Showcase

(Contains 24 photos)
Gannet portfolio Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve in north east Yorkshire is without doubt the best place in England to watch sea birds.
The high chalk cliff faces, eroded by the North Sea and the extreme weather conditions that are common to this coastline provide numerous natural ledges for thousands of nesting sea birds.

Species such as Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Fulmar and most peoples favourite the Puffin thrive here.
Perhaps the most noticeable bird you will see at Bempton Cliffs and my personal favourite is the Gannet (aka Northern Gannet).

The Gannet is a very large sea bird with a white body, black wing tips and a orange/yellow tint on it's head.
These big birds, although very clumsy looking and with a 6ft wingspan are supreme flyers and their mid-air displays are a joy to behold.
It really is a very special sight to watch a Gannet dive for fish torpedo-like at speeds of up to 90 mph...These birds have specially evolved beaks with no external nostrils for water to be forced up.

Another beautiful sight for Gannet watchers is the way courting birds greet one another.
When returning to the nest, a Gannet pair will point their heads skywards and perform a ritual which involves gently tapping there bills together, looking and sounding almost like a sword fight!

Gannets also take great care over their nests and seem to be constantly searching for new materials to keep the nest in good order!

The UK contains internationally important numbers of Gannets with around 70% of the global breeding population based around these isles.
(Contains 16 photos)
Grey Seals portfolio These images of the Grey (aka Atlantic) Seal were taken on a cold, dank, late November day at Donna Nook in Lincolnshire.
The Grey Seal is Britain's largest mammal and nearly 50% of the global population live around these shores.

I find it hard to think of a more intense wildlife experience in the UK, than a close encounter with these beautiful animals.
In the four or five hours I braved the bitter North Sea chill, I went through every emotion as I watched with wonder a day in the life of a Grey Seal...

The playfulness, the mating and the newborns feeding were all joyful highlights of the day.
The intense violence between the huge rival Bulls was a darker, but none the less exhilarating sight.

Sadly where there is life, there also has to be death and I thought that it was only right to document this as well...After all it is a integral part in the balance of nature.
The sight of young Seal Pups that appeared to have been abandoned by their mothers was also a distressing scene...When they look at you with those big black dewy eyes, your heart just melts.
(Contains 22 photos)
Red Grouse portfolio Being lucky enough to live so close to the Peak District National Park and all the wonderful wildlife and scenery that goes with it, it's hard for me not to include in these portfolios a species that perhaps symbolizes the area more than any other...The Red Grouse.

The Red Grouse is a bird of great charisma and is as tough as it gets.
A dweller of the very harsh high moorland, the Grouse is a true survivor of some of the bleakest and most inhospitable terrain the UK has to offer.

The male and female birds are both very beautiful in their own right and their comical calls and clumsy flight never fail to bring a smile to my face when I'm walking in this part of the world.

At the beginning of March 2010, I began a year long project with the aim to photograph and observe these amazing birds throughout the changing seasons.
I will be posting some of the photographs in this gallery but many more images and also field reports will be frequently published in my blog under the headings 'Red Grouse Study'.
(Contains 17 photos)
Red Kite portfolio "London...A city of Red Kites and Crows" William Shakespeare

Not so long ago the majestic Red Kite after century's of persecution was critically endangered in the UK, but in recent years thanks mainly to massive conservation efforts and breeding projects, these birds are thankfully making something of a glorious fight back.

Nowhere has this resurgence been more noticeable than in the beautiful countryside of Powys in mid Wales, helped in no small way by the fantastic effort put in by Chris & Lena Powell who set up the famous Red Kite feeding station at Gigrin Farm in 1992.

The idea of a feeding station at Gigrin was proposed by the RSPB after witnessing Mr Powell feeding a regular roost of 6 Kites on his farm with Rabbit during the winter months.
Red Kites hunt mainly in the mornings and if insufficient kills are made the birds would visit Gigrin for a 'Top-up'.

The few daily Rabbit's fed to that initial group of 6 Kites has risen significantly over the past few years and now anything up to 800kg of the finest lean beef is spread on the ground weekly and on some days visiting Red Kites can number 400!

Oh, and who says birds can't tell the time?
The feast begins at 3.00pm prompt (2.00pm in the winter) and in the minutes leading up to lunchtime, the sky's begin to fill with Kites, Buzzards, Ravens, Rooks and even Grey Herons!

The feeding station is not only very good news for the birds, it's also good news for anybody who wants to witness the amazing aerial displays of what is surely the most beautiful of Britain's birds of prey at close quarters...
(Contains 19 photos)
Grey Heron portfolio The British winter of 2009-10 turned out to be the coldest and harshest for more than 30 years.
Snow covered the entire country at times and temperatures dropped to below -20c in some places.
The biggest victim of the big freeze was of course the wildlife and I doubt we will ever know the true extent that the winter had on birdlife.

In January, I spent the first two weeks of the year following a group of Grey Heron as they struggled to survive.
It was both a fascinating and at times heartbreaking project and one that left me with a whole new respect for these wonderful birds.

I watched as they desperately hunted for scraps of food, unable to rely on fish stocks because of the frozen lake.
I also witnessed the sad sight of a juvenile being constantly driven away by hungry adults.

My best day came on Sunday 10th...
After digging myself into deep snow by the river and baiting an area close by with Turkey scraps, I was treated to close up views of the exiled juvenile as he waded through the deep snow.
We shared a very interment hour in each others company that day and I don't think I'll ever forget that experience.

I'm very pleased to say that all the Heron's including the vulnerable juvenile survived and are doing very well...
(Contains 19 photos)
Red Deer portfolio Despite being Britain's largest land mammal, the Red Deer remains a shy and elusive creature.
These elegant animals are always a pleasure to photograph, but one that also fill me with apprehension...It can sometimes be quite unnerving when a large Red Deer Stag stares straight into your eyes and moves curiously towards you.

Common sense and of course a huge respect for the animal play important roles when trying to get close to Red Deer, oh and no small amount of luck also!
(Contains 16 photos)
House Sparrow portfolio The humble House Sparrow is an often overlooked species by nature photographers because I guess they are deemed too common or boring.
Common? Well yes at the moment, but they are currently in critical decline and are now on the RSPB's Red List.
Boring? Never! I have always found these cheeky little birds a pleasure to watch and their behaviour never fails to surprise me.
(Contains 16 photos)
Robin portfolio Everybody loves the Robin and that is why I've decided to add a portfolio of Robin shots to the showcase gallery.
Quite possibly the most instantly recognizable bird in Britain, the cheeky Robin never fails to bring a smile to my face and I can never resist pointing my lens in a Robins direction whenever I come across one.