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Talk Topics

© Oliver Smart

Talk 10 - "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 9 - "The Science & Beauty of Birds":
Ever 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 four sections covering the science of birds, the photography, the aesthetics of bird photography and the rewards.

Talk 8 - "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 7 - "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 6 - "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 wintry landscapes. Wildlife has to endure extreme temperatures, predators and the risks involved with migration. They do all this in some of the most beautiful and wild locations on Earth. Oliver's will take you on a journey to the Alaskan Arctic to photograph Polar Bears, the Shetland Isles for thousands of seabirds, Finland for Golden Eagles and Black Grouse and more recently Svalbard for Walrus and Arctic Fox. He will give you a glimpse of the delights of these four extraordinary destinations.

Talk 5 - "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 4 - "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 3 - "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 2 - "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 1 - "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 provides talks in person or via Zoom. The charge for a talk is £100 excluding any mileage and travel time for in-person presentations. With rising costs on every level, this fee has been increased for all new talk bookings taken from 5th March 2023.

For more details and booking please contact Oliver ASAP to get your group learning and being amazed virtually.

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 2023/4 & 2024/5 seasons are:

• Basic fee - £100 (Zoom or in-person presentation)
• Mileage - 33 pence per mile (using AA Route Planner from BS22 and rounded up to nearer pound)
• Travel time - £10 per hour above two hours total travel time (using AA Route Planner from BS22 and rounded up to nearest 15 minutes)
• ULEZ - unfortunately due to the age of my vehicle, I will also need to charge any congestion or emission zone charges

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. Oliver can also offer Zoom talks to groups further afield and is willing to remotely present even if the group continues to meet. Ask Oliver for details.

Current bookings below.

October 2024

8th October 2024 at 19:30 - The Science & Beauty of Birds talk

West Midland Bird Club - Stafford Branch

Walton on the Hill Village Hall
Greengore Lane
ST17 0LD
Visit West Midland Bird Club

21st October 2024 at 19:15 - The Science & Beauty of Birds talk

Cheltenham Bird Club

Belmont School
Warden Hill Rd
GL51 3AT
Visit Cheltenham Bird Club

24th October 2024 at 19:30 - Talk TBC

Stroud Camera Club

Cotswold Bowls Club
Golden Jubilee Way
Visit Stroud Camera Club

November 2024

12th November 2024 at 14:00 - From 60 Degrees North talk

Richmond & Twickenham RSPB Group

The Hyde Room
York House
Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council
Richmond Road
Visit Richmond & Twickenham RSPB Group

January 2025

15th January 2025 at 19:30 - Exploring Ethiopia talk

Chester RSPB Group

Christleton Parish Hall
Village Road
Visit Chester RSPB Group

February 2025

19th February 2025 at 19:30 - From 60 Degrees North talk

Exeter RSPB Group

St Thomas Church Hall
Church Road
St Thomas
Visit Exeter RSPB Group

October 2025

20th October 2025 at 19:30 - Exploring Ethiopia talk

High Peak RSPB Group

Marple Senior Citizens Hall
Memorial Park
Visit High Peak RSPB Group

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