Shopping in Sumatra

Much of September 2016 was spent in West Java and Sumatra, Indonesia, leading a birding trip for While most of our time was spent bird watching plenty of overland travel gave us opportunities to see the scenery and culture of these two islands. On one bus journey we made an early morning stop at a local market to buy fruit and it was extremely busy with ladies buying fresh supplies for the day. In their colourful clothes the ladies of the market made a tempting subject for a photo and when this lady stopped to cross the road carrying her shopping I could not resist.

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Mountain Imperial Pigeon

Mountain Imperial Pigeon is one of the largest pigeons I have ever seen and whereas many species in this family have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Mountain Imperial Pigeon seems to be doing fairly well, probably because it is restricted to the more inaccessible highlands. The call of this species is a very memorable, deep “Woomp woomp” and following that sound is what led me to this individual perched just above the road at Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand, in late 2015. Read more »

Monk at Angkor Wat

Although my trip to Cambodia was to lead a bird watching tour, there was plenty of opportunity to a bit of “touristing”, particularly during our visit to Cambodia’s most famous attraction: Angkor Wat. The stonework of this huge temple complex is really beautiful but in the harsh morning light it was quite difficult to photograph the details well and from a distance the temple appears as a mass of grey stone so it was a very welcome splash of contrasting colour that this Buddhist monk provided by way of his saffron robes. Read more »

Bayon Faces

Over the last few weeks I have been leading a birding tour to Cambodia, but not without also visiting the world famous Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat and surrounding temples. I have visited this site in the past but it did not make a second visit any less spectacular. At the peak of the Khmer Empire between the 11th and 13th centuries Angkor was the largest city in the world and it is amazing to think of the huge numbers of labourers that must have been needed to complete constructions of this magnitude – the moat alone is an incredible piece of engineering that would take years to dig even with modern machinery. However, like many other people, my favourite temple is Bayon with its many faces – here is one of the most photographed parts of Bayon. Read more »

Steaming Sea in South Korea

In January 2016 I led a bird watching tour to South Korea. Although we expected cold weather we had not bargained for the unusually severe conditions that we ended up with. East Asia experienced some of the coldest weather conditions on record and we regularly encountered temperatures of -15C; this did not stop us from seeing plenty of amazing birds including Steller’s Sea Eagle, Red-crowned Crane and White-naped Crane. This photo was taken at sunrise on the east coast of South Korea when the air temperature was so much lower than the sea temperature that a low-lying mist formed above the water, creating the impression that the sea was boiling. Read more »

Matterhorn & Mountain Railway

This mountain railway from Zermatt to Gornegrat Observatory in Switzerland is one of the most spectacular rides I have ever had both in terms of the scenery and the price! In October 2015 I was lucky to have good weather to enjoy the wonderful views from the observatory of the Matterhorn and the surrounding glaciers as well as the cheeky Alpine Choughs that were gratefully receiving the remains of all the visitors picnics. Looking back at the approaching train with the Matterhorn in the background was perhaps the most photogenic scene of the day and one that appears on much promotional material for the area. Read more »

Funton Creek

Grey skies and persistent rain are not usually the weather conditions I would hope for when trying to get a good photograph, but today as I was sheltering from the rain while bird watching at Funton Creek, Kent, I noticed that the clouds suddenly had some definition and shape above the industrial landscape with a nice green foreground so I took a few photos and then hoped for the best. Read more »


Kittiwakes are probably the most delicate and attractive of Britain’s breeding gulls but they are in decline across most of the country. However, there are still good numbers to be found breeding in East Yorkshire and Bridlington harbour is an excellent place to get really close to them; this is where I took this photo in September 2014. Read more »


Namhansanseong fortress walls are a UNESCO World heritage site in South Korea, close to the capital city, Seoul. In June 2015 I took a day trip from Seoul to visit this site where there is a lot of beautiful forest surrounding the impressive walls and I spent a day bird watching and admiring the view having received a number of recommendations about the location. Even so, I was the only Western tourist present on the day that I visited.

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Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral, in Kent, is an amazing building with a history of over 1000 years and is one of the major tourist attractions in Southeast England. The building is quite fabulous from outside but it is even more impressive inside with some wonderful stained glass windows, beautiful carvings and tombs of a number of important people including that of King Henry IV. Read more »