Sunday, 22 April 2012

Water Vole at the London Wetlands Centre

I spent today at the inaugural London Wild Bird Watch, at the London Wetlands Centre, Barnes.  To start things off, I enjoyed listening to Simon King talk about the live webcams on two Peregrine Falcons in West London.

I then had the chance to listen to a few wildlife photographers - Ben Osborne, Jules Cox and Luke Massey, courtesy of Amateur Photographer Magazine.

As birds were meant to be the focus for the day, here's a Goldcrest (Regulus regulus), showing clearly where its name comes from (click to zoom in):

I also wanted to try to photograph a water vole (Arvicola amphibius) - a mammal I remember seeing as a kid, but not one I've ever been able to photograph.  Despite some pretty heavy rain later on in the afternoon, I managed to take a few photographs I am relatively happy with, given the conditions (click on photos to see larger).  

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Tenerife - The natural world meets some serious horse power

I've just come back from a wonderful week in the Spanish island of Tenerife in the Canaries - and it's shattered any preconceptions that I had about it being full of 'Brits abroad resorts'.  

We spent the majority of our time well above the cloud-line, in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tiede National Park.  It's a stunning 'lunar landscape' of strange volcanic formations, all centred around the twin peaks of Tiede (3718m) and Vieje (3135m), the latter which we managed to hike up.

The landscape is evidently a great set for filming - a production company were making a promotional film for the (I think?) 2013 Mercedes Benz SL 63 V8 Biturbo AMG and 65 V12 Biturbo AMG - I managed to get some sneaky shots:

I'm yet to process many of my photos, but to give an idea of the variety, here is a photo of Tiede National Park:

  ... and another of a Short-finned Pilot Whales, taken between Tenerife and Gomera: