posted by Ian Lewis in Club Meetings

As the rain let up ever so slightly over this corner of Oxfordshire and West Berkshire, the intrepid club members scurried to Whitchurch for this week's meeting - a return visit by Andy Sands, a photographer from London who specializes in images of British wild life. Got his own camera shop too - can't be bad, can it?

His talk this evening was called "Secret Britain", a glimpse into the varied habitats to be found in our Islands. We started our evening's journey on the island of Coll in the Inner Hebrides with its vast white, sandy beaches. Andy says he went there mainly to photograph otters - but they apparently had otter things on their minds and were nowhere to be seen! (he did find a paw print though!). However, he captured stunning images of the island's other wildlife - birds in particular. Incidentally - having looked at the website for Coll I see that they've had the driest April for years!!!!

From the Inner Hebrides we were taken first to Yorkshire and then on to a variety of habitats around the country, with superb pictures of the wildlife to be found in each. There was, for example, a sequence of images showing a male kingfisher feeding fish to his chosen female. We were also treated to stunning close-up pictures of the small animals inhabiting these habitats such as the rarely-seen and highly protected dormouse. Andy had warned us that there were large amounts of insects, spiders and other creepy-crawlies to be seen - true - but what great images! As an added bonus, several of his pictures of birds were accompanied by a sound track of their songs.

Andy seems to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject, giving a continuous and detailed commentary on each of his pictures - and all without notes!! Awesome!!

A superb evening, Andy - we look forward to seeing you again sometime!


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