What a Wonderful 2013!

I cannot quite believe that another year has passed… and what a year it has been! SO much has happened, it is hard to choose which have been my highlights as I have been lucky enough to have lots. If I had to pick just one… it would have to be the amazing trip to Zambia, that I won this year… a ‘once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience, and one which I will never forget! There have been lots of wildlife wonders for me this year … and it is only when I started really thinking about it that I realised quite how much has happened!

To make it a bit more manageable, I have attempted to pick just one highlight for each month of 2013.

Here goes…..

My January Highlight

A highlight to start the year, was a very large amount of snow and a visit from Midlands Today ….

 Or take a look at My January 2013 Blog Posts

My February Highlight

Judging the Mammal Society Photography Competition! I have been asked to do this again this year and I will also be talking at the Awards Evening later in 2014! Click on Roy Rimmer’s winning photo to find out more…

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 Or take a look at My February 2013 Blog Posts

My March Highlight

The Bushnell NatureView, with its close-up lens system, which I helped to develop, is released in the UK  and I am delighted with the results!

 Or take a look at My March 2013 Blog Posts

My April Highlight

In April, I was privileged to be able to watch a Chiffchaff build her beautiful nest very close to my home. I watched the whole process, right up until her eggs hatched, but the nest was sadly predated by rats. Read more about it HERE

 

Or take a look at My April 2013 Blog Posts

My May Highlight(s)

May is always a very busy for nesting in my patch and I captured some lovely footage this year from the nest boxes and  nests around the garden…..

 

 

 

 

 

Appearing on BBC Springwatch has to be a big highlight for this month too, of course! The footage can be seen by clicking on the link below:

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Or take a look at My May 2013 Blog Posts

My June Highlight(s)

June was pretty mega for me! I designed and built a HUGE stand at Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC in Birmingham! I also had a live broadcast with Midlands Today from here in my patch!!

Read more about Gardeners’ World Live HERE and see photos of the event HERE

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A visit also from Midlands Today’s David Gregory-Kumar who did a live broadcast from my patch… quite a challenge due to its location!

Or take a look at My June 2013 Blog Posts

My July Highlight

I still can’t quite believe that this really actually happened….. but I WON a truly incredible trip to Zambia this year! It has been the wildlife highlight of my life, let alone the year!!!  The wildlife experiences from this trip will stay with me forever…..

The photo that sums up this trip has to be this one…

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and you can read more about it and see some of my photographs HERE on my website. 

Or take a look at My July 2013 Blog Posts

My August Highlight

Exhibiting with Bushnell at BirdFair Rutland, has to be my August highlight! Click on the photo to find out more!

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A wonderful show, where I met SO many amazing Twitter friends and wildlife enthusiasts, topped off with us coming 2nd in the Best Commercial Stand Awards!

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Or take a look at My August 2013 Blog Posts

My September Highlight

This year I designed and set up a Bird ID scheme at the school I work at, hoping to raise the profile of natural history in school and also to get children interested in watching birds, but also encouraging them to learn how to ID the commonest of them. Sine then, the pupils of Michael Drayton Junior have gone from really only being able to ID a robin, to 200 now able to ID 6 species (level 1), 63 now able to ID 12 species (Level 2) and an amazing 41 pupils now able to ID 20 species (level 3). I am extremely proud of their achievements and the enthusiasm this scheme has initiated and there are lots of plans for it into 2014.

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You can find out more about it on my MDJS website page HERE and watch this lovely video of one of the pupils achieving Level 3, where she has to ID the 20 species from both and illustration and a photo….

Or take a look at My September 2013 Blog Posts

My October Highlight

Of course, my October highlight had to be the invitation to be on Autumnwatch!  I spent a wonderful day at Leighton Moss , on red button with Euan for a couple of hours and then on the famous sofa with the lovely Nick Baker on Autumnwatch Unsprung! Read more about my great day HERE.

Or take a look at My October 2013 Blog Posts

My November Highlight

My November highlight has to be my new HD cameras going live on my website! A massive thank you to Huw from i-catcher for all his help and support in getting these cameras up and running! For anyone who follows me and my website, you will have seen the massive difference these cameras have made to the live images all my followers can see. I have 2 feeding stations set up at the moment and have got some fantastic footage from these cameras. Do check them on the homepage of my website or HERE out if you have not done so yet.

Here are some clips showing the many species who are visiting:

Or take a look at My November 2013 Blog Posts

My December Highlight

I am lucky enough to have my lovely WildlifeKate Hub in my garden… an outdoor space that I designed for Gardeners’ World Live in 2012, made by Phil Clarke. This space has evolved over the year and the addition of a large window has meant that the highlight for this final month has been the photographic opportunities from this space. I have created an area right outside the window that can be changed and adapted for photography. With bird numbers increasing, I have been able to spend time photographing  here… and I absolutely LOVE it! 

This space will continue to evolve and I hope for many more photographic opportunities as the weather gets colder and we move into 2014.

The photos I have taken from here can be seen on my Flickr Set

Or take a look at My December 2013 Blog Posts

So, what can I say, other than WHAT A YEAR!!!!

Thank you to all those who have followed my endless tweets, blog posts and supported me in so many ways. I love what I do and I am very privileged to have been  able to experience so many wonderful wildlife moments in 2013 and to share them with so many others. With lots of exciting projects, shows, cameras and more planned for 2014, I hope you will want to share them with me.

Here’s to a wonderful 2014 for all my followers…. thank you xx