
BARN OWL WITH CHICKS
A captive barn owl approaching her three young chicks with a rodent offering. Northumberland, UK.
Every year, thousands of seabirds flock to the rocky cliffs of the Farne Islands for their annual breeding. Pairs of puffins dig or re-inhabit previous years burrows to look after their hungry chicks whilst their partner heads out to into the North Sea to fish for sand eels.
This puffin is returning to its burrow with a mouthful to feed their hungry chick. Northumberland, UK.
Bass Rock is an imposing rocky island rising over 100m sheer from the Firth of Forth, Scotland. It is estimated to host about 150,000 northern gannets nesting in close proximity to the cliffs.
This gannet was slowing down in flight in order to negotiate a safe landing on a cliff face nesting site.
This image was a runner-up in the BBC Countryfile Calendar competition in 2016 and appeared on the July page in 2017.
A group of king penguins walk up and down the length of Volunteer Beach in the early morning, plucking up the courage to go to sea, where they know they are likely to encounter hungry sea lions. East Falkland, Falkland Islands.
KING PENGUIN PROFILE
I liked the complimentary colours of this shot, hence the slightly unconventional composition. Further, unusually, the penguin's dark eye was visible against its black feathers due to its posture and the lighting of the low afternoon sun. Volunteer Beach, East Falkland, Falkland Islands.
BRITISH SUMMER EVENING
This dramatic opportunity at Sandsend in North Yorkshire was created by combination of winds and high tide. It took some patience to get this image and I was soaked in the process by a wave hitting me from behind!
This image was judged The Guardian photograph of the month in July 2017 and came joint third overall for the year.
This image is one of my favourites from this collection. With a minimum of tinkering in post-production, this surreal scene was exactly how it presented itself to me at 4.35am on 17th November 2017. Zimanga Private Reserve, South Africa.
The unmistakeable silhouette of a giraffe is caught against the dramatic skies created by a setting sun in Etosha National Park, Namibia.
LANDING ROOM ONLY
Frozen in motion, a swarm of the normally too-fast-for-the-eye-to-see, red-billed quelea, land at the Ozonjuitji m'Bari waterhole. How they avoid in-flight collisions is anybody's guess. Etosha National Park. Namibia.
A red kite folds its wings and stoops into a dive to ensure it reaches maximum speed when retrieving the morsel of meat cast for it at an RSPB-inspired feeding centre. Gigrin Farm, Wales.
This nighttime image of an ageing cape buffalo bull captures for me, the essence of his bulk, power and strength. Seen from a hide near Umgodi water hole at Zimanga Private Reserve, South Africa.
This image was published in Wildlife Photographic magazine in September 2018.
The short-eared owl is one of Britain’s increasing number of red-list most endangered birds. A combination of habitat loss and extremes of weather both have an impact on their breeding patterns and food availability.
Notwithstanding , I saw this mother of three, quartering the ground, on evening in the Cumbrian north-pennines.
CURLEW IN COTTON
This shot of a curlew was captured from the roadside on a late spring evening in the upland grass meadows of the Cumbrian North Pennines, UK. It is normally shy and skittish and getting close enough to capture a photograph presents a real challenge. For a few days each year however, a window of opportunity arises, as it cautiously stands firm and alarm-calls to distract potential predators from its flightless chicks, grazing nearby in the long cotton grass.
ON THE WALL
The endangered curlew is a wading bird, normally residing along Britain’s lengthy coastline. Every summer, however, these birds migrate to the central Pennines to breed and when they are distracting potential predators from preying on their young chicks, become much bolder and easier to photograph.
This parent perches on a dry stone wall to distract my attention. Cumbria, UK.
KESTREL OVER KIELDER
The distinctive sight of one of Britain’s smallest birds of prey, a kestrel. When hunting, the common kestrel characteristically hovers about 10–20m (33–66 ft) above the ground, searching for prey, either by flying into the wind or by soaring using ridge lift. Like most birds of prey, common kestrels have keen eyesight enabling them to spot small prey from a distance. Once prey is sighted, the bird makes a short, steep dive toward the target.
This bird was seen hunting in the north pennines near Kielder Forest. Northumberland, UK.
A cheetah resting in the sun at AfriCat, Okonjima Namibia.
A giraffe crossing its bush territory in the deep glow of a Namibian setting sun. Etosha National Park.
PASSION OF THE MOMENT
A passionate encounter between male and female lions ends with a characteristic roar and snarl. According to the experts, lion couples mate at the rate of two to four times per hour, with each copulaton lasting around 20 seconds! Etosha National Park, Namibia.
This image was shortlisted for Asferico International Nature Photographer of the Year 2019.
A male lion staring me down. Near Nebrowni water hole, Etosha National Park, Namibia.
A lioness secreted under thick undergrowth looks out intently on human passers-by. Etosha National Park, Namibia.
A young juvenile cheetah, resting and shaded from the heat of the day, alongside Twee Palms Drive, Etosha National Park, Namibia.
EYES ON MOMMA
Three juvenile cheetah dozing in the late morning heat are awakened by an invisible bond with their mother as they realise that she has lunch (nearby springbok) firmly in her sights. Etosha National Park, Namibia.
Retrieving a fish from the immediate vicinity of Tarff Water in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.
Hitting the water at 25mph one normally only gets a fleeting glimpse of a blue flash of feathers as a kingfisher dives into the water. Taken at 14 frames per second, only three shots captured the kingfisher underwater! Tarff Water, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.