Pictorial review of 2023

 This year has has proved to be a very busy year on the birding and photography front. My hobby has taken me in all kinds of directions. My drone images in regards to Pontypool Park and the Folly area have been used in a mobile application that celebrates the famous Welsh poet Myfanwy Haycock. I have done more bird and photography talks than ever. 

One of my highlights was being invited to present to the Welsh Photography Federation and see my pictures mounted on display for the first time.

I've enjoyed a number of photography trips, some of which have been highlighted in pictures below.

An unforgettable trip was to the Maldives with my wife and it is with out doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and there was plenty of wildlife to enjoy there as well.

Choosing photographs in order to review is always very difficult and even more so when you take pictures as prolifically as me.

Below are a few memories from my year and a few words to mark each one.

Happy New Year to all my readers and big thank you to all my friends and family who have accompanied and supported me throughout 2023.

I wish you all good health, happiness and a successful 2024.

Bearded Reedling at Goldcliff Lagoons. By chance Paul Joy and I came across a pair of these wonderful birds passing through the reserve. This is my favorite bird picture of the year. It was really sweet seeing these birds on my birdwatching patch.

The band stand and cheery trees in blossom taken at Pontypool park using my drone. I love the park and really enjoyed showing it off during the WPF conference.

The Folly in Pontypool. An absolute gem of a landmark. I have walked up to it many times this year and love the place.

Sunrise on Meeru Island in the Maldives. Apart from the Islands workers I was the only person to be enjoying the sunrise.

Baby Black Tipped shark in Meeru Harbour. 

The view from our beach in the Maldives. The seawater was incredibly warm and clear.

My favourite picture of the year. Sunset with my wife in the Maldives standing outside our villa.

A cuckoo up the Blorenge.

Skomer in bloom. This was my first visit in the spring and it was beautiful. 

A close encounter with a Red Kite during a walk along the St Govans coastal path.

Sunrise up the Blorenge.

Goldcliff. I have taken many pictures this year using the drone and was pleased to get a nice sunset panormaic.

There is beauty in the industrial landscape if you look hard enough. The Varteg spoil tips in Pontypool.

Amazing colours. These pictures caused some significant discussion.

St Dunstans in the East. Hidden ruins in the heart of London.

I attended the Royal International Air Tattoo ( RIAT) at Fairford with Paul Coombes and Paul Joy. I think I broke a world record for the number of pictures taken at one event. The Red Arrows were awesome.

A Three Amigo trip to RSPB Bempton cliffs. The reserve was amazing and I got to see my first ever Tree Sparrows.

A Gannet Diving. An incredible trip out on the Yorkshire Belle with the RSPB. Simply awesome.

I went on a West Coast Pelagic Trip and 40 miles off the coast of Wales to the Celtic Trips. A mega trip with a great group of friends. The guide asked me what bird I was hoping to see and I replied I wanted to see a Skua as I had never seen one. Whilst bobbing away in the water miles away from land a Pomarine Skua promptly flew in over the boat!

The pelagic trip was unforgettable. I was in total disbelief when we saw two Fin Whales feeding on a bait ball with dolphins.

I love waders of all kinds and enjoyed a few visits to Trecco Bay to watch roosting waders. This Ringed Plover was gorgeous.

Goldcliff Lagoons from a different angle using the drone.

Presenting at the WPF annual conference was a great experience. I was lucky to watch all the other presenters and learned a huge amount from there awesome work.

Inspired after the WPF and a talk by the actor and photographer Bill Ward, this was one of my first attempts at intentional camera movement images. The Engineer at Blackrock, Chepstow.

The iron bridge at Clydach Gorge. This area is outstanding for photography and I had fun in the rain experimenting with slow shutter speeds.

A trip to Edinburgh to meet up with my University friends. I walked up Arthurs seat and enjoyed the view.

It was very Autumnal in Edinburgh and I could not help but notice this lady with wonderfully coloured hair sat enjoying the skyline.

Clydach Gorge from above. The tree canopy was gorgeous.

A road through the Beechwoods in Clydach. I spent hours taking photographs in this area as part of my Autumn photography project.

Throughout the year my daily virtual commute has taken me along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. In autumn it was simply mesmerising. 

Autumn Gold. This is a really gorgeous spot not far from where I live.

I visited the South Wales Air Musuem ( SWAM) this year near St Athan. One of the best and friendliest museums I have been to. I actually sat in this Tornado - awesome.

The rain did not keep me inside this year on the weekend. I found a lovely spot not far from where I live and found a nice natural reflection pool.

Being out with nature - just makes me happy.

Sunrise at Blackrock.  A view of Charston Rock Lighthouse using the drone.

The Newport Transporter Bridge. I was so happy to achieve one of my goals this year to get a drone picture of this superb landmark of Newport.

The Prince of Wales Bridge at dawn.

Westminster Bridge London. A trip to London with my wife. On a very cold day we visited Westminster and I took the opportunity to do some photos using my tripod.

The London Eye looked amazing.

Westminster Bridge - light trails. I was really pleased with this picture. Its a long exposure of 30 seconds and the trails are created by a London bus driving past me.

Purple Sandpiper taken at Battery Point Portishead. I love these confiding waders.

A wonderful way to finish the year. Waxwings in Rogerstone, Newport.


  1. What a lovely set, well done and thanks for sharing. We were able to see and enjoy the 14 Waxwings yesterday (31st) even though the heavy and frequent showers weren't ideal. I've done little birding recently so it was a nice end to the year. Happy New Year.

  2. Thanks for the support and reading Paul.


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