Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Top Publication uses RN Images . . . .
Before the new 'Fair Isle' publication (see previous blog entry below) which I was thrilled to be a part of & supply images for, I also supplied images for another exciting Collins, 'New Naturalist' title, this time: 'Bird Migration' by well known author Ian Newton. . . .

"The phenomenon of bird migration has fascinated people since time immemorial: the arrivals and departures of different species marked the seasons, heralding spring and autumn, and providing a reliable calendar long before anything better became available. Centuries ago, when people first noticed that birds disappeared in winter, it was believed that summer-visiting Barn Swallows buried themselves in the mud at the bottom of ponds, while winter-visiting Barnacle Geese were thought to turn into gooseneck barnacles for the summer, living submerged in the shallow seas.

The truth, however, is more awe-inspiring than even the most intriguing folk tales. The collective travel routes of birds span almost the entire globe, with some extreme return journeys covering more than 30,000 km every year. The tiny Willow Warbler, a delicate 8 g bird, undertakes some of the longest and most arduous journeys of any land bird, and the extraordinarily long-lived Manx Shearwater is known to fly over 8 million km during its lifetime.

In this seminal new book, Ian Newton provides an in-depth study of the different types of bird movements along with their main migration patterns. He focuses on the process of migration, which includes timing, energy needs, weather effects and navigation, and he explores evolution and change in migratory behaviour, as well as geographical and ecological patterns. Professor Newton's absorbing account of an extraordinary phenomenon which does not cease to amaze us offers a wealth of information which will be read and enjoyed by expert and amateur alike." . . . . .

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

June Bugs
June is always a busy month & this year has been no exception with ecological work in Surrey, moth trapping & bird ringing (lots of pulli) in Woodbridge, gallery photographic work & a book review taking up a lot of time. The tiny garden is once again alive, especially in the evenings with our annual invasion of Stag Beetles cruising over like drone aircraft, a family of Wood Mice that feast during the night & broad daylight on the peanut feeders & of course the nightly moth trapping sessions are now bringing in high numbers of many species. We have also be attempting to lure the much sort after 'Clearwing' moths & have managed to attract 6+ Currant Clearwing at a local small fruit farm on our first go, a great start!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Seabird Spectacular
Just received the latest 'July' issue of Birdwatch Magazine and am delighted to see I have my favourite Fair Isle Puffin shot on the front cover! Superb! A couple of very smart moths in the garden trap over the last few days included the large and rarely trapped 'Goat Moth' and a beautiful 'Green Silverlines'. . . . more images to follow shortly!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Fair Isle - through the seasons

I felt really privileged to have been asked to provide a good selection of photographs for the publication 'Fair Isle' through the seasons, a beautiful NEW publication by Roger Riddington & Malachy Tallack out this week! I was one of only a small selection of photographers who were asked to take part in this special publication, timed perfectly to coincide with the same month as the opening of the New Fair Isle Bird Observatory. Photographers include Dave Wheeler with his incredible Fair Isle landscapes, Deryk Shaw, David Gifford & Mark Breaks. This delightful & unique Fair Isle book will no doubt be a huge success & an invaluable asset to any Fair Isle visitor's coffee table, past, future or present. . . . the UK birding mecca, beautifully illustrated & described.

'A tiny piece of land, halfway between Orkney & Shetland, Fair Isle is the most remote inhabited Island in the United Kingdom. Yet it is a place that inspires endless fascination.'

'This book gathers together photographs of Fair Isle's spectacular scenery, its wildlife and birds, and the life and work of the community . . . . .this is the story of a unique place, told through the turning of a year'.

Spring Watch

Just back from a superb Spring week on Fair Isle & Shetland. It was great to catch up with friends & see the 'New' Bird Observatory in it's nearly completed state - it does look incredible! Birds were fairly quiet this week but a cracking male Red-backed Shrike, Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Common Rosefinch & the Red-throated Pipit shown here were all very welcome scarce Spring migrants. Again as is always the way these days, we were torn when departure day came, but a technical fault with the plane saw us stranded on Fair Isle for one more day ;-) & we missed our other 2 connecting flights back to Luton . . . However this twist of fate saw me take the best photographs of the trip during our 'extra' day followed by another great evening with Hollie & Deryk so all was not lost! We also jammed in on an extra day on Shetland at the weekend where we drank tea with Helen & Paul H in the Shetland sunshine, had fillet steak & Lobster at the Sumburgh Hotel & managed to photograph Skua's & a smart Osprey being attacked over Virkie. Quite a trip!