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Oliver is currently unavailable and any online orders will be dealt with from 26th June 2024. If you have any direct queries or image requests please contact me via email or the contact me page or send me a What's App message to +44 7802 417810. Oliver will aim to respond within 24 hours. Do look out for me at Global Birdfair in July too. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Diary

© Laura Brealey

Regular updates from Oliver's recent expeditions.

All images on this page can be purchased as acrylic, aluminium, canvas or mounted prints. Prices include postage. Orders can be placed by telephone or email too if you prefer not to pay by Paypal. For more details about the product styles visit Oliver's Prints page.

More 2021, 2022 & 2023 diary entries coming soon...

16 - 21 April 2024 - Isle of Mull, Scotland, UK

This was my sixth visit to the island of Mull with a group of five clients. Each trip is quite different despite the same targets and we enjoyed a number of super boat trips to photograph White-tailed Eagle and seabirds on the island of Lunga. We also visited the island of Staffa and spent hours searching for and photographing Eurasian Otter as well as White-throated Dipper.

We stayed at The Inn in Pennyghael, a lovely base for our five nights. Despite one very wet and windy day, we were blessed with good weather and experienced many highlights.

Along with my Canon prime EF 600mm f/4 lens, I also used my Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 for photographing the eagles and seabirds and with the fantastic animal eye tracking, it was a superb choice.

For more information on my next tour please visit my Tours page.

4 - 23 September 2023 - Madagascar

This was my second trip to Madagascar and first guiding for Naturetrek. The focus was photographing wildlife and landscapes and capturing the beauty of the Milky Way with baobabs and spiny forest.

The tour included a visit to one of the country's most amazing habitats, the Tsingy de Bemeraha. The limestone pinnacles rising hundreds of feet in the air provide home to extraordinary wildlife and exploring this special landscape was a truly amazing experience.

We also visited Lake Tsarasaotra, the Avenue of Baobabs, Berenty Reserve, Andasibe & Mantadia National Park along with Le Palmarium and Aye-aye Island. Each habitat with its own unique flora and fauna offered us plenty of challenges as we aimed to capture the beauty and diversity of this extraordinary wildlife found here and nowhere else on the planet!

If you would like to be notified about future Madagascar photographic tours then please sign up to my newsletter. I will be returning with a group in September 2025, so keep an eye out for more details soon. Further details can be found on my Tours page.

More images will be available on my stock agencies soon.

26 - 29 May 2023 - Exmoor, Somerset, UK

Following last year's inaugural tour to Exmoor, I led the second this bank holiday weekend. For the second year, it was a huge success, with so many highlights. From interesting moths, birds and beetles to plants and stunning landscape views, we covered all bases over the course of three nights.

This year we based ourselves at The Crown Hotel, where we were able to set the moth trap in the garden overnight. The food and service was very good and the owner really helped our wildlife group to make the most of our stay.

We visited a number of stunning locations in the National Park and saw a lovely array of birds including Pied & Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Common Cuckoo, Grey Wagtail, White-throated Dipper, Whinchat, Wood Warbler and Tree Pipit. We also encountered lots of Green Hairstreak and a Heath Fritillary larva as well as Common Tiger & Lesser Stag Beetle.

If you would like to be notified about future Exmoor wildlife tours then please sign up to my newsletter. Further details can be found on my Tours page.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on RSPB Images.

8 - 17 May 2023 - Cape May, USA

Having had a tour cancellation to the Outer Hebrides, I was delighted to be offered a replacement, to co-lead a trip to Cape May in New Jersey during spring migration.

This peninsula sticking out into Delaware Bay to the west and south and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east is a superb migration hotspot through the spring and autumn.

Staying at the tip of Cape May, we navigated to a number of famous sites, reserves, viewpoints and beaches in search of migrating birds and other wildlife with some incredible highlights including thousands of Atlantic Horseshoe Crabs coming to lay their eggs, dozens of New World Warblers including Blackburnian and Prothonotary as well as Piping Plover and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The trip report can be found on Naturetrek's website.

Here is a sample of some of the amazing birds and wildlife we managed to see. I do hope I will get chance to revisit and lead another group here. In case I do, then keep an eye out on my Tours page or better still sign up for my newsletter where all my future tours will be announced.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on Alamy and enter your 'Cape May' and click on the blue search icon.

28 & 30 April 2023 - Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover, Hampshire, UK

This year has seen a lot of exciting improvements at the Hawk Conservancy Trust and I loved the workshops I led during the spring.

Here is a very small collection of some of the shots that were possible. I normally work with around six British species of raptor and I occasionally throw in one or two overseas species as well, particularly if they're looking good and the conditions work. Each session is designed to maximise opportunities with spring flowers and vegetation and nice light throughout the day. Food and drinks are included in the price of the day and you'll get to enjoy a flying display too as part of your experience.

I run four workshops each year with the other two in the autumn. For more information and details of how to book please visit my Workshops page.

For my Hawk Conservancy Trust stock images, a large collection is available at RSPB Images.

11 - 22 April 2023 - Isle of Mull, Scotland, UK

Following 2022's very successful tours to the Isle of Mull, working with Naturetrek, we ran two more in 2023. Apart from one wet day, which in fact turned out well with several otter sightings, we enjoyed beautiful conditions throughout the tours. Each group is limited to six, to maximise the space and opportunities to get close to nature. With pre-breakfast otter drives, walks, boat trips and a variety of species to shoot, we enjoyed a wonderful time on the island.

Along with some wonderfully enigmatic species including eagles and otters, puffins and owls, the two trips were a huge success. We also explored Iona, Staffa and Lunga during the trips, looking for seabirds and to enjoy photographing landscapes too. Thanks to Mull Charters and Turus Mara for their knowledge and expertise on boat trips we had to explore the area.

If you would like to be notified about future Mull photographic tours then please sign up to my newsletter. Further details can be found on my Tours page.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on RSPB Images.

24 February - 3 March 2023 - The Gambia

This was my third trip to the west-African country and this, my first Naturetrek photography special that I was leading to the region. Bordered by Senegal, the one thing that The Gambia benefits from is the main river running through its heart. This water source is superb for the array of animals and birds that it supports, either directly for food or indirectly in using the surrounding vegetation for nesting.

Based at the super Mandina Lodges in Serekunda, we spent eight days enjoying the wildlife from canoe and on foot. We explored the local mangrove-lined tributaries of the river as well as walking the nearby forest and open farmland. We also spent two days exploring outside the local area, capturing the essence of The Gambia with its extensive coastline, gallery forest and inland water bodies.

During the trip I also gave lots of one-to-one tuition, group slideshow sessions and photographic client feedback. We covered so many topics, but the main areas that were most important included birds in flight, lighting (including backlighting & silhouette), composition and capturing behaviour.

Here is a small selection of the beautiful species we managed to connect with during our stay.

With over 170 species of bird and several mammals seen during our stay, this was a great introduction to African wildlife and photography for the group. My next tour to The Gambia for Naturetrek commences on 26th January 2024. For more details of this and other trips I am leading, please see my Tours page.

More images will be available soon.

18 January - 1 February 2023 - Panama

A black spot on my world map included Central America and following a different trip cancellation, I decided to end the omission. With friends, we headed to Panama, exploring the eastern hills, north-western mountains (close to the Costa Rican border) and the Panama Canal and City region.

The birdlife in particular in the region is incredibly rich, with over a thousand species in Panama alone. We had two weeks to explore a few altitudinal locations, looking for regional endemics as well as migrants, residents and overwintering species. Birding in the rainforest can be very difficult but rewarding when you finally connect with the elusive target species.

We enjoyed over 337 species of bird and 17 species of mammal alongside numerous reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. The trip was booked through Geodyssey and I would highly recommend their services.

More images will be available soon.

12 - 13 November 2022 - Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover, Hampshire, UK

Every year I run four workshops to photograph birds of prey at the Hawk Conservancy Trust near Andover. There are usually two in the spring and two in the autumn, the latter workshops coinciding with the change in clocks and therefore a great chance to capture the birds with glorious colours and, with fingers crossed, a sunset.

This year, both days with 12 clients on each experienced fantastic conditions and a range of beautiful birds to photograph. I prepare all the props and sets and give advice on photographic techniques, lighting and anything else you need for your experience.

Here is a small selection of images; however, please note clients will take a larger number of shots with a wider variety of props.

For more information and details of how to book please visit my Workshops page.

For my Hawk Conservancy Trust stock images, a large collection is available at RSPB Images.

22 - 26 October 2022 - Norfolk, UK

During late October I spent a few days in Norfolk, some with a private client photographing a variety of the speciality birds there.

The winds had changed direction from the excellent easterlies that were present a day or so before, so the rarer vagrants didn't quite show up as hoped, however we had fantastic views of a number of localised species including Snow Bunting, Shore Lark, Red-throated Diver, Jack Snipe and Common Scoter. A Long-billed Dowitcher and Yellow-browed Warbler were not photographable but great to connect with. We also enjoyed vast skeins of geese and good numbers of waterfowl and waders too.

For more information on private tuition please visit my One to One page.

For more UK stock images, a large collection is available at RSPB Images.

26 September - 9 October 2022 - Uganda

Following two years of postponement due to COVID-19, it was wonderful to finally be able to lead the inaugural photographic tour for Naturetrek to Uganda.

It is a country of wanted to visit for decades, so I was thrilled to be asked to lead the trip. Having visited Africa on many occasions and to areas close to Uganda, I was well prepared for the amazing array of wildlife, especially birds and mammals. The tour included five clients, all keen and eager to learn new photographic skills and to share together the super experience in the 'Pearl of Africa'.

Our focus was a circular loop of the western region of Uganda, covering stunning wildlife rich areas including Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Mabamba Swamp, Lake Mburo National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale National Park.

We had some key target species to see including Eastern Gorilla, Chimpanzee, tree-climbing Lion, Leopard, Uganda Kob, Shoebill and many other stunning bird species. We succeeded in all of the above and so many more!

Following the success of the trip with over 300 species of bird seen or photographed and 27 species of mammal, we are running another trip in 2023. For more details please visit Naturetrek for full details and booking. More information and basic details can also be viewed on my website .

For my Uganda stock images, my full collection will be available soon on Alamy.

7 - 19 August 2022 - Bonaire, Dutch Antilles

I've wanted to learn to SCUBA dive for many years and finally this year I was able to travel to Bonaire in the Caribbean and achieve my goal. Having already used an underwater housing for my Canon 5D Mk III, I was keen to add to this and purchased some INON strobes.

Over the first few days of the trip I enjoyed the wonderful warm tropical waters of this small island, close to Venezuela and gained my SDI Open Water certificate. It was one of the best experiences of my life, to be able to float in a 3D world and to marvel at some incredible underwater marine life.

I started to use the camera as soon as I could and learning all the tricks I'd read about or from previous experience when snorkelling with the camera gear. I have a few more images to work through but I hope you enjoy this small collection, along with some terrestrial photography shots that I took too.

For more details of the diving and location I visited please take a look at Captain Don's Habitat.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on RSPB Images.

4 - 8 July 2022 - Northumberland, UK

The tour this year was adjusted due to the tragic bird flu epidemic, which has caused the death of hundreds of seabirds on the Farne Islands. Hence the islands were closed to us this year, however we were still able to enjoy five boat trips along with plenty of coastal wildlife and scenic photography.

We visited Long Nanny, Holy Island, Seahouses, Coquet Island and Bamburgh during our four night stay. Apart from the usual seabird highlights, orchids featured well with six species observed. Here are a few of the wildlife and landscape highlights from the tour.

If you would like to be notified about future Northumberland photographic tours then please sign up to my newsletter. Further details can be found on my Tours page.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on RSPB Images.

14 - 18 June 2022 - The Lizard, Cornwall, UK

My second trip to Cornwall for Naturetrek leading the Beavers, Choughs and Cetaceans trip. This diverse adventure covers the coastline, grassland, woodland, a pelagic trip and evening strolls looking for bats as well as early mornings looking at moths! Not bad in just four days.

This year the highlight for many, apart from the wonderful Beaver sightings, was the release of Water Voles as part of their reintroduction to this part of Cornwall and completed by staff from Derek Gow Consultancy.

Chris Jones who owns Woodland Valley Farm is a true inspiration and his drive to bring back many endangered or extinct species on his organic farm is testament to his character.

If you would like to be notified about future Cornwall: Beavers, Choughs & Cetaceans wildlife tours then please sign up to my newsletter. Further details can be found on my Tours page.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on RSPB Images.

1 - 9 June 2022 - Best of Scotland, UK

This Naturetrek special encompassed both the Isle of Mull and the Cairngorms, capturing some of the special wildlife of the region, with a final evening in Edinburgh. Having ventured to both areas so many times over the years, I was thoroughly looking forward to this great trip.

Along with some wonderfully species including eagles and otters, puffins and owls we visited some very special sites around the islands of Iona, Staffa and Lunga. We then spent a few days in the Cairngorms to experience the joy of the Caledonian pine forests. Thanks to Turus Mara for their knowledge and expertise on the Staffa & Lunga islands boat trip.

Although we did not have the opportunity to climb to the summit for the high mountain specialities, we still enjoyed some classic species including Black & Red Grouse, Crested Tit, Osprey, Goldeneye, Scottish Crossbill, Black-throated Diver, Slavonian Grebe and Pine Marten amongst many other commoner species.

If you would like to be notified about future Best of Scotland photographic tours then please sign up to my newsletter. Further details can be found on my Tours page.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on RSPB Images.

24 - 25 April 2022 - Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, UK

There are plentiful wildlife success stories in the UK and despite the continued decline of many or our species and habitats, there are people dedicating their lives to protecting, restoring or reintroducing lost species. Red Kite, Common Crane, Osprey, White-tailed Eagle to name a few, and now Great Bustard. These birds were lost from the UK in 1832 when the last of its kind was shot. Today there are over 100 birds in a couple of colonies, the biggest is on Salisbury Plain, where they were reintroduced from populations in Russia and now Spain.

The work is all due to a remarkable conservationist and bustard advocate David Waters who founded and runs the Great Bustard Group. It has been an incredible journey and one we should all really get behind. This is changing the way we approach reintroductions and the project has been gaining amazing momentum, with Royal approval, and hopefully in years to come Great Bustards will be scattered once more in colonies across the UK.

For more about the amazing work on the reintroduction scheme, please visit the Great Bustard Group.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on RSPB Images.

5 - 16 April 2022 - Isle of Mull, Scotland, UK

I've visited the Isle of Mull twice before and last year I was invited to lead two tours for Naturetrek in April 2022. Following plenty of planning and research, I set off with two back-to-back groups to explore the island.

Along with some wonderfully enigmatic species including eagles and otters, puffins and owls, the two trips were a huge success. We also explored Iona, Staffa and Lunga during the trips, looking for seabirds and to enjoy photographing landscapes too. Thanks to Mull Charters and Turus Mara for their knowledge and expertise on boat trips we had to explore the area.

If you would like to be notified about future Mull photographic tours then please sign up to my newsletter. Further details can be found on my Tours page.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on RSPB Images.

18 - 25 March 2022 - The Gambia

I love being able to fill in at short notice when required by Naturetrek, but two days warning was even a record for me! On an uneventful Tuesday morning I received an email asking if I could lead an eight day tour to The Gambia starting on the Thursday. I was definitely up for it and a couple of vaccinations later I was heading to Gatwick to meet the group.

The single-centre tour was based at Mandina Lodge and we had an absolute blast watching wildlife. Several of the group were very keen on photography too, so that was an extra facet that I could be involved with.

Following the success of the trip, I have been asked to run a photographic special to the country in February 2023, so check out my Tours page for more details.

If you would like to be notified about future Gambia photographic tours then please sign up to my newsletter.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on RSPB Images.

19 - 25 February 2022 - Cairngorms, Scotland, UK

Following a great autumn Cairngorms trip guiding for Naturetrek in November 2021, I was asked to lead the winter trip too in February 2022.

The key focus of this tour was photographing wildlife in snow and wintry conditions and for the best part we captured this beautifully. The two Red Deer sessions were fantastic and also spending time with Crested Tits can really not be beaten!

Along the coast we managed to capture some super winter birds, in particular waders and sea ducks, with a very special close sighting of a Velvet Scoter eating crabs!

Along with some beautiful light, super accommodation and food and some top wildlife, this was a very enjoyable tour. Over two days half of the group were also able to use the Red Squirrel hide too and I was with the Crested Tit group for each session. More of the Cresties can be seen on my RSPB images library.

In future trips and depending on conditions and accessibility Ptarmigan and Mountain Hare are also possible targets too.

For more details and to book please visit Naturetrek. More information and basic details can also be viewed on my Tours page.

For my Scotland stock images, my full collection will be available soon on Alamy.

30 October - 5 November 2021 - Cairngorms, Scotland, UK

This was the first Scotland tour I'd signed up to lead for Naturetrek and what a great week we had. Red Squirrel, Crested Tit, Red Grouse, beautiful landscapes and much more.

The Cairngorms are home to some iconic species and I will lead two tours a year to the region, one in the autumn and one in late winter.

If you would like to be notified about future Scotland photographic tours then please sign up to my newsletter. Further details can be found on my Tours page.

For more of my stock images please view my collection on RSPB Images.

22 September - 8 October 2021 - Shetland Isles, Scotland, UK