I hope all’s well…
So, this is the driest April for many years and although the sun has been very welcome, you soon realise that we are not fully into summer as it’s still quite chilly in the shade or once the sun is setting. I realised this the other day when we broadcast a Summer Food show from the QVC garden – the sun had been beating down all day and had set behind Q Towers so by the time we went to air… it was freezing! Both myself and the crew were so pleased to get back indoors after the show.
I’d even applied a liberal coating of Ultrasun’s SPF 50 in anticipation of working in the sun for two hours. Oh well, better to be safe than sorry. Perhaps I’ll ask our Ultrasun guest Abi if they could bring a line in thermals to the Q as well as fantastic sun protection products? Just a thought. 😉
I’m therefore now prepared for this “alpine” style weather when I’m out looking for wildlife to photograph! Plenty of layers and sun protection, along with a camouflage cap.
Although I have built up a fair amount of wildlife knowledge over the years, I’m constantly reminded that every day is a school day! The more I learn, the more I appreciate wildlife around me all the more. Last week I spotted a male Dartford Warbler singing from the top of a gorse bush. I quietly crouched down and began filming him – he was unaware of my presence and I got some lovely footage with the assistance of a very long telephoto lens.
As I was filming I realised that he had a mate flitting in and out of the bush below him and I soon realised they were constructing a nest nearby when I spotted the female with a strand of straw in her beak. Despite the urge to film their nest building, I slowly withdrew and left them to it. Dartford Warblers are a protected species for good reason and I knew it was the right thing not to risk disturbing them during this time.
Recently, I came across two magnificent male Sand Lizards fighting for mating rights. They are the UK’s rarest reptile along with the Smooth Snake and also protected, so I was chuffed to have managed to film them from a distance. They were blissfully unaware of my being there, concentrating on wrestling like two dinosaurs in miniature. Here’s a still shot of the victor – what a specimen!
Although unfortunately long telephoto lenses are costly they do enable us to capture close-up images without having to get too close to our subjects. Each species will have it’s comfort zone around humans and generally I’ve found the wilder the species the greater the zone’s distance. Compare the “gardener’s friend” the Robin, picking worms off my spade as I dig, versus the Great Spotted Woodpecker, who flies away from the feeder if it spots me moving around inside my house!
Talking of inside my house, the whole family are big fans of British brand SBC – a customer favourite brand delivering both quality and quantity. On Friday the 30th they’re bringing us a lovely Today’s Special Value (TSV). The Four-Piece Hair & Body Propolis Collection features the launch of their new Propolis & White Willow Body Wash in a (1 litre) supersize, the wonderful Propolis Moisturising Gel (1 litre) supersize, plus a Propolis Scalp Care Shampoo (500ml) and Propolis Nourishing Conditioner (500ml).
The new Propolis & White Willow Body Wash can help to deeply cleanse and nurture your skin, used in either your bath or shower routine, and the Propolis Moisturising Gel is a lightweight, easily absorbed formulation with a fragrance composition of wild honey entwined with soft jasmine, rose petals, patchouli, frankincense and amber cedar and musk base notes. The Scalp Care is a refreshing and soothing shampoo formulated to help control a greasy scalp and dryness, while the conditioner has been designed to work alongside the shampoo to help you achieve beautiful, healthy-looking hair.
I won’t be presenting it on the day but as I say, we are all firm SBC fans in the Franklin household.
Thank you for all of your kind comments left on my blog, I do appreciate you taking the trouble to post them.
Until next time… stay watchful and well cleansed! (Sorry that’s all I’ve got :)).
No wonder your photos are the best, that lens must require it’s own transport.
Ha Ha ! Yes it does Madeline, unfortunately it’s me ! Dale x
I always learn something new about the natural world reading your blogs. How exciting for you to see the pair of Dartford Warblers busy building their nest – maybe in time, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the fledglings 🙂
As with all your wildlife pictures, the Sand Lizard is another stunning image – thank you again for sharing some of your photos, they really are amazing 🐦🦎
Best wishes to you and your family
Thank you Jules, I actually was lucky enough to see a Dartford fledgling (not belonging to the pair I mentioned) it was quite funny to see how clumsy it was amongst the gorse compared to it’s Mum 🙂 Dale x
Hi Dale, great blog as ever. Your passion for photography is great and you do take some amazing pictures, whilst taking care not to disturb the animals. I know what you mean about it being deceptively freezing! You look out the window and then when you go for a lovely walk you are taken by surprise by how chilly it is out of the sun. We are fans of SBC too and i have just introduced my son to the propolis shampoo which he is loving. Looking forward to the TSV. Take care and happy photographing! xx
Thank you Karen – I’m learning every day – I’m pleased your son discovered SBC 🙂 Dale x
Stunning wildlife photos. That expensive equipment is paying for itself though as you can really get so close to your subjects without disturbing them and bringing us all such joy whilst learning a lot about the birds and wildlife from you.
Yes I watched the Summer Food Fest and did feel for you and camera crew. However you were the professional as always! Did wonder though if Andi Peters had been with you whether he would have insisted on going indoors!
Take care and thank you for your photos.
Thanks for your kind words – Yes perhaps AP might have asked 😉 but the truth was that we were using all 4 studios that evening and the option to run inside wasn’t there 🙁 never mind lesson learnt and no harm done. Dale x