Here is part 2 of my 2016 review, carrying on from part 1.
I had a wildlife trip up to Yorkshire for an early birthday present and one of my targets was a common hawker dragonfly. I had seen a probably common hawker in the Cairngorms back in 2014, but I’d never had a good view. I was luck enough to spot 2 or 3, a couple of which perched in the poor light, sadly halfway up a pine tree.
So not a great photo, but a species I’ve wanted for a while.
The next day was a trip out with Yorkshire Coast Nature wildlife tours, where when I was seawatching I sa my first Arctic Skuas. The later afternoon was spent on a boat out in the North Sea, where I finally fulfilled my ambition of seeing a ‘proper’ (baleen) whale when a minke whale appeared. The best photo was probably this one of it swimming past a juvenile guillemot and its father.
In August, back in Essex, while trying to photograph some southern migrant hawker dragonflies, this fox cub was worryingly tame, this shot is uncropped at 300mm…
I suspect it was being fed, but thankfully seemed to soon learn people = dogs/danger.
The day before I had rescued an egg bound grass snake and taken it to the Excellent folks at Essex Wildlife Hospital, so the next day I was surprised to see another grass snake, in the same pond and it posed better than any had before. The harden scientist in me knows this a coincidence, but its hard not to think nature was giving me a thank you for my good deed the day before!
In September we had a family holiday to Cornwall, where I squeezed in a bit of wildlife photography. On West Looe beach I tried some rockpooling and found little, but a family I met there kindly let me photograph their finds which included this worm pipefish (a first for me) and a hermit crab.
On Halloween, rather appropriately, this bat was out in the day and needed to be rescued (again off to South Essex Wildlife Hospital) and it turned out to almost certainly be a rare Nathusius’s pipistrelle.
A few days before Christmas I thought I’d try and finish the year with a nice bittern shot. After a 5am start, I got to Minsmere for sunrise and the bittern showed, only to fly off before coming anywhere near close. I did however get this snipe out in the open in sun later on.
So 2016 was a year with a few nice firsts and some photos I am very happy with, i hope yours were as productive. Hope you all have a happy 2017!