Chris Mattison Wildlife Photographer
Chris Mattison Wildlife Photographer
Chris Mattison Wildlife Photographer
Chris Mattison Wildlife Photographer

Blog

A couple of good eggs

Leopard snake, Zamenis situla, hatching

Leopard snake, Zamenis situla, hatching

A new arrival gets his (or her) first view of the world.  60 days previously he was one of four eggs laid by a female leopard snake.  With very few exceptions, notably the pythons, snakes do not display any parental care.  Once the female has laid her eggs, in a moist, secluded place such as a cavity under a rock or log, or in decaying vegetation, she takes no further interest in them.  

Hatchling number two puts in an appearance.

Hatchling number two puts in an appearance.

The young snakes often remain in their eggs for several hours, or even days, after they have created a slit in the shell, seemingly recovering from the effort of hatching and waiting for an opportune moment to slide out and disperse into the surrounding countryside.

Leopard snake, Zamenis situla with clutch of recently laid eggs.

Leopard snake, Zamenis situla with clutch of recently laid eggs.

Leopard snakes occur in southern Europe, including Italy, Greece and several Mediterranean islands. They are among the most attractive European snakes and feed on small rodents such as mice and voles, which they are ideally equipped to follow into their burrows and nests.

The photographs are of captive animals: the chances of discovering a snake in the process of laying its eggs in the wild are almost non-existent – catching one in the act of hatching is even less likely.

 

Breighton Bucker-fest and fly-in, 2013

Note: This post has been moved. I have decided to restrict this blog to wildlife photography and similar subjects. I have set up a new blog here that will covers other interests, including aviation.  

Mull report

Basalt rock formations, Staffa

This year our workshop on Mull had mixed weather – two glorious days, two rather wet and windy days and two days with a bit of each, but we found plenty to photograph, as usual, and on days when photography was not possible we held Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials, largely thanks to Alex Hyde, who came along as a third tutor this year.

Puffin on Lunga, Treshnish Isles

Puffin on Lunga, Treshnish Isles

As usual, we had a full day on the water photographing a white-tailed sea eagle and a long day on Lunga, with everyone’s favourites, the puffins.  Other activities included visits to the standing stones on the Glengorm Estate, within walking distance of our accommodation in two of the estate’s comfortable and well-equipped cottages, a couple of seashore visits and an attempt to photograph orchids, although the late spring made them more difficult to find this year.  The outstanding display of thrift, however, more than made up for this, as did the bluebells at several locations, the first time we have been on Mull when these were at their peak.

Sea ivory, a lichen, growing on the rocks at Grass Point

Sea ivory, a lichen, growing on the rocks at Grass Point

Feedback from the participants has been favourable and we will be running a similar event in June 2015.  Please contact me or Nick Garbutt to register an interest or to leave a deposit for a firm booking.  We look forward to seeing you!

American West Coast gallery added

Hall of Mosses, Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington state, USA.

I have just added a new gallery American West Coast to display some of the photographs taken on a trip to this interesting and varied region back in 2008.  Sorry it’s taken so long!

New book published “What Reptile?”

What Reptile? cover shot“WHAT REPTILE?”, a new book aimed at the beginner has just been published by Interpet. Its purpose is to advise on which species are suitable or unsuitable for the uninitiated.  The aim is to point people towards those species that are most likely to adapt well to captivity and to avoid species that require specialist care or which fare badly under captive conditions, and to promote responsible reptile and amphibian keeping.  Captive-bred reptiles and amphibians are recommended over wild-caught ones.

For more details please see the “Publications” page.

Mull and the Treshnish Isles workshop confirmed

White-tailed sea eagle

A white-tailed sea eagle soars over the photographer, Mull

Nick Garbutt and I are pleased to confirm that the annual one-week workshop on the Isle of Mull is guaranteed to run now that we have the minimum number of participants.  This will be the tenth year we have visited Mull to photograph its spectacular scenery and wildlife and Nick and I are both looking forward to another productive week.

Please visit the Events page for full details.