Birdfair Begins!

Once I’d pushed my belongings through the campsite in a wheelbarrow, I began the head-scratching task of setting up my tent. I didn’t have much camping experience, but after a practice in the garden earlier in the week I was feeling confident. There was a brief tussle with a stiff breeze, but soon I had […]

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Paella and the Palace

Breakfast was an undeniably Spanish affair. There were potato omelettes, sausages the size of grapes, large fans of hams and cheeses as well as a broad assortment of condiments in small glass jars: sesame seeds, cashew nuts, dates and some things I didn’t even recognise. There were fruit and vegetable smoothies in slim shot glasses […]

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Arriving in Madrid

I thought I was reasonably calm about staying in Madrid by myself, but on the train to Gatwick I felt sick to my stomach. After the stressful ordeal of flying to Florida I thought this would be a doddle, but then again I always panic when I travel. I lost count of how times I […]

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Salty Paws

As diluted sunlight comes streaming through the window I’m awoken by the squalling of gulls – a tangled symphony of disgruntled burbles, high-pitched cheeps and open-throated cackles from chimney top perches. The weather in the Scottish Highlands is always a lucky dip. Some days I wake up to driving rain and moody skies. Today the […]

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Up in the Air

The plane roared to life and I experienced the age-old feeling of excitement whenever I fly. As we chased the runway and the plane slowly lifted, I pressed my face to the window to see the ground fall away. I will never tire of that feeling of utter weightlessness – the peculiar thought of something […]

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Stop and Look

In our bittersweet digital age, it’s so easy to be lazy. As a photographer who has tried using film but undoubtedly prefers shooting digital, I have the ability to take thousands of photos of the same thing if I want to. Once I have a camera and hard drive, there are no other essential expenses […]

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The Greenway

The Egan’s Greenway is an unexpected jungle in the middle of smoke-belching industry and deckchair tourism. The mundane sounds of traffic are deafened by the furious chatter of cicadas – enormous insects that seem prehistoric. Their strange call is like the sound of angry water sprinklers, growing louder and faster until it reaches an alarming […]

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Searching for Spoons

After so much excitement, I’ve neglected my camera recently and wanted to finally spend some proper time searching for Florida’s wildlife. I’d been told about a good spot for wading birds, and knew that the inhabitants included my new favourite bird, the roseate spoonbill. I set out before sunrise and reached the water just as […]

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More to See, More to Zoo

Last week I visited Jacksonville Zoo, which boasts “more to see, more to zoo”. And it certainly delivered, with a broad range of exhibits including some very special ones that I’d never seen before. A particularly unique exhibit was Wild Florida, a collection of species native to the state. I discovered just how big alligators […]

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Landing in the Sunshine State

I’d never been to America before. It was a vast, distant land that I didn’t think I’d have the chance to visit very soon, perhaps not until my thirties or even later. However, after weeks of planning and preparation here I am in Florida, the Sunshine State. For two whole months. The journey here was […]

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