Speaking to Squirrels

The term ‘Animal Whisperer’ is used to describe someone who can ‘talk’ to animals. Animal Whisperers can perhaps tell animals certain messages and show them various emotions and sounds they can understand and reply to. Animal whispering requires a level of trust between both beings. There are multiple ways in which to build trust with an animal, but one of the most obvious ones is to feed it. Feeding wild animals can bring you closer to them until they begin to realise you are not a threat. As long as you have safe and tasty food that would be nutritious to the animal, you are ready to go.

I have used this technique with the Grey Squirrel which thrives in many parks and gardens around Britain. Over a number of months I have been visiting my little furry friends and feeding the nuts. As well as strengthening the bond between me and the animals, it has allowed me to take photographs far closer the animals than ever before. The best thing is, anyone who has the patience to wait in the cold and the rain for possibly hours on end to feed a few shy squirrels some nuts will eventually get to the point that they no longer fear you and even recognise you. I have a few squirrels I can remember from distinct features that I have come particularly close with and will come right up to the camera when I photograph them. It’s not always a quick process, but after time I can assure you that if you have the right attitude, the right food, and patience, you will be able to achieve the beginning of a bond with certain wild animals.

Here are some photos I have taken that would never have been possible if it were not for the bond I share with these squirrels.

 

 

 

 

Iceland: Whale Watching

In the Easter Holidays 2016, I went on my exciting trip yet; Iceland. I was incredibly excited to discover the wonders of the mountainous landscape, and explore one of the arctic’s gems.

First, I arrived in Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. My aim was to explore the city and participate in local activities, most notably: Whale Watching. I had heard that there were many Humpback Whales in the harbour, a beautiful spectacle to see for the first time. So on the first day of my trip, I packed my bags and went searching for Whales. I boarded a boat and setup the 300mm lens. I was rearing to go and excited to see what the Icelandic shores were giving homes to.

A while after the Boat ride had begun, news was spreading across the boat of a Humpback Whale sighting not to far from the boat itself. Brimming with excitement, I edged forward through the crowd to the front of the boat, camera at the ready. I couldn’t seem to see anything until  suddenly there was a splash of water in the corner of my eye and a brush of black appeared on the blue canvas. I opted for the quick point and shoot option as it began to go into a deep dive. I wasn’t quick enough. Annoyed that I missed my chance, I still had determination. After that, the chances just kept on coming. A lot of them I missed, but I was lucky enough to capture a few photos in those precious moments that the whale surfaced.humpback-whale-deep-divehumpback-whalehumpback-whale-2

Over all, I would say it was one of the best experiences of my life, and I am privileged to have had the oppotunity to see one of the world’s most elegant natural beauties.

Visiting Slimbridge

In the early spring of 2016, I went on a trip to Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire. The aim was to photograph wild water fowl close up to get some nice portrait shots. The centre provided shelter for many birds, and I was delighted to capture numerous shots and enjoy a nice (slightly wet) day.

 

A Very Yorkshire Trip

During the summer holidays, on a trip to Harrogate in Yorkshire, I was interested in photographing some of the local wildlife. It turns out, where I was staying, there was a large rabbit warren bustling with rabbits of all ages. I set up camp just above the entrances to the warren. The warren was incorporated into the side of a hill, which meant I was sitting directly above the underground tunnels. With no access to a tripod, I rested the camera on the ground above the largest entrance. I focused my lens and began to wait.

As I expected, rabbits began to emerge from beneath me. I was lucky enough to capture a few shots of the timid offspring.