Time to explore
I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a patchwork of fields, meandering streams and agricultural land which all provide a veritable oasis for wildlife.
Most of the images selected in this portfolio are taken no more than a short journey from home. It maybe owls nesting along the hedge line, rutting deer in the woods or foxes that call the church cemetery a home; with time and a little research, you’d be surprised by what you can discover.
Access is always a key factor and on farmland I’ve always found a simple introduction to the owner is met with interest and generally good favour. But we are lucky in the UK to have access to vast and diverse tracts of habitat held in trust which is readily accessible to all.
Further afield some of my favourite locations include the Chilterns where I love to photograph the red kites together with the rolling moorland along the Pennine Way; a great habitat for mountain hares. The list is endless and there can be no greater satisfaction than studying a location, doing your research and when the planets align; rewarded with that fleeting moment that leaves you breathless. It’s a feeling that underlies my passion for wildlife photography.
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than you'll ever seek."
Out and about
I don’t think I could ever tire of watching the spectacle of boxing hares at sunrise on a crisp, cold winter’s morning.
Brown hares can be found throughout the Suffolk countryside and are well known for their energetic behaviour; especially during the breeding season. Between February and March they can often be seen chasing one another across the fields as the ‘bucks’ vie for the attention of a prospective mate.
It’s an elaborate courtship as the hares pair up and face off; staring at each other inches apart until the ‘buck’ pushes his luck, the doe loses her patience, the bell ‘rings’ and a frantic round of ‘boxing’ kicks off ringside.
The best time to see hares is at dawn and dusk. They don’t have very good eye sight but they do have excellent hearing. Typically they will use the hedgerows for cover so it’s always best to recce a location first, find a spot along the hedge line, keep low and simply wait for the drama to unfold.
There’s always an element of luck but there’s a good chance with persistence your patience will be rewarded.
"Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is."