Tuesday 23 July 2013

Video report from the CLA Game Fair 2013

Here's the latest episode of Schools Challenge TV, straight from the weekend's CLA Game Fair at Ragley Hall. You can practically feel the heat of the sun burning down on Gunmakers' Row! Lugging the camera around in that weather was no joke, but I'm pleased with the result, and Fieldsports Channel have done a great job of turning it round so quickly for tonight's show. I particularly liked giving the microphone to the youngsters of the Schools Challenge Academy so they could ask their own questions of some top people in the gun trade.

Video: pigeon shooting with Geoff Garrod

Here's my latest piece on The Shooting Show - I made the first item in this week's show, with gamekeeper Geoff Garrod and Tomas Atienza of Eley Hawk out after pigeons in Essex. After a wet start, the sun breaks through and things begin to pick up, and Geoff and Tomas finish with a respectable total for the day.

The show also includes an extended news report from the CLA Game Fair - well done the Blaze team for filming and editing that so quickly to get the report out the day after the event.

Buzzard strikes again

A buzzard has struck again, dragging an osprey chick from the same nest where one of the rare birds of prey was killed by a buzzard last year - and the attack was again caught on camera.

"This is the second year that Buzzards have attacked the chicks, last year one was killed by the buzzards, this year both chicks (almost fully grown) were removed from the nest by Buzzards," writes Jake Webster from the Lochter Activity Centre in Aberdeenshire, who caught the footage on a fixed CCTV camera. View the video here:

Monday 22 July 2013

Phew, what a scorcher!

I'm just back from the 2013 CLA Game Fair, which was an absolute scorcher. I had no way of checking, but it certainly felt like the daytime temperatures were well into the 30s, and it didn't seem much cooler in the tent at night.

I was kept pretty busy filming for Schools Challenge TV - you'll see the first programme on Tuesday (David Wright is busy editing the footage as I write), but I did manage to catch up with a few old friends, despite missing a good many more.

With only a video camera to hand most of the time, and precious little mobile phone coverage for the three days, I took very few still photos to capture the atmosphere of the event, but this one appealed so much I whipped out my phone and snapped it while glugging cold water as fast as I could.

It's Charlie Jacoby's cocker, Muffin, proudly wearing her press pass as we sat around the Fieldsports Channel encampment behind the Press Centre.

Black grouse and wind farms - my article in Shooting Times

I was thrilled to see my article in the Game Fair issue of Shooting Times - it's a piece on the latest research being carried out by the World Pheasant Association to determine the effect of wind farms on black grouse.

Basically the proliferation of wind turbines across the bird's habitat could be a good thing (perhaps because it provides a refuge from raptors) or it could be a bad thing (if, for instance, the turbine noise interferes with the wonderful sound the males make when lekking).

The WPA has been funding research to find out more, and I was particularly intrigued by the work of Newcastle University PhD student Mieke Zwart, who is featured in the article. What they couldn't include in the article was this, the sound of blackcock lekking, which was recorded by Mieke - a wonderful, evocative sound.

Here's an image of the waveform of that sound:

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Gary Green foxing on The Shooting Show

Here's my latest effort on The Shooting Show - Gary Green out after a fox that's been killing chickens on a large free-range poultry farm in Essex. That was a long day's filming, finishing with me getting home after sunrise, but it was worth it to get a really interesting sequence that tells the story from start to finish. Some day I'll have to blog about the technical challenges of filming a wary quarry in pitch blackness without spooking it - not the easiest task!

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Land Rovers on Schools Challenge TV

Here's the latest episode of Schools Challenge TV. I particularly enjoyed filming the Land Rover sequence on what was a difficult day with a lot of heavy rain, and the wind in the worst possible direction blowing the noise from the nearby motorway right towards us.

Putting up a tipi to music

Just to prove I can film something other than shooting, here's a little film I made after a camping trip with daughter Emma and her boyfriend Steve last autumn. That woodburner transformed what would otherwise be a chilly and rather miserable experience - a superb bit of kit.