10/52 Wildlife

Well, this week I have attempted to tackle one of the areas of photography that I’m not very good at and don’t really have the kit or patience for: wildlife photography. I absolutely adore good wildlife photography and these amateurish attempts on relatively static animals have increased my appreciation (already high) for the hard work wildlife photographers put into a great image. Now, as I mentioned (you see I’m getting my excuses in first), I don’t have the kit required for stunning wildlife pictures. My biggest zoom is my trusty 80-200mm, whereas most serious photographers of wildlife will be using huge telephoto lenses. Nor was I shooting using a tripod. I do have one but we had limited time for our walk/photo session this morning and faffing about with the three-legged beast wasn’t on the cards. But still, despite that I got a few interesting shots of the wildlife we encountered this morning, in the back garden at first, then by the Royal Military Canal.

Firstly, this critter is responsible for me turning into more of a lunatic than I already am. We have bird feeders up in the garden and these greedy grey squirrels are constantly chasing away the wrens and dunnocks and snaffling all the nuts. They’re vermin essentially, tree rats, but actually their colouring is far from the dull grey their name suggests and they are annoyingly cute so my shooing is always a little half-hearted.

The next pictures may come as a surprise, they are not the type of wildlife one would associate with a walk along a canal path on Romney Marsh, but here they live. Admittedly they are in a secure safari park, but still, it’s quite exciting to see glimpses of African game on a Sunday morning walk in Kent. Who doesn’t love a giraffe?

Finally, I almost trod on these two as they were mating freely in the middle of the path, quite unaware of the danger of dogs and people. Now, I’m ashamed to say (and my father will be very cross with me for this) that I’m not sure if they are common frogs or common toads. Having read that the female Common Toad carries the smaller male to breeding ponds, I am inclined to think they are toads. The texture of the skin is amazing and the yellows, olive green and bronze shades really glowed against the dark muddy path. The only native species we saw today save the birds!

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Common Toads. The female carries the smaller male to the pond to mate. Copyright Fiona Michie.
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