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Talk Topics

© Oliver Smart

Talk 1 - "A Voyage to the South Atlantic":
There are few wild destinations left in the world but heading to the southern most place on Earth, Antarctica still feels remote, barren and untouched. This exciting talk covers Oliver’s month voyage to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. From tales of gigantic penguin colonies to swimming in a freezing volcanic caldera, Oliver will whet your appetite for this remarkable destination.

Talk 2 - "The Science & Beauty of Birds":
Every wondered why a raptor has an orbital ridge or what the purpose is of a tubenose on a petrel? Well, in this talk, Oliver guides you through some fascinating insights to the science of birds, their adaptations, evolution and physiology. Oliver's talk is split into the four sections covering the science of birds, the photography, the aesthetics of bird photography and the rewards.

Talk 3 - "Exploring Ethiopia":
Following nearly a month in this ancient land, Oliver tells the story of the diverse wildlife to be found in Ethiopia. With high altitudes, culture, people and landscapes to add to the mix this is not just a place for the hardy traveller but can be enjoyed by anyone interested in fascinating wildlife and history.

Talk 4 - "Butterfly Britain":
Butterflies have been collected or studied in Britain for hundreds of years and the decline over recent times has been dramatic. Oliver's latest talk takes you on a journey to see all of the resident species to these isles as well as some of the rare migrants and extinct species that have or still occasionally occur here. His talk will cover the ecology, behaviour, habitats and the relationships with other plants and animals that make these little insects so uniquely special.

Talk 5 - "From 60 Degrees North":
Northern latitudes are an attractive prospect for nature photographers. There is a diversity of species during the breeding season and the beauty of winter landscapes. Wildlife has to endure extreme temperatures, predators and the risks from migration. They do all this in some of the most beautiful and wild locations on Earth. Oliver's journey to the Alaskan Arctic to photograph Polar Bears, the Shetland Isles for thousands of seabirds and to Finland for Golden Eagles and Black Grouse will give you a glimpse of the delights of these three destinations.

Talk 6 - "Cuba - A Flicker of Interest":
Following a three week independent trip to Cuba in 2010, Oliver's talk will take you to the cigar capital of the world: Cuba. It is more than just old cars, tobacco and sugarcane though and has a wonderful array of endemic and near-endemic bird species as well as many North American migrants during the dry winter season. In this talk Oliver will showcase some of the beautiful bird species of this great island with a little bit of local culture thrown in for good measure.

Talk 7 - "RAW Nature: Images Uncovered":
Have you ever wondered how an image was taken? If so then this may be the talk for your group. Aimed more at photographic clubs where eager photographers want to learn in more detail how images are taken, the equipment and techniques used, tricks of the trade and any post-processing tips. This talk is a condensed version of Oliver's Wildlife Photography Workshop.

Talk 8 - "Cameras and Creatures - from Cumbria to Canada":
2007 was an amazing year for Oliver as he travelled widely looking for new material as well as celebrating the great event of becoming 30!! This talk will take the audience over 3 continents and show many wonderful creatures including lemurs, bears, dolphins, butterflies, dragonflies and birds.

Talk 9 - "A Birding Migration - Birds of Lesvos":
Lesvos has been well documented for its impressive list of migratory species passing through each spring. Having visited three years in succession to witness the spectacle of migration Oliver's talk will visit many of the important birding areas on the island and the value of each to the species that stop to refuel for their long journeys north. Oliver will also illustrate many of the common resident species as well as some other animals that live on this fantastic Greek island.

Talk 10 - "A Wild Grizzly Adventure - Grizzly Bears of Alaska":
An amazing journey to the Alaskan wilderness, Oliver comes face-to-face with some incredible Grizzly Bears. This talk shows some of his favourite images from his trip along with an insight into part of the lives of Grizzlies during the famous salmon run. This is an exceptionally popular talk that will hopefully blow you away with some fantastic close-ups of wild Grizzly Bears.

Images above (clockwise) - Dark Green Fritillary, UK; Gelada Baboon, Ethiopia; West Indian Woodpecker, Cuba and Polar Bear, Alaska.

Booking Details

© Richard Brooks

Oliver's talks are digital presentations and run for approximately 90 minutes (or less if required). If you'd like to arrange for Oliver to speak at one of your events then please contact him via the contact page, or if you'd just like to attend then please come along, you'll be most welcome. Please note that some groups may charge a small entrance fee.

Oliver's fees for the 2017/18 & 2018/19 seasons:

•Basic fee - £80
•Mileage - 25 pence per mile (using AA Route Planner from BS22)
•Travel time - £10 per hour above two hours total travel time (using AA Route Planner from BS22 and rounded up to nearest 15 minutes)

Oliver normally does not require overnight accommodation but on occasion this may be required if his journey is greater than 2 hours. Please advise if accommodation can be offered.

See current bookings below.

December 2018

5 December 2018 at 19:00 - The Science & Beauty of Birds (private event)

Valiant Nightjars

Valiant Trooper
HP23 5RW

February 2019

12 February 2019 at 19:30 - RAW Nature: Images Uncovered

Devizes Camera Club

Devizes Sports Club
London Road
SN10 2DL
Visit Devizes Camera Club

21 February 2019 at 19:30 - The Science & Beauty of Birds

South Somerset RSPB Group

South Somerset RSPB Group
The Millennium Hall
Seavington St. Mary
TA19 0QH
Visit South Somerset RSPB Group

March 2019

12 March 2019 at 19:30 - Cuba: A Flicker of Interest

South Glos Hawk & Owl Trust

Iron Acton Parish Hall
Iron Acton
South Gloucestershire
Visit South Glos Hawk & Owl Trust

21 March 2019 at 19:30 - Exploring Ethiopia

Severn Counties Foreign & British Bird Society

Methodist Hall
Down Road
Winterbourne Down
BS36 1BN  
Visit Severn Counties Foreign & British Bird Society

October 2019

22 October 2019 at 19:30 - TBC

Shrewsbury RSPB Group

Memorial Hall
Bayston Hill
Visit Shrewsbury RSPB Group

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