More News

  • Wildlife of the Tibetan Plateau
  • 1st - 7th October 2016

  • I've always thought of the Tibetan Plateau as a remote wilderness and never expected to be able to go there myself, but in October I spent an amazing week photographing some of the unique wildilfe to be found there. Read the full trip report here ...

    A pack of wolves (Canis lupus)
    Pack of wolves (Canis lupus) crossing the plateau

    Herd of Kiang(Equus kiang)
    Herd of Kiang (Equus kiang)


  • Wildlife of the Northern Pantanal, Brazil
  • 15th - 24th July 2016

  • The northern Pantanal is probably the best place in the world to see jaguars, but I still felt really privileged when this youngster calmly sat on the riverbank and allowed me to photograph her.

    Young female jaguar (Panthera onca) in the northern Pantanal
    Young female Jaguar (Panthera onca)

    It's also a superb place to watch giant river otters feeding.

    Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) eating a fish
    Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) eating a fish.

    Click here for photos of other wildlife from the northern Pantanal such as marmosets, tapirs and various reptiles and birds....


  • Beijing Buntings
  • 4th March 2017

  • Thanks to Terry Townsend and John MacKinnon for an excellent trip to Lingshan yesterday. Lots of great birds including eagles, vultures, mandarin duck and chukar... shows what great wildlife can be found in Beijing province if you know where to look. My favourites were the two buntings below, which are both new species for me...

    Godlewskis Bunting (Emberiza godlewskii) Meadow Bunting (Emberiza cioides)
    Godlewskis Bunting (Emberiza godlewskii) and Meadow Bunting (Emberiza cioides)


  • Japanese Snow Monkeys
  • 27th - 28th January 2017

  • Just back from a ten day trip to Northern Japan starting with Joshinetsu Kogen National Park in the mountains of Honshu Island... home to Japanese Macaques, the most northerly monkeys in the world. They're also known as 'Snow Monkeys' and are famous for their habit of bathing in the natural hot springs.

    Japanese Macaque (Macaca fuscata)
    Japanese Macaque (Macaca fuscata) bathing in a hot spring.


  • Wildlife of the Amazon Rainforest
  • 25th - 29th July 2016

  • The amazon rainforest is one of the most famous wildlife locations in the world and it didn't disappoint. I stayed at a community-run eco-lodge in the flooded forest which is home to two highly endangered (and rather strange-looking) species, the Bald-headed Uacari and the Amazon River Dolphin. Of course I saw many other facinating animals as well, click here for more photos...

    Amazon River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) in the River Amazon
    Amazon River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)

    Bald-headed Uacari Monkey (Cacajao calvus)
    Bald-headed Uacari (Cacajao calvus)



  • Wildlife of the Southern Pantanal, Brazil
  • 10th - 14th July 2016

  • I started my Brazil expedition deep in the southern Pantanal surrounded by an amazing selection of wildlife including the boisterous but charming hyacinth macaws.   
    Click here for photos of other southern Pantanal wildlife....


    Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) in the Pantanal
    Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)


  • Hainan Spiders
  • 4th -8th April 2016

  • From Sichuan I travelled south to a completely different habitat... the tropical rainforest of Hainan Island. I didn't see any large mammals, but it was teeming with insects and spiders including the Golden Orb-weaver shown below. The giant female is obvious enough, but can you spot the tiny male next to her?   
    Click here for more photos and the strange story of the Giant Orb-weavers....


    Northern Golden Orb-weaver spider (Nephila pilipes) giant female
    Female and male Northern Golden Orb-weaver (Nephila pilipes)


  • Scary Monkeys on Mount Emei, China
  • 31st March - 2nd April

  • My second stop in Sichan Province was Mount Emei, a sacred site for buddhists but also home to endangered tibetan macaques. These are one of the largest species of monkey in asia and can be very aggressive. The one below is threatening a rival who came too close, but one of the males also attacked me.   Click here for the full story...

    Tibetan macaque (Macaca thibetana) fighting
    Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) fighting in the Emeishan mist.


  • Tangjiahe National Park, Sichuan Province, China
  • 26th - 30th March 2016

  • Took a trip to Sichuan Province in search of some of the endangered mammals and birds that are reported to survive in China's central mountains. The first stop was Tangjiahe National Park, home of the impressive golden takin and many other facinating mammals and birds.

    Golden Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) in the Minshan Mountains
    Golden Takin (Budorcas taxicolor)

  • Click here for more photos from Tangjiahe ...


  • Okinawa Island, Japan
  • 29th September - 3rd October

  • Spent four days on Okinawa, one of Japan's southernmost islands, where I photographed some of the superb wildlife living in the humid tropical rainforest in the undeveloped north of the island.

    Okinawa Tree Lizard (Japalura polygonata) eating a caterpillar
    Okinawa Tree Lizard (Japalura polygonata) eating a caterpillar

    pellucid hawk moth (Cephonodes hylas) in Okinawa, Japan
    Pellucid Hawk Moth (Cephonodes hylas) feeding on nectar


    C in Okinawa, Japan
    Endangered Ryukyu Leaf Turtle (Geoemyda japonica)

  • Click here for more photos from Okinawa ...


  • Sika Deer in Nara Park, Japan
  • Monday 28th September

  • Spent the day in Nara Park, Honshu Island, Japan. The park has a population of over 1000 Sika Deer which have been considered sacred since ancient times so they are not afraid of people. They are easy to approach and sometimes even wander into the town itself.

    Young Sika Deer buck (Cervus nippon) in Nara Park, Japan
    Young Sika buck in Nara Park

    Adult Male Sika Deer buck (Cervus nippon) in Nara, Japan
    Sika Buck in Nara town



  • Endangered Snub-nosed Monkeys
  • Wednesday 23rd September

  • As part of a school trip to Yunan Province in south-western China, we spent a couple of days in the Hengduan Mountains supporting conservation of the critically endangered Black Snub-nosed Monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti).

    Mother and baby Black Snub-nosed Monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) in Yunan Province, China
    Mother and baby feeding on lichen

    Male Black Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) in Yunan Province, China
    Adult male displaying


  • Click here for more photos of Black Snub-nosed Monkeys ...


  • Wuyishan Mountains
  • 3rd - 6th September

  • Spent three days trekking in the tropical forest of the Wuyishan Mountains, southern China. No mammals and the birds were very timid, but some superb invertebrates and lots of very cool Flying Frogs, using their webbed feet as parachutes to glide from tree to tree.

    Chinese Flying Frog (Rhacophorus dennysi) in the Wuyishan Mountains
    Chinese Flying Frog (Rhacophorus dennysi)

    Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) in the Wuyishan Mountains
    Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)

    Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae sp.) in the Wuyishan Mountains
    Lynx Spider (Oxyopidae sp.)


  • Click here for more photos from the Wuyishan Mountains ...


  • Indian Hare Painting
  • 28th July 2015

  • I'm very honoured that the talented artist Lesley Ann has made a painting from one of my Indian Hare photos taken in Yala West National Park, Sri Lanka. Below is a scan of Lesley Ann's painting together with the original photo:

    Indian Hare painting by Lesely Ann Indian Hare (Lepus nigricollis) in Yalla West National Park, Sri Lanka


  • You can see more of Lesley Ann's amazing work here - lesleyannspaintings.weebly.com


  • Successful Survey
  • 4th June 2015

  • Spent the night surveying Median Farm Nature Reserve in Carmarthenshire following the conservation work we've been carrying out over the winter. Between us, Chris Manley, George Tordorff and myself recorded well over 100 species of moth as well as various other invertebrates many of which depend on this kind of work for their survival. (Click here for more photos from the survey)

    Beautiful Golden Y moth (Autographa pulchrina)
    Beautiful Golden Y (Autographa pulchrina)


  • Scarce Butterflies
  • 31st May 2015

  • Good to see lots of rare Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterflies in the Alun Valley this morning following the winter conservation work we carried out to improve their habitat.

    Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary with open wings

    Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary roosting


  • Pembrokeshire Parasites
  • 9th April 2015

  • It looks like something out of an alien movie, but this is actually a noctuid caterpillar that's been infected by a virus which is starting to burst out of it's skin. (Click here for more details on how the virus controls it's prey.)

    Virus infecting a caterpillar
    Infected Caterpillar, Cwm Soden Nature Reserve, Pembrokeshire



  • Pembrokeshire Coast
  • 24th December 2014

  • Spent Christmas Eve walking the Welsh Coastal Path from Pendine to Saundersfoot. Not a lot of wildlife in the cool winter sunshine, but superb views of the Pembrokeshire coastline.

    Marros Sands in the winter sunshine
    Marros Sands, Pembrokeshire



  • Humiliating myself for Children in Need
  • November 14th 2014

  • In a moment of weakness I agreed to take part in 'Sponge a Teacher' for Children in need... a big mistake! (click here for more photos.)

    Sponge the Teacher


  • Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions
  • October 2014

  • Just completed two excellent Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. Firstly 26 Bronze Award students who coped admirably with strong winds and driving rain to complete their challenge. (click here for photos)
    Duke of Edinburgh Award Bronze group


    ... followed by 23 very capable Gold Award students who made light of their two days of trekking around Gower. (Click here for photos ) Duke of Edinburgh Award Gold group


  • Welsh Amphibians and Reptiles
  • 13th -14th September 2014

  • Attended an excellent course on the Ecology of Amphibians and Reptiles this weekend, where I not only learnt about how these facinating animals live their lives but I also got the chance study them in the their natural habitat.
    Click here for more photos...

    Young Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara) at Parc Slip Nature Reserve
    Young Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara) basking in the autumn sunshine


  • Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda
  • 30th July - 1st August 2014

  • The final National Park on my trip to Uganda was Lake Mburo... another savannah reserve but this time with lots of thorn scrub providing cover for species such as eland, impala and topi.

    Topi (Damaliscus korrigum) in Lake Mburo National Park
    Two male Topi fighting... the victor will win the exclusive right to mate with all the females in the herd!

    (Click here for photos of a snake eating a gecko at Lake Mburo...)


  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
  • 27th - 30th July 2014

  • Finally reached the main objective of the trip... Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the far south-west of Uganda close to the borders of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. It took a rough four-hour drive followed by another four hours trekking through lush tropical forest on steep mountain slopes, and then suddenly I was standing 5 meters from a majestic silverback mountain gorilla! There followed a magical hour photographing him and his family as they foraged, played and groomed each other. More photos of Bwindi primates here...

    Silverback Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest


  • Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
  • 25th -27th July 2014

  • Queen Elizabeth National Park, my latest stop is another savannah reserve. It doesn’t have as much wildlife as Murchison but I still managed to get some nice shots of elephants, buffalo and crocodiles as well as an interesting catch on the camera trap I left outside my tent! More from the camera trap here…




  • Kibale National Park, Uganda
  • 23rd - 25th July 2014

  • The latest stage in my Uganda trip was a tough twelve-hour drive south from Murchison Falls on rough, unmade roads to Kibale National Park deep in the rain forest. It was worth it though, as the change in habitat brought a whole new array of species including the enigmatic chimpanzees. Photos from a night trek in the rain forest here…

    Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park


  • Murchison Falls, Uganda
  • 21st - 23rd July 2014

  • My first stop in Uganda was Murchison Falls National Park in the north-west of the country. A very impressive area of lush green savannah surrounding the River Nile and teeming with wildlife including elephants, giraffes, lions, hippos and many species of bird. More photos here…

    Giraffe feeding on thorn bushes
    Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) browsing

    Red-throated Bee-eater in Murchison Falls National Park
    Red-throated Bee-eater (Merops bullocki)


  • Belgrade Forest, Turkey
  • 20th July 2014

  • Spent the morning in Belgrade Forest on the outskirts of Istabul. It’s a beautiful deciduous woodland site with lots of interesting wildlife including birds, butterflies, dragonflies and lizards.

    Belgrade Forest scenery
    Belgrade Forest

    Balkan Wall Lizard on a ruined wall
    Balkan Wall Lizard (Podarcis tauricus)

    Large Skipper Butterfly feeding
    Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus)


  • DofE Expedition
  • 4th - 7th July 2014

  • Congratulations to all the students who successfully completed their four day expedition in the Brecon Beacons this weekend despite thunderstorms, driving rain, hailstones and the local terrorist threat!

    Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition group  Expedition supervisors wearing insect protection head-gear

    More photos from the expedition here....


  • Glowworm and Moth Walk
  • 28th June 2014

  • Thanks to everyone who turned up for the walk Mike Bright and I led around Old Castle Down yesterday evening. Despite the poor weather forcast and late start time we had a great turnout and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Mike managed to find an impressive total of five glowworms all shining brightly...

    Female Glowworm (Lampyris noctiluca) trying to attract a male with her luminescence
    Female Glowworm (Lampyris noctiluca) shining to attract a mate

    My two moth traps also produced a reasonable selection including four beautiful Small Elephant Hawkmoths (Deilephila porcellus). Click here to read a full report on the evening with more photos...

    Small Elephant Hawkmoth (Deilephila porcellus) on a thistle seed-head

  • Wildlife you don't have to search for!
  • 22nd June 2014

  • I usually have to search for hours to find animals to photograph, but on the Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition his weekend the wildlife came and found us... thousands of tiny midges following us around in swarms. Click here to read the full report with more photos including the affect these vicious little creatures had on my arm....

    Dozens of tiny midges biting my arm
    Midges (Culicoides sp.) biting my arm

  • Boring Brown Moths?
  • 15th June 2014

  • The trouble with moths is that they're all boring brown things that just buzz around at night... or are they? This lovely creature is a Green Silver Lines I caught in the moth trap last night, more moth photos here...

    Green Silver Lines moth (Pseudoips prasinana) in Gorseinon, south Wales

  • Pembrokeshire Expedition
  • 6th - 8th June 2014

  • Just returned from an exhausting Duke of Edinburgh Award Leaders assessment expedition in the Preseli Hills, Pembrokeshire. Thanks to everyone for your support, especially Joe, Sara & Gemma. More photos here...

    Duke of Edinburgh Award Group, Pembrokeshire

  • Rare Snakes and Spiders
  • 29th May 2014

  • Just got back from a very wet but fascinating trip to Surrey where I met up with Matt Dowse from the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, who showed me some of the work they're doing to conserve rare reptiles like this gorgeous smooth snake:
    Click here to learn more about the trust...

    Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca) on Crooksbury Common, Surrey, England
    Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca)

    While we were there I was able to show Matt the equally rare Hackled Orbweb Spider which has only been able to survive thanks to the habitat management work the trust has carried out. Click here to read the full article about this strange spider...

  • Weird Wildlife at Home
  • 6th June 2014

  • You don't have to travel to exotic locations to find strange wildlife. Click here for photos of a female Daddy-long-legs Spider clutching her egg-sack in her teeth while suspended from my bathroom ceiling this morning.

    Daddy Long-legs Spider, Pholcus phalangioides with eggs
    Daddy-long-legs Spider (Pholcus phalangioides) with eggs

  • Generations of Moths
  • 26th May 2014

  • Last summer I had hundreds of Buff-tip caterpillars devouring the hazel and oak in my garden. By the look of it at least some of them made it safely through the winter because this morning I found a pair making a start on the next generation. See photos of the Buff-tips in my garden here...

  • Sleeping Lepidoptera
  • 17th May 2014

  • Butterflies and moths can be great subjects to photograph... but it's not easy when moths are mainly nocturnal and butterflies never seem to keep still. One answer is to photograph them while they're asleep. Read about my latest attempts here...

  • Endangered Duke
  • 4th May 2014

  • I took a trip down to Noar Hill Nature Reserve in Hampshire this weekend in search of one of the most endangered british butterflies. The lovely Duke of Burgundy is in danger of becoming extinct in the UK with it's numbers having halved in the last ten years due to habitat loss. More about my visit to Noar Hill...

  • Beetle Mania!
  • 26th April 2014

  • I went back to the Alun Valley today and saw lots of different types of beetle making the most of the spring sunshine. Click here for photos of Alun Valley beetles...

  • Early Spring Caterpillar
  • 16th April 2014
  • Took a walk around the Alun Valley to check out the affect of the winter habitat management. It's looking great with a lot of violets in the area we cleared last year and one very small Dark Green Fritillary caterpillar doing it's best to destroy them!.

    Dark Green Fritillary caterpillar (Argynnis aglaja) in the Alun Valley, south Wales
    Dark Green Fritillary caterpillar (Argynnis aglaja)

  • Night Navigation
  • 15th March 2014
  • Spent 8 hours on Saturday practicing navigtion for my Duke of Edinburgh Award qualification in the Brecon Beacons. Finished up at 10:00pm reading the map by a headtorch!. Hopefully it will come in handy when carrying out night searches for the rare Silurian Moth later in the year.
     
  • Good News for Marsh Fritillaries
  • 27th February 2014
  • Spent a few hours working at Caeau Ffos Fach Nature Reserve, home of the rare Marsh Fritillary butterfly this morning. Butterfly conservation arrange a series of working parties every year to clear invading scrub which threatens to shade out the caterpillar food plants. The good news is that there's been a big increase in the number of caterpillars recorded this year, so hopefully our work is paying off. Anyone interested in helping out, please get in touch with me via the contacts page.
     
  • Adders enjoying the Spring Sunshine
  • 25th February 2014
  • Went for a walk with my parents around the Gower cliffs and saw two beautiful adders basking in the early spring sunshine. One was a large female beautifully camouflaged amongst the dead leaves and the other a tiny bright orange baby curled up in a ball about the size of a 2 pence piece! Unfortunately I didn't have my camera equipment with me so I had to rely on the phone for photos.

    Adder (Vipera berus) basking on a Gower cliff, south Wales