Here are my top wildlife moments of 2012, they are in no particular order.
I was sat in a hide watching and waiting for the distance birdlife to come closer when suddenly I see two hares bounding around the field chasing eachother, they were so caught up in the moment that one didn’t realise it was now right by the hide, giving me fantastic views.
Deer Bellowing At Richmond Park
Red Squirrels on Brownsea Island
I went with Darrell Jordan to Brownsea Island to see Red Squirrels. We got lucky and had perfect light and amazing views of the squirrels allowing for lots of photos to be taken. What more could you want. More photos from the trip here
The Local Waxwings
As most people will know this year has been a great year for waxwings, a colourful migrant that comes over to Britain in order to feed on berries. Some of these colourful birds turned up on the local industrial estate so I went to photograph them with Danny and Fiona . They allowed for views from about 6ft away at some points which was fantastic. More here
Peregrines Breeding Locally
I was very pleased to find out that not only were peregrine falcons now being seen regularly on the local council building but were also breeding and had two offspring that managed to fledge. This was a phenomenal bird to have 10 minutes walk away and hopefully they will nest again next year.
Kestrel Hovering Overhead
One surprise encounter this year was a kestrel hovering above me and looking straight at me.
Working With The National Trust
This year I worked on a project photographing the wildlife on Coombe Hill, a local area of chalkland owned by the National Trust. This was great fun and helped me discover wildlife I had previously overlooked. You can see the blog post from the National Trust on my photography here
This year I found a local population of slow worms, a species I had never seen before. It gave me a chance to contribute local reptile records and get photos of a new species to me.
Discovering The World Of Solitary Bees
One of the best discoveries for me this year was discovering the world of solitary bees, little did I know that as well as bumblebees and honey bees in the UK there is 250 solitary bee species which arguably do more pollination that honey bees yet face similar threats. I was lucky enough to have 5 or so species nesting in the garden and hope more take up residence next year.
Cormorants Catching Fish
This year I encountered some cormorants fighting over huge perch in this case and pike in others!, an amazing thing to encounter. Lots of photos of this can be seen here
Great Crested Grebe Courtship
This year was the first year that I have seen the amazing Great Crested Grebe courtship dance. An amazing thing to see in the flesh. More here
Robin Close Ups
This year I have built up some amazing relationships with robins allowing me to get close up photos of them. More here
Winning A Local Photographic Competition
My final highlight had to be winning the Princes Risborough Photographic Society annual competition with this photo.