The United Kingdom has a very diverse animal kingdom. According to the Natural History Museum, there are 'around 70,000 species of animals, plants, fungi and single-celled organisms' which gives the photographer plenty of subjects to choose from. Many can be found close to home, such as the birds in your garden. My portfolio below contains a personal collection of mammals, birds and invertebrates.
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Watching Swallows dart through the air is a wonderful sight in spring and summer months. I found a family of Swallows nesting in the burial chamber of West Kennett Long Barrow, near Avebury in Wiltshire. When visitors entered they would fly out and sit on the tall stones outside, quiet used to human activity and wait for the chamber to empty before flying back in.
With purple thistles growing in the garden during the summer, bees are soon attracted for their pollen. I captured this Buff-tailed Bumblebee as it was in the process of extracted the pollen. The focus is very sharp on the eye and gives excellent detail when enlarge.
Commonly spotted at dusk flying low over fields, this bird of prey - a true silent predator - keeps lookout for movement in the grass beneath and a potential meal.
This Ringlet butterfly hangs delicately from a blade of grass that has grown tall on a sunny hillside in the countryside of Wiltshire. Although it is brown, it wing markings provide an interesting and unique pattern.
Although this looks like a standard landscape photograph of mountains in the Cairngorms, you'd be mistaken. Take a closer look at you'll see a male Ptarmigan, quite well camouflaged, against the snow. Although the birds were very approachable I chose to change my lens to the wide-angle to capture this Ptarmigan in its environment.
A male Ptarmigan in partial winter coat stood on a rock against a snowy background. Photographed on Cairn Gorm mountain in Scotland.
Using a telephoto lens, I was able to get some very close shots of the Ptarmigan on Cairn Gorm Mountain without disturbing them. This male Ptarmigan is in the process of loosing his white winter coat, with brown flecked feathers coming through, which will give him much better camouflage when all the snow melts.
A male Red Grouse pokes its head above the thick red heather near Lochindorb in the Cairngorms, Scotland.
The Crested Tit is a rare bird in Britain. It only lives in a handful of ancient pine woodlands in Scotland, so when I had the opportunity to photograph one on multiple occasions on my trip to Scotland in March 2015 I was very happy. Named for the tuft of feather sticking out of its head, the 'cresty' is much loved by wildlife photographers and bird watchers alike. This bird was found near Loch Garten in the Cairngorms - a very good location for many varieties of garden birds.
This is a classic shot of a Blue Tit standing on a garden fork. The bird was photographed in my garden shortly after it's chicks had fledged. The Blue Tit is firm favourite and a very common garden bird in England.
The Brambling is a garden bird that's not seen as regularly as the most common species such as Robins, Blue Tits and Chaffinches. Seed fallen to the ground has attracted this female with her brightly coloured feathers for a free meal.
Always on the lookout for a free meal, this Great Spotted Woodpecker regularly visited my bird table and the peanuts I put out. Setting up a hide by the table meant I was able to get close to the bird without disturbing its feeding. It soon got used to the sound of my camera shutter and was happy to frequent the feeder with me only a few metres away.
A true garden favourite, Blue Tits are very common and can easily be enticed with the help of some bird seed. Taken at sunrise, this bird is backlit by the sun's rays. The soft focus creates a delicate yet colourful image.
With its bright characteristic patterns and colourings, the Goldfinch is a favourite for garden photography. Here it perches on the branch of an apple tree. When enlarged the amazing details of this bird - its tiny feathers and delicate feet - become apparent.
Grey Wagtails are not a very common bird, with an amber conservation status from the RSPB denoting a population decline. However when they are spotted, often by water sources, they are a delight. They are much more colourful than their name suggests and will happy walk around trying to find insects to eat.
The Lesser Redpoll is not a very common garden visitor, but it is very welcome when it appears. With its red crest it can soon be identified. Despite the rain this Redpoll balances on a budding branch, about to take beakful of seed from a nearby feeder.
The Red Squirrel is a real success story for Scottish conservation, with a thriving population living in the ancient pine woodlands of the highlands. This Red Squirrel was found in woodland on the Glenlivet Estate in the north of the Cairngorms.
As the sun sets on a spring evening, this rabbit enjoys the last glows of light. It feed on the new shoots of the crops growing in the field opposite its warren.
Nothing says spring is here like the slight of lambs jumping and frolicking in nearby fields. Here an alert ewe keeps her lamb close whilst both being naturally inquisitive about having their photograph taken. The golden sunlight behind them completes this rural scene.
This owl is a silent hunter that keeps an eye out for prey from its vantage point, flying off and swooping low when it has its next meal in its sights. However the noise of the camera shutter alerts the owl to the presence of a human in its hunting ground.
This little frog was found walking through a garden. The plants that look so small to us are quite a challenge for a creature this size, but it must clamber over them in order to complete its journey. Frogs can frequently be found in gardens, especially ones with ponds, where they can live and breed.
The majestic antlers of a deer buck has a piercing stare whilst its mottled fur provides excellent camouflage in woodland. This deer was photographed at Dyrham Park in Wiltshire.
Fallow deers were originally introduced to the United Kingdom by the Romans thousands of years ago and although the majority are now found in deers parks, some still roam wild. This female was photographed in Dyrham Park, Wiltshire. Well known for their alertness and skittish behaviour, her ears pricked up at the sound of a camera shutter.
The Five-spot Burnet moth is a common moth although its distribution is unknown throughout the UK. It safe to say that these two pictured moths are doing their best the keep the population alive. Found shortly after sunrise, the moths were clinging to the top of this piece of wild grass as they mated.
The Blue Tailed Damselfly is a regular garden visitor in the summer months but can often be confused with the Common Blue Damselfly. While the males are a vivid blue, females can appear in 5 different colours but are notably duller in appearance than the males.
An abstract photograph of a Southern Hawker Dragonfly Wing. Having just emerged from its nymph exoskeleton, it remains motionless until it has pumped up its crumpled yet delicate wings. This specimen is now ready to fly away.
On warm days in the summer months my pond is full of hawker nymphs that climb out of the water and up the nearby plants and perform an incredible change from a brown 'bug' into a beautiful dragonfly. This particular specimen has successfully completed the change and is drying off and warming up before it will fly off.
Having fed on the bottom of my garden pond for the past few years, this nymph has reached the final part of its life cycle, and has split out of its exoskeleton to reveal itself as a beautiful dragonfly. Having emerged, it must wait to gain enough strength to fly off, which it does next to is nymph exoskeleton.
After the fog lifts the sun starts shining through and this pond is transformed. A male Mallard swims around, looking for its first meal of the day. The sun's golden light illuminates both the subject and its surroundings.
The golden sunlight of a spring morning lit this misty lake as a moorhen made its way out of the grass embankment. The strong sunlight silhouetted its distinctive outline.
Making the most of a warm summer's day, this Meadow Brown butterfly lands on a thistle to gain nourishment from the nectar of the flower. The large black circle on its wing tricks predators into thinking it is an eye, and that it is a much larger creature. Its vibrant orange body provides a contrast between the green grassy background and the purple thistle.
The Speckled Wood butterfly is a beautiful countryside insect that is widespread across the rural areas of the UK and even Europe. This particular specimen was found on the side of a country lane in Wiltshire.
Photographed quite a while after sunrise on a spring morning, this skylark pauses before flying away, and breaking into its cheerful mating song, for which the species is so well known. Photographed at the Vale of Pewsey.
Photographed in the Upper West District of Ghana, this juvenile Sparrowhawk was on the look out for lizards which bask in the open under the hot African sun. It's a beautiful example of African wildlife and the birds of prey found in Ghana.
Whilst venturing through Mole National Park in the Northern Region of Ghana I spotted this Olive Baboon sat in the shade underneath a tree. It had quite a vacant stare as I quickly photographed it and I was able to get quite close without disturbing it.
A female Agama lizard basks on a wall, warming its blood under the hot African sun. This cold blooded creature is much less colourful than their male counterparts that have red and blue skin. Their apparent blandness does however give them much better camouflage to hide them from predators.
I had an excellent vantage point - on the back of a pick-up truck - from which to photograph these Kob Antelope which I had spotted whilst travelling along the red dirt roads of mole National Park in the Northern Region of Ghana. Like many skittish wild animals, they quickly run away deep into the bush shortly after I took captured photograph.