Dave Williams

The greatest wildlife spectacles in the world!

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As a wannabe wildlife photographer there are so many places and events across the world that I would love to witness and photograph. Some I might be lucky enough to witness one day, others I will just have to admire from other people's experiences. My list would include East Africa's great migration, bears catching salmon in N America, Great White Sharks in South Africa, Orca's chasing seals off the west coast of America, the march of the Penguins in Antartica and those are just the one's that immediately spring to mind.

Hopefully someone can post a brief account of and some photos to demonstrate their own ambitions fulfilled.

Here in the UK we are limited to a large extent but we can suggest one or two. 

Starling murmurations before the nightly roost on a cold winter's night are indeed incredible spectacles that let the mind run riot with the images presented.

25521688522_3377a52b77_b.jpgStarling murmuration Conwy RSPB by Dave Williams, on Flickr

25614193376_7927dab47c_b.jpgStarling murmuration Conwy RSPB by Dave Williams, on Flickr

25272789799_f5aabd8863_b.jpgStarling murmuration Conwy RSPB by Dave Williams, on Flickr

25009858824_15110516bf_b.jpgStarling murmuration Conwy RSPB by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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Awesome shots Dave, love the idea of this topic. Unfortunately New Zealand doesn't have a lot of wildlife to showcase.

Will see if we can find something special.

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A disappointing response so far, maybe we are not so well travelled as a group as I imagined although someone must have witnessed and photographed the Great Migration surely?

@Atravelynn I think sharing an experience with the Gallanas of Ethiopia certainly qualifies as special enough and one I  wasn't even aware of until I read your report.

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@Dave Williams I'll bite with a few!  Firstly (and to contradict @colbol)!!

 

Firstly a sperm whale off the coast of Kaikoura, New Zealand. An awe inspiring experience to see them so close and to get just a sense of their power as they start to dive.

 

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Secondly swimming with Manta Rays in the Maldives.  We spent about 40 minutes in 3m of water as these large rays circled around us coming within a few centimetres but never touching us. Apologies for the image quality but I think the essence of the experience is conveyed.

 

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Posted (edited)

Finally for now. Not the great migration but a minor variant with around 500 animals gathering and finally crossing the Mara River in Kenya. It was a tense experience with growing anticipation over the 4 hours or so it took for the animals to gather and finally cross. More images and description in my trip report from Porini Lion earlier this year.

 

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Edited by pomkiwi
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@pomkiwi Nice additions. Of the three I think I'd like to swim with Manta rays most of all. Catching the Mara crossing must be very challenging from a photographic point of view , your last shot really gives a sense of chaos and desperation to reach the other side.

As for the Sperm Whale, I love cetaceans, but I have to admit that when in Sri Lanka I got to see the biggest whale of them all, the Blue Whale, it was a bit anticlimactic purely as it is so big! It won't leap out of the water like a Humpback might and it's so long that it's too small in the frame or if you zoom in you can't fit it all in and it barely breaks the surface, well at least relative to it's overall size anyway.

23712278669_b60f16cbf8_b.jpgBlue Whale     Sri Lanka by Dave Williams, on Flickr

However, like your Sperm Whale, it flicks it's tail as it dives down in to the deep revealing the Whalesucker fish that cling to it .

24080085595_96d2b1468a_b.jpgBlue Whale     Sri Lanka by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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"Touche"@ Pomkiwi, great shots all round.

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Those starling formations are unbelievable, @Dave Williams.  The last one looks like a prehistoric animal.  Very eerie.

 

The endemic grass eating geladas in Ethiopia that you mention were very special. Guassa, Ethiopia in March, a good time to go.

large.59597d8587c98_IMG_4557thewholefami

 

 

Displaying male Andean Cock of the Rocks, seen in Manu, Peru in June-Oct.

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Red and green macaws on clay licks in Peru.  June-Oct is a good time.

 

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Manu, Peru (Oct)

 

Largest mammal migration on Earth is the Straw colored fruit bats.  Seen in Kasanka, Zambia from late Oct through Dec.  I was there the last week of Nov.  Full moon is a good time to try to get the Batman shot of bats in front of the big moon.

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