Nature lectures

 

'DAVID HAS THE REPUTATION OF BEING A LIVELY AND ENTERTAINING SPEAKER'

These nature/wildlife lectures are available now.

For more information, to arrange a date or enquire about costs , etc.   Please either telephone or email.

The Kingfisher

I have re-created the lecture that so many people remember from when my book ‘The Kingfisher’ was first published. It tells the story of one of our most beautiful and spectacular birds and shows every aspect of this dramatic bird’s life.   I was the first person to photograph the kingfisher underground in the nest, diving for fish and grabbing a fish underwater.   I will add to those original images with new photographs that have not yet been viewed.   People remember the kingfisher because of its stunning plumage but I will show it to also be an interesting and dramatic bird in its behaviour.

 

The Comical Puffin

This was the subject of my second book and is not only a very popular bird but also an amazing bird in its lifestyle. The lecture follows the Puffin throughout its life and reveals to the audience some amazing pictures both inside the underground nest and underwater chasing fish. Whilst enjoying the Puffins antics, I will explode the concept that the Puffin is a comical bird of the cliff top, but rather an efficient master of the ocean. We will enjoy some unique photography in some stunning locations, of a bird that can only be described as a photographers dream.

 

Natures Marvels

We are surrounded by a wonderful world and every day we see marvels of nature.   However, many marvellous things can become so familiar that we stop appreciating them!   My rather unique way of lecturing brings so many of these things back to life.    My enthusiasm explores the word “instinct” – so many miracles of nature can be swept away with that one word.    From butterflies to plants, symbiosis to photosynthesis!    A wealth of beautiful and interesting things are illustrated with my camera and my enthusiasm brings them all to life.    A remarkable and exciting lecture for everyone. 

 

The wonder of water

Commonplace; seemingly rather boring and ordinary, water is actually a remarkable substance.    It has a huge list of strange and unique qualities that makes it the most valuable substance on earth.    All forms of life rely upon it and make use of water in a great variety of different ways.   This exciting lecture is packed with colourful wildlife photographs that show water in all its different forms as well as the flowers and animal life that are affected by it in surprising ways.   It is designed to re-enthuse us about incredible things that we often take for granted.

 

the secret wood

This lecture is a journey; not just a journey through the woods but also a journey through time.    Time that takes us through the seasons as well as through the day.   The woodland is not just one habitat but many.   The spring provides us with bluebells and nesting birds, but in winter they are replaced by brittle twigs and hunting foxes.   At night my camera finds a whole new range of creatures emerging that are hidden during the day.  Even day by day the woodland changes depending on the weather.    This lecture is a must for anyone interested in the British countryside.  

 

The wild coast

There is a great variety of habits around our coast, from miles of sand dunes to massive cliffs - the expanse of the estuaries to the beaches of sand, shingle or boulders.   Such variety contains a great diversity of life that creates a stunning lecture subject.   The massive sea bird colonies are an indication of the oceans productivity that most of us rarely see.  Peering into a rock pool can give an impression of the life that abounds, whether it be animals or plants.   We look at the stunning scenery, the incredible birds, mammals, plants, in fact anything of interest in this truly wild part of the British Isles.

 

natures garden

Nature owns everything, even your garden!  Leave your garden unattended for only a couple of months and very quickly you discover nature is taking over.   Even in a well cared for garden, wildlife abounds.   My camera explores every area of the garden from the garden shed to the little pond and finds so much colourful, unexpected and sometimes unwanted wildlife.   Surprises wait in the shed where birds may nest and spiders hide - tiny flowers we call weeds are so beautiful when looked at in close-up.   Of course at night the garden becomes a secret playground for nature; badgers, bats, owls and hedgehogs.      -      So who’s garden is it?    It could be yours!

 

heading north

I guess the first question is, north of where?   I love the north, the wild places - and for me the north starts with the Scottish Highlands.  Then on up through Norway to include Iceland, the wilds of Greenland and then up to Svalbard - there is a remoteness that I find difficult to feel elsewhere.   I guess as a child the pictures I saw of icebergs, snowy landscapes and craggy mountains left a lasting impression and now I can share my own pictures with other people that enjoy the ‘wilds'.  Not just the scenery but the incredible wildlife from seabirds, to waders - polar bears to stunted plants.  We will also discover that water, in all its forms, plays a big part.

 

Tropical Queensland 

Wherever I travel I have a ‘wish-list’ - I don’t write it down, but it is in the back of my mind. When I knew we were going to Queensland, Australia my wish-list seemed to be remarkably long.    My long association with kingfishers meant that I was desperate to see a kookaburra.   But then, what about platypus or koala, and you haven't been to Australia if you haven't seen wallaby or a kangaroo.   I was privileged to photograph all of those things, I would like to share those and other images with you and the experiences that I had.   Above all the Queensland tropical rainforest is about trees.   An amazing diversity of trees that I found incredibly interesting.

 

safari in africa 

Over the years I have lead safari holidays to various African locations and have shared with my clients countless unforgettable moments whilst enjoying the bountiful wildlife.   I share many of the anecdotes in this lecture.   I try to give the impression that you are visiting the Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti Plain with me – that you are sitting in the safari vehicle trying to count great flocks of flamingoes or watching cheetah cubs trying to catch a hare – that you are giggling over the antics of mongooses or marvelling at the scenery.   My photographs capture the very essence of a safari trip and to enjoy this lecture is like enjoying a safari holiday for yourself.

 

Natural Quarry

When I was asked to photograph, write and design a book about the wildlife and natural beauty of a working quarry in Somerset I was reluctant to say the least!   I knew quarries were places that destroyed the environment and were rubbish for wildlife, but I had never been so wrong.   It turned out to be an amazing project but also quite a significant challenge because working in that environment is difficult to say the least.   I was quickly to discover a wealth of indigenous wild plants, which lead to a profusion of insects.   In turn they encouraged birds and predators were soon to follow.   I have never seen the web of life so well illustrated as in that quarry.  

 

The American Project

This lecture is the result of an amazing commission that I undertook.    My photography captures not only the scenery but also the wildlife I encountered on the project.   The interest in the lecture is enhanced by discovering how I had to rise to the challenge of working in locations so far away from home and with unfamiliar animals and plants.   I achieved some great pictures of enthralling prairie dogs and chipmunks – of cold-blooded alligators and rattlesnakes – of vibrant flowers and dramatic birds.   When I agreed to the project I had never visited America so it was a very steep learning curve!

 

A Colourful introduction to birds

People often tell me about their interest in birds and then mournfully declare that they know little about them and wished they knew more.  This is a fun lecture for those people.   However, I think they will discover that they know far more than they imagine and this lecture draws out that knowledge.  From bird identification to why a bird is bright or camouflaged.  We will look at what birds eat and where they live.  The whole lecture is colourfully illustrated with an abundance of pictures from around the world.  

 

THE nature of new zealand

The wildlife and scenery of New Zealand is outstanding.   My aim in this lecture was to try to recreate something of the drama and excitement of these remote islands.  Albatrosses soar effortlessly and therefore contrast with flightless penguins, yet both feed from the productivity of the ocean.   Understandably a lot of the unique wildlife is associated with the sea, such as Dusky Dolphins and New Zealand Fur Seals.   It is the scenery of ‘Lord of the Rings’ and no lecture about New Zealand would be complete without magnificent mountains and forest of tree ferns, strange trees and glaciers.  There is something for everyone.

 

THE MEDITERRANEAN naturally

I have been visiting the region for over 30 years and I share many of the things I have seen and some of my images of the wildlife.   One of the most exciting things about the Mediterranean is that we see the rarities of Britain.  Birds that we recognise from books because they occasionally find their way to our shores, are common in the Med. - such as bee-eater, hoopoe, black redstart, turtle dove, to mention a few.  The same applies to butterflies and other creatures.   I also love the muddle of the Med. nothing is quite finished, nothing is in straight lines, nothing is too tidy.  This leaves space for wildlife and creates a relaxing atmosphere.  

 

Natural Art

Most photographs of wildlife tend to be fairly clinical; good portraits of insects, record shots of bird activity, great illustrations of plants or habitats.   However, sometimes we see images that are none of those things but they are visually appealing - this is what I am calling Natural Art.  Maybe its not always necessary to identify the subject, the shape or blend of colour is sufficient.  Whilst they have little scientific value they have a value that cannot be defined and we call it ‘art’.   Could it be ‘art’ that set humans apart in the animal kingdom - that is one question that I wont be answering! 

 

The Wilds of Canada

Canada contains vast areas of wilderness.   It is the largest country in the Western Hemisphere and with the largest surface area of water in the world.  Little wonder that the wildlife of Canada is prolific and varied.  Having worked in several parts of Canada, in this lecture I share a wealth of my favourite photographs that combine with interesting anecdotes and facts.  The Rocky Mountains alone conjure up thoughts of bears and coyotes, whist the lakes and rivers bring to mind beavers and bald eagles.  The topic is so huge that it would take a month of lectures and so I look forward to sharing the highlights. 

 

In Praise of Plants

In general people tend to be more enthusiastic about animal life than plants.  However, plants are fascinating and far more than just food for insects and herbivores.  Because they are rooted in one place they have all sorts of problems to overcome and have devised the most ingenious methods of doing so.  Plants are renown for their beauty, poison, spines, size, etc but these features are not without purpose.   In this lecture I hope to re-enthuse you with some of the things you already know - but maybe there will also be a few surprises!   The photographs alone make this a special lecture. 

 

The Highlands of Scotland

For scenic beauty I still think that the highlands of Scotland take a lot of beating.  Within a single days drive you can travel through vast open glens, strewn with freshwater lochs.  View spectacular beaches and cliffs that house colonies of seabirds.   Look up to snow-capped mountains and enter forests that have a magical primeval atmosphere.  Within this setting the wildlife is equally dramatic. It is in the highlands that birds we recognise from books come to life - ptarmigan, capercaillie, golden eagles, crested tit, to mention a few.  Photographing them is another matter but I have managed to include many in this lecture. 

 

Some like it hot

This is a fun look at the colourful wildlife of the Caribbean.    The influence of the warm sea is the first part of this talk where we discover flying fish and the seabirds that pursue them.  The coral outcrops also provide homes for colourful fish and are visited by turtles.  Inland we find tropical rainforests of lush vegetation and whilst birds in particular abound in the forest they are difficult to spot.  My photographs will show you many of those hidden birds that, along with the butterflies, are like secret jewels in the forest.

 

Birds of Sea and shore

Surrounded by the North Atlantic and the North Sea it is hardly surprising that we are blessed with a wealth of birds that take advantage of the sea and shore.   The productivity of the ocean provides almost everything that many birds require - indeed some birds would never return to land if it not not for the fact that they cannot lay their egg on the sea.   In this interesting talk we take a look at a exciting spectrum of birds to include a selection of - Waders, Gulls, Geese, Ducks, Skuas, Auks, Terns, etc.   We will enjoy seeing a wealth of photographs to illustrate my thoughts.  

 

Anyone + any camera = great pictures     Part 1

Almost everyone takes photographs - holiday snaps, family and friends, memories of beautiful places, etc.     The arrival of digital made good photography possible for everyone and these lectures are designed for anyone with any camera, from a mobile phone to a SLR.    They are NOT at all technical but I guarantee that they will help your photography and enhance the natural creativity that is inside all of us.   They are lectures that are fun as well as encouraging and of course they are packed with beautiful images that will please everyone.  

Although each part is complete in itself, the lectures follow on from each other, making 2 great evenings.   They are suitable for a more general audience, rather than expert photographers.  For more serious photography lectures click here.

ANYONE + ANY CAMERA = GREAT PICTURES     PART 2

 

These nature/wildlife lectures are available now.

For more information, to arrange a date or enquire about costs , etc.   Please either telephone or email.