Far from hibernating, I’ve been out enjoying a diverse winter of wonder – photographing wildlife and working with schools, community groups and the future faces of conservation. In January I lead a photography training day for Wildlife Skills trainees from Devon, Dorset, Somerset & Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts. An amazing programme and always such an inspiring group  – exploring Langford Lakes in Wiltshire with the conservation trainees was wonderful. But no novelty hats this year!

KIngChimp

Though rain and strong winds may have denied me any water vole watching this winter, my walks along the river have been full of colour, with birds and the early arrival of spring flowers. This kingfisher on a leafless alder brightened the leaden sky.

Moonlit Starling

A moonlit murmuration enchanted the massed watchers,  as a ribbon of starlings streams by. A little unpredictable in their roost sites since Christmas, but the visual display and soundscape of starlings never disappoints. I’m looking forward to more murmuration enjoyment over the coming weeks with friends, groups from PTES and Help For Heroes veterans.

EGret

This year Wild Wonder has already worked with over a thousand children in Bristol, Gloucestershire & Hertfordshire schools.  The children have watched and photographed green sandpipers, goldfinches, sparrowhawks, newts, beetles and little egrets with bright yellow feet.

snowdrops

And maybe a million snowdrops at the Rococo Gardens

berries

Enjoying one of the few frosty days in this weird winter, children got creative with nature and sheets of ice.

Once Bittern

Once bittern, twice mallard – a teasing glimpse of the wetland tiger for adult guests on my recent wildlife photography course at WWT London.  At both London and Slimbridge my groups have been treated to some wonderful views of wetland birds

Over the coming months I have many exciting projects with schools, from exploring allotments in London to water voles in Gloucestershire – when the warmer days arrive. I’m really looking forward catching up with my local water voles, taking groups to watch them and wondering when the first young water voles appear?

*Winter of wonder – egret, snowdrop and frozen berry photos by primary school children

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