As a hobby we watch wildlife, and perhaps as more than a hobby we are involved in Badger Protection. When the opportunity allows we love to go for walks and see British wildlife. We also take our holidays to allow us to watch and photograph wildlife. I now have a Canon digital SLR with a 400m lens. My skill with a camera needs to improve but I am pleased with some of the photographs I have taken. I love watching the wildlife so much that although I want to get some good photos I never want that to be the main aim of viewing wildlife. Our love for wildlife even led us to a life changing decision to move to Scotland.
We have been lucky on some of our holidays. It was during a holiday to the Isle Of Mull that we went on a wildlife safari with David Woodhouse. In one day David taught us how to look for wildlife. We have been back to Mull many times and spent many happy hours watching otters, white tailed sea eagles and golden eagles. .
Most of the badger pictures were taken with
a 35mm film camera.
Keith is a Director of the Badger Trust. I spent six years studying a group of badgers in Essex, most of the pictures are of them. I have also included pictures of two of the badgers we have looked after at home. Katie, named after the RSPCA inspector who collected her and brought her to us to care, and Petra also named after an RSPCA officer.
We also enjoy going bird watching. We feed the birds in the garden and also enjoy trips out to areas where birds can be found. We would not consider ourselves as true twitchers but do enjoy going to fairly local areas to see migrants which have made it to this country. The winter of 2004 brought an invasion of Waxwings, a bird I had seen in books as a child and never had the chance to see. I was delighted to catch up with a flock near to home. We have also caught up with several other unusual birds in 2004, follow the link to see our birding photographs.
In addition to enjoying the wildlife of Scotland we loved to go down to the New Forest, which is where I saw my first badgers. We simply love the wild spaces there, heaths and woodland alike. We have spent many hours in the Forest watching the Red Deer rut. One of the things we like to do while staying in the New Forest is to go out after dark and drive slowly and carefully through the forest to look for wildlife. By doing this we have seen deer (Red, Fallow and Muntjac), Foxes, Owls and of course Badgers. Unfortunately this is not the best way to take photographs, but the thrill of seeing our British Wildlife is still there. We have also seen Weasels and Stoats but again we have not yet managed to get photos of them. It will be a while before we get back to the New Forest now we live in Scotland, but I am sure the Forest will draw me back. It is one place that I will miss down in the south.
While in Scotland we also fell in love with Otters We have had some great views of Otters in Scotland. During our trips to Mull we spent hours watching otters fishing and feeding. We were able to watch this lovely animal on land as well as in the water. . It was David Woodhouse of Isle of Mull Wildlife Expeditions who taught us how to look for Otters. It was his "training" that helped us find this one on Skye. Have a look at my pictures on Other Wildlife to see some better Otter photos.