Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Poor old badgers

I have been a fan of the badger for more than 70 years and currently looking for a suitable sett on my new patch. Over the past few years the government in its wisdom has been slaughtering badgers in its belief that it will help to reduce BTB in cattle. Close to 100,000 badgers have been killed during this time. A new scientific review found that in some cases they are to blame but they have been carrying an unfair share and puts farming practices in the spotlight instead. The rates of transmission from cow to cow are higher than previously thought. The failure to use basic infection control measures on all farms is severley hampering efforts to get the disease under control. Better and more modern methods of cattle slurry disposal must be implimented. Successive environment ministers have wasted millions of pounds on a wild goose chase while farmers have endured the unnecessary heartbreak of losing herds to the disease. Farmers, as well as badgers have been failed here and the question is why.

Info taken from The Guardian October 22nd 2018.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Getting desperate

 Getting desperate now. For almost two weeks now I haven't had a bird in the garden. I took a trip down to Pulborough Brooks this afternoon with no improvement in my luck. On the way I spotted these fallow deer in the woods not knowing that they were going to be the best shot of the day.
At the Brooks there was little to see. I sat for an hour in Westmead hide where hearing a buzzard and spotting a couple of wood pigeons, I watched the rabbits.

Friday, 19 October 2018

After much digging.......

After much digging over the past 12 months I have have finally decided the demise of the small birds where I live is due to air polution. I live in one of the worst places in the U.K. The village is plagued by the amount of traffic passing through and because of the layout it is slow and often stationary filling the air with burnt exhaust gases.
We no longer have house sparrows, very few garden birds, the visiting swifts failed to nest this year. Only the larger birds such as these cormorants, corvids and of course ferral pidgeons dominate the air space. The food in my feeders  is often thrown away without being touched. The local RSPB reserve are suffering too although they don't seem to recognise the situation. The feeders have been removed because it was noticed that some of the finches were sick and there was a fear of it spreading. Now the healthy birds are suffering because of lack of food.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

At last

Spotted Flycatcher
Its about 2 years since I began to notice the demise of the small birds in the area in which I live. I have spent many months searching for a spot where I can find a subject to photograph with little success until today. I found a little used pulic footpath behind a pub. I hadn't walked more than 200 yards along this path when I was greeted by the chirping of small birds. A family of spotted flycatchers. Unfortuneatly this was the best shot I could get as they were the other side of the river and a couple of canoes went past and scared them away.
I am still at a loss as to what is happening, could be something the local farmers are using on the fields but more likely air polution, my area is well known for the high levels of CO2.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Back to blogging

 Having had a couple of setbacks over the past month I didn't get up to much. For medical reasons I was stopped from driving which to my way of life is a must. Having a full blown check-up 3 days before my 81st I got an excellent medical report which meant I could drive again so I celebrated with a trip down to the New Forest for a few days with my family. One would think that it would be the perfect place for a wildlife photographer, no such luck, I have more wildlife in my back garden than I found down there. The only pictures I took were in a hawk conservency.
Returning home after a very enjoyable few days I took a trip down the road to see if the peregrines were OK. There they were quite content surveying their patch with full tummies no doubt.

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.