With our continued interest and increasing visits to East Africa it's been necessary to split my original safari animals album down into two parts. However, to avoid having two very similar contiguous sets, I've decided to dedicate this initial album just for the 'big cats' - essentially lions, leopards and cheetahs, plus a few photos of serval at the end. I hope that one day I'll also be able to feature the elusive caracal, although I have a feeling that will probably be more through luck than planning!
Together with the remaining carnivores such as hyaenas and jackals, this second set is primarily for elephants and all the ungulate species. It covers all of the safari destinations we’ve visited in East Africa, namely the greater Masai Mara region of Kenya, Ruaha, Selous & Katavi in Tanzania, and South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi in eastern Zambia, which for all intent and purposes can be included even though Zambia is generally regarded as a southern African country.
Complementing the two East African animal sets, this album only features photos of birds. It includes all the aforementioned safari destinations as well as the Gambia in West Africa and a couple of images from Uganda. It does not include Bird Island as that destination warrants its own dedicated album. Obviously with the bird life in Africa being so diverse, this relatively small collection of images barely scratches the surface of what I’ve seen and photographed.
Given the shear number of times we’ve visited Bird Island over the past twenty or so years, it seemed only appropriate to feature some of the thousands of photos I’ve taken there in a specific location-based ‘collections’ album of its own. Apart from a couple of turtle and giant tortoise photos, this set is all about the birds that make this tiny Indian Ocean island their home. Some are resident species and others are migratory, only dropping in for a few weeks each year.
The Galápagos Islands are generally regarded as the most unique and scientifically important wildlife destination on the planet due to their remote location and numbers of endemic species. We had a ten-day tour of the islands at the beginning of 2015.
It was a truly unforgettable experience, albeit a photographically challenging one, as the wild and often rugged habitat, coupled with the necessary access restrictions, made compositionally pleasing photos quite difficult. This ‘collections’ set includes some of the better and 'cleaner' images - my associated Flickr album contains a more comprehensive selection.
Unlike my two Africa photo albums, this collection of images from Latin America includes animals and birds. At present the featured destinations are the Tandayapa Valley in Ecuador, Southern Pantanal in Brazil, and the Peruvian Andes and Amazon rainforest. I’d originally intended to incorporate a few images from Costa Rica but, for the reasons noted below, they were excluded.
Our first trip to Costa Rica was in 2011. When I looked back at the photos I took I was quite disappointed, so decided not to include any in the previous album knowing that we were going to return. We did, in 2019, and the images from that visit were, I'm pleased to say, significantly better to the point that I couldn't resist incorporating them here in their own dedicated album.
All of the photos in this ‘collections’ album were taken during an amazing two-week trip in September 2018 to the aptly named Great Bear Rainforest; a remote and wild region of Canada's northwest Pacific coastline, that extends some 400km or so from the top of Vancouver Island along the Inside Passage to Alaska. This was a special trip to photograph bears, so understandingly bear images dominate the set.
As the title suggests, this album contains a selection of wildlife images from some of our trips to Europe, visiting such places as Kuusamo in northern Finland, Iceland, the Danube Delta in Romania, the Marais Poitevin marshlands region of western France, plus Extremadura and Andalucia in Spain, and northwest Mallorca. As with the following collection, this album primarily features bird photos.
This penultimate ‘collections’ album features images from various locations around the British Isles, including the Farne Islands, Scottish Highlands and Isle of Mull, as well as quite a few of the local places on my home patch. Not surprisingly the majority of the photos are of birds, simply because there are far more opportunities to photograph birds in the UK than there are of seeing animals in the wild. There are a few exceptions of course, but to be able to go out and photograph foxes for example is exceptionally difficult, unless you’re fortunate with where you live or have access to private land. Picking a relatively small number of photos from the thousands I have on the hard drive was a rather difficult job.
Due to the shear number of photos I've taken in the UK, and the fact that so many bird species, or indeed complete families such as gulls, have not been featured at all in the previous 'Around the British Isles' album, I've included this final set just for passerines. Photographing small birds is always something of a challenge, which invariably puts them at the bottom of the pecking order, but that doesn't mean that they should be ignored.
Background images (top to bottom)
Princess Royal Channel, Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia
Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Post Office Bay, Floreana (Charles) Island, Galapagos
Mid-elevation Cloud Forest, Peruvian Andes
Three Lochs, Glen More, Isle of Mull, Scotland