I love the “new” format of BBC’s nature programs where you follow the photographer almost as much as the subject he/she is filming and I always wanted to try my hand on wildlife photography myself and I have spent many an office day daydreaming about tracking wolfs and eagles across barren landscapes or witnessing the mating ritual of cuttlefish :0)
But not being able to travel to globe for my hobbies I always keep an eye on the landscape when I’m out and about and always carry a camera.
This is what I found and learned just the other day :0)
It was nearly 0800 and it was a beautiful Saturday morning so I decided to go for a walk before the crowds came out to spoil it all, not only would it be healthy exercise, I might get some nice photos and I was scouting for a discrete place to sleep rough in an upcoming micro adventure I’m planning but more about that later. As I was entering the Sherburn Willows Nature Reserve it felt like I had the whole world to myself and I was enjoying the sounds of birds singing in the sky, the gentle sound of a small burn only interrupted by a faint sound of a passing train.
Enter man walking huge dog and all the birds turned very silent while the dog was chasing a ball that the owner kept throwing across the meadow, seconds before the dog came running into view I spotted some movement in the distance and I was curious to see what it was so I walked slowly past the dog walker and circled back to a small group of trees that would work as a cover and it was only a few meters away from where I saw the movement. I settled down to wait while I was watching the small burrows where I thought I saw the movement. It was a nice morning but as soon as I sat in the shade with a gentle breeze my back started going cold almost straight away and I told myself “I will just wait and see for 10 minutes” the 10 minutes came and went as my curiosity was fueled by some tiny movements underground that made some dried out plants sway in the wind, another 15 minutes passed and my legs started to cramp up as a result of my estranged seating position but I dared not moving as I sensed something was happening and within moments a large rabbit started jumping across the meadow, heading straight for me, only stopping a few times as if it sensed there was something out of place but since I didn’t move a muscle it was eventually happy with everything being safe and came right up to the burrows I was stalking and straight away the cutest kittens came out of the burrow and sat in the sun only 2-3 meters from my camera and I could literally hear my hero’s Gordon Buchanan, Doug Allan and of course David Attenborough narrating the scene in my head while I snapped away.
Below is a small selection of the photos I brought home from my morning as wildlife photographer.
All too soon something that I never saw or heard spooked the large rabbit and she jumped away while the kittens quickly ran into hiding underground.
I’m embarrassed to admit I could not tell the difference between rabbits and hares (not good enough for this pro wildlife photographer!) but a quick search on google guided me to this helpful site and I have now learned what to look for in the future :0)