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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Badger

A few years ago a very good friend invited me to photograph the badgers in his garden. I sat on his veranda with a floodlight on and as you can see it was pouring with rain. I hadn't sat there for long when this badger appreared just a few feet from me to sample a mixture of peanut and oats.
Totally ignoring me he got stuck into his meal, the oats now  turning to mush due to the pouring rain.
The bowl was almost at my feet but it didn't seem to bother him.
When he had finished he glanced up at me with a satisfied look on his face as much to say 'I enjoyed that'. 
I learned a lot that evening about animal behaviour. There is no such thing as taming a wild animal, it's trust.
Getting a wild animal to trust you is easy if you have time and patience. Regular meetings with a titbit in your pocket and they soon learn that you can be trusted. I have succeded with a number of creatures including birds. At the moment I am working with foxes, hedgehogs and a pair of blackbirds.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Much closer

It was a miserable afternoon but I thought 'What the hell' at my age I might not get another chance so of I went down to the quarry. I parked the car, grabbed my gear and set off to make the climb and as you can see it was well worth it. I would have stayed longer and got a lot more pictures but I was getting wet and at my age it could be disasterous so I decided now that I know it can be done I shall wait till the sun shines.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Peregrines

 As the peregrines were so active yesterday I though another trip to see them would not go amiss. I waited for about half an hour with not seeing anything when all of a sudden all hell broke loose and the pair appeared with one with a kill in its talons.
 They dissappeared behind the trees for a few moments before reappearing much lower and well within the range of my camera. This one seemed to have part of the kill in its beak.
After darting in and out of the trees for a while they vanished to devour their supper in some quiet spot.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Getting ready for spring

I have spent the last few weeks preparing my garden for the arrival of spring. Planting trees ( fruit and berries)  for the birds to feed on and roost in. Nest boxes, for robin, sparrow and tits and any other species that would care to live here. I had a rest from the chores today and popped down to the quarry to see how the peregrines were doing. The pair were busy mating at the top of the cliff, I tried to grab my camera quickly to get the shot but by the time I had set it up it was too late and all I got was the male departing. The foxes and hedgehogs have been regular visitors to my garden right through the winter showing up on my infra-red camera's most nights. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Barn owls

A few years ago I was told of the barn owls were nesting at Pulborough Brooks in a special box in the roof of the building. This was  my first encounter and photo's of this photogenic bird.
I was keen to see more and found this one near Selsey but alas it was my only siting. After several visits I never saw it again.
But not giving up that easily I scoured the countryside and was amazed how successful I was in the number of nest sites I found. Some were less than a mile from my home.
I became addicted to photographing barn owls and was out every afternoon and evening visiting local sites with my camera. They are a creature of habit and have favourite haunts so in fact you can just sit and wait for them to turn up.
Soon you become something that the owl gets used to and accepts you as the norm and will ignore you. I have had one that used to fly to me and sit on a post and watch me.
Low light photography seems to enhance the pictures.
 Because of their slow wing beat and movement through the air they become easy to get good action shots.
Will often sit and pose.
This was taken early evening just as the sun was setting.
Conditions and timing was the same for this shot.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Bosham Harbour

Oyster catcher
A trip down to Bosham was the order of the day. Jacque feeling better so I decided to take her out to lunch. A place that would suit us both was Bosham. We could have lunch in a cafe sitting by the window overlooking the water.  There were a couple of hundred brent geese on the mud as the tide was out which was good for me as there would be plenty of waders around.
A bar-tailed godwit in its winter plumage of which there were several.
Curlews came quite close enabling me to get plenty of photo's as they fed.

Walk by the pond.

A dozen or so shelduck arrived on the pond this evening and started arguing over a female like men do. 
 Quite a brawl soon kicked off with several pairs failing to settle their differences'
 Meanwhile in one corner a pair of shovellers didn't take any notice and carried on with their evening feed.
A pair of  fallow deer became quite alarmed by the commotion and soon left to find a more peaceful spot.

Mike Attwood - Photographer

About Me

My photo
Evacuated during the second world war to a village in Yorkshire where I lived in the home of a good photographer for more than five years who taught me the basics and a great deal about nature. Well past retirement age I have been a wildlife photographer for more than 30 years. Red Kites have been my speciality for much of this period. I did spend several years snapping wheelchair athletes and organizing the British Road Race Championship. In the year 2000 I was awarded a distinction by the Royal Photographic Society for my portfolio on wheelchair athletes. Most of my pics are digital, using Sony cameras and Sigma lenses. I used to spend many weeks each year with friends in Wales which is close to the Elan Valleys where I got many of my raptor pics. I now get these pictures more closely to home, specially red kites and peregrines. I support my pension by selling my pics, cards, coasters, fridge magnets and key rings etc. at craft fairs, something I wish I had done much earlier in life. I give illustrated talks to clubs and societies on wildlife and other branches of photography that I have been involved in.