Annual Newsletter

January 3, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Best Wishes and a Happy New Year to you all for 2016
There is little doubt that 2015 will be remembered for its extremes of weather. We had one of the coldest summers ever recorded followed by a dry, sunny and warm autumn then an extremely wet and dull November and December. All this has a profound effect on wildlife and ultimately what I capture on film.

Our visit to Islay in February had some wild weather but at the height of a hailstorm I managed to film a Raven feeding on a Goose carcass. Ravens are very wary birds and I have been after these shots for years.The Cairngorms in March produced my best ever Crested Tit shots and from a very icy summit of Cairngorm good Ptarmigan photos.

In the Pennines many consecutive mornings were spent on Kingfishers and I was finally rewarded with an action shot of the male presenting a Bullhead to the female which was too big for her to take. At 6.00pm that same evening the photograph was shown and mentioned on BBC television news programme – another first for me!

Our three weeks on Islay in summer produced a maximum temperature of only 14 degrees C. which was infact 1 degree colder than what we had when we returned in late October! I did however obtain some film of Corncrakes and flight shots of Hen Harriers which Mark Avery is now using in his fight to protect this very special raptor.

A week on Mull in July produced the photographic event of the year when an Otter that I was filming caught and carried ashore a five foot Conger Eel. A couple of pictures I took of the event I subsequently sold to a national newspaper which was another first for me – although it didn’t provide me with a fortune!

During a short period of good weather in June I had a rewarding day trip to the Farne Isles to film the seabirds. At the same time I spent many hours in my local hills before I was finally able to film a male Long Eared Owl hunting in full sunshine – something I have been after for a long time.

In the latter part of the year I stayed up specially to film the eclipse of the moon which was most rewarding. On Islay in October I found my first ever roost of Hen Harriers and when I arrived home to the Pennines I found a roost of Long Eared Owls – so much for a quiet year!!

My twelve favourite photographs of the year are included in this weeks gallery. Click here

2016 will see the end of my winter film shows after 44 years. Perhaps after that life will become a little quieter?