Monday, October 17, 2016

My avian highlight from Mauritius

As well as for its beauty and Robinson Crusoe feel, a trip to Gabriel Island off the north coast of Mauritius held another significant attraction for me; its breeding population of White-tailed Tropicbirds. Having only ever seen a single distant tropicbird species off Bali nearly 20 years ago and with the possibility of very close views for photography on Gabriel Island, it was an opportunity too good to miss. So near the end of our honeymoon we both went on a hugely enjoyable 3 hour return boat trip to the little slice of paradise and in my hour on the island, I took full advantage and filled a memory card with nearly a thousand images of these stunning seabirds. The best images are showcased below. 

In addition, given the windy conditions that we were experiencing throughout our stay, the boat trip resulted in seeing a number of other good seabirds that comprised in excess of a thousand Wedge-tailed Shearwaters; some passing right by the boat, 25 Masked Boobies, 6 Sooty Terns, 50 Lesser Noddies, 3 Brown Noddies and 25 Red-tailed Tropicbirds. In addition, the many Flying Fish was a spectacular sight. A good day all round.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The start of things to come

Welcome to my first blog post for Wildlife Photography by Matt Latham. Ironically, it contains no wildlife though! That's because I wanted to start with scenery from my recent honeymoon to Mauritius, the wildlife from which will feature as the first set of posts, to set the context for those posts. That's also the point of having this blog - to show my recent wildlife photography but to also provide a little bit of supporting information to help narrate the images.

During the 10 day break in paradise, my wife and I spent much of the time relaxing on the hotel beach but we also managed a few trips to see the jungle in the south west of the island and Gabriel Island, a small island approximately 15km north of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, which will feature in a later post. Considering it was my honeymoon and I had little to no birding time, I did manage 4 of the island's endemic species: Mauritius Bulbul, Mauritius Fody, Mascarene Martin and Mascarene Swiftlet during the south-west trip. I also managed to see Mauritius Fruit Bats, Wild Boar and Short-tailed Macaques.

A number of the images I managed in Mauritius will likely feature in my main portfolio, but you'll be able to see all the keepers here over the coming weeks. For starters, I hope you like the photographs below which were all taken with an iPhone, and I hope you come to enjoy the additional experience this blog will aim to offer.

Two images of the terrain in the south-west of the island 

Two images of the beach near the hotel at Belle Mare; a regular haunt for Whimbrel and Striated Herons  

The simply breathtaking Gabriel Island - home to many White-tailed Tropicbirds