Wednesday, 29 November 2017

At Last

 With my age catching up on me I can't walk to the best places locally to get wildlife to photograph so most of it is done from or very near to the car. I stopped at one of my haunts on the side of the road hoping to see an owl or similar hunting for its evening meal. I saw this fox sitting in the field not 50 metres away.
Well within the range of my lens I took a few shots before deciding to abandon ship and take a closer look. To my surprise he ignored me and carried on snuffling about in the grass.
 Even when I got to the gate he seemed not to worry about my closeness. In fact he started studying me and took a great interest in what I was doing.
We spent about 30 minutes watching each other before he decided he was not going to get his supper hanging about watching me and departed. I took over 100 photo's and spent most of the evening sorting them.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Pond life

 Still no sign of the small birds that have disappeared from the village. My feeders in the garden the food is going rotten and having to be thrown away. Occasionally I hear a robin but nothing else. My nearest sign of life is at the village pond where this cormorant and heron are often seen together.
 The heron is a young bird which I think has come from a heronry about 2 miles away and has adopted the pond as his feeding place, a good fishing spot too.  Plenty of food around where people feed the ducks, mallard, coot, moorhen, corvids, gulls, wood pigeon and the occasional mute swan but no sparrows or finches. It has been like this for more than a year. I am baffled.
Me and my shadow

Friday, 22 September 2017


The government has announced that more licences have been issued for the shooting of up to 33,500 of the nationally protected badger. Contrary to the imformation of the past 5 years culling which is being cherry-picked to make it look as though the cull is working it is a shambles. Badgers have as many as 10 setts so if you kill at one sett they just move off to another and you end up chasing them around the countryside until your licence runs out. The cost of culling 1 badger runs into several thousand pounds, the cost per head for vaccination is just £84. Vaccination is being undertaken by private donations through Wildlife Trusts and similar organisations and it works. While shooting at night could injure or kill innocent animals or even people.
This imformation was obtained from THE GUARDIAN Published 11 September 2017.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Another badger cull this Autumn

Another badger cull is planned for this Autumn. Licences have been issued for the culling of up to 1,000 badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire. I fail to see the use of this cull when it will leave approx. 800,000 badgers to carry on spreading BTB. sorry that could be the other way round. One may hear of lots of reports of cattle being found with BTB but I am yet to come across a report of a badger with it. This disease is also carried by deer and there are far more deer roaming our countryside than badgers. Bovine TB is carried by many animals including household cats. I can remember back in the 1960's TB was rife in humans and by the late 70's it had almost disappeared through vaccination on a grand scale and it has only returned because of immigration, but it it still under control. So if the government still insists on culling perhaps it should be extended to include the many animals that we keep as pets.
This terrible disease is spread through excretions from the body, have you ever looked at a farmyard that is used by cattle then looked at the area surrounding a badger sett, badgers have latrines, cattle do it anywhere all over their dinner table, need I say more. Flies are seen all over cattle (at both ends), the only time you will see a fly on a badger is when the badger is dead.
It is cheaper to vaccinate than to cull. I am glad to say that some counties will not comply with the cull and many land owners will not allow it on their land. Wales vaccinate as do Ireland.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Murder most foul

 I make it a habit to check any badger carcas that I come across on my travels. This one appeared just 10 minutes after I had driven along this peice of road. It was so fresh that even the flies had yet to find it. Method of killing was most certainly shot gun. It was an obvious illegal killing and so close to home I didn't report it in case of any backlash. This happened more than 2 months ago. Badgers use their own pathways and this was nowhere any known pathway in fact local badgers are nowhere near this spot.
Badgers are a protected animal and one has to have a special licence, only issued in certain area's during the official cull.

Mike Attwood - Photographer

About Me

My photo
Evacuated during the second world war to a village in Yorkshire where I lived in the home of a good photographer for more than five years who taught me the basics and a great deal about nature. Well past retirement age I have been a wildlife photographer for more than 30 years. Red Kites have been my speciality for much of this period. I did spend several years snapping wheelchair athletes and organizing the British Road Race Championship. In the year 2000 I was awarded a distinction by the Royal Photographic Society for my portfolio on wheelchair athletes. Most of my pics are digital, using Sony cameras and Sigma lenses. I used to spend many weeks each year with friends in Wales which is close to the Elan Valleys where I got many of my raptor pics. I now get these pictures more closely to home, specially red kites and peregrines. I support my pension by selling my pics, cards, coasters, fridge magnets and key rings etc. at craft fairs, something I wish I had done much earlier in life. I give illustrated talks to clubs and societies on wildlife and other branches of photography that I have been involved in.