It's the end of another year, and so this is my review of 2012.
This year has certainly been my most successful year photographically. It was year of the Bittern for me, as I spent a huge amount of time trying to photograph them, and as a result I was rewarded with a large number of images of them. In this blog post I'm going to go through it, month by month.
January was a fairly unproductive month for me, other than a trip to WWT Martin Mere early in the month. Luckily I had good weather, and was able to get some shots I was pleased with.
I also visited WWT London a few times, mainly in the hope of photographing one of the Bitterns that had taken up residence in the reedbed there for the winter. In this I wasn't successful, but still captured some shots of some of the other wildlife that frequents the centre.
February was when we had a lot of cold weather in the UK, and large parts of WWT London were frozen over. This led to two of my most memorable Bittern encounters, both within a few days of each other. One afternoon a Bittern flew in, and landed in the reeds no more than 20m from me. It then proceeded to creep through the reeds, getting nearer and nearer to me, before it clambered up a few stems, having gathered them together in its feet, and then flew off again.
In March most of my photography was done either at WWT London or Kensington Gardens. A dawn start meant that I was able to get these silhouettes.
April saw the onset of AS level revision for me, and so meant a quiet month photographically speaking. I still managed to get out to use my camera a couple of times though.
May meant the start of the AS level exams, so there was very little time for photography. Almost all of it was at my local park, but I was pleased to get a couple of images of Mistle Thrushes, a new bird for the camera.
My exams were for the most part finished by June, so I was able to get out more. However, in June, sunrises are early, and I confess I did not once get up at 4am for it! I did do a lot of macro in June however, which is something I've always done a bit of, but never made much of an effort.
In July I visited Skomer for the first time, and absolutely loved it. I stayed on the island for two nights with my dad, and we really made the most of it, despite some challenging weather! It's a place I certainly hope to return to soon.
In July I also went on a family holiday to Sicily, of course accompanied by my camera, just in case! Well I'm glad I did take it as I took one of my favourite images of the year while I was there. One afternoon we visited a beach which had a nature reserve adjacent to it. While my family was relaxing on the beach, I went to have a look at the nature reserve, where I got this picture of a Zitting Cisticola. This image was then highly commended in the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards.
I spent another couple of mornings at Richmond Park in August, again with some fantastic early morning light.
In September I spent a lot of time at Richmond Park photographing the deer rut. Every weekend day where the forecast was for a clear dawn, I'd be down at the park!
My main highlight in October was undoubtedly attending the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of Year awards ceremony at the Natural History Museum as one of my images had been commended. The whole experience was unforgettable, and I really hope I will make it back soon!
October was another month where I spent a lot of time photographing the deer in the great weather we had.
November saw me continue with my fox project. I visited the site many times, and each time was able to get new images.
I also spent some time at my local park trying to get some autumnal images.
December has been a good month for me, mainly because in the last few days I've managed to photograph Waxwings! I'll post the images at the end. At the start of the month I spent some time at WWT London photographing Siskins.
If you made it this far, well done! I never intended for this post to have so many images, but I hope you've got all the way through to the end. I've met some fantastic photographers and great people this year, and hope that will continue into next year. Now all that remains is for me to wish you all a photography-filled 2013.
Happy New Year!