A brief cruise up the Amazon in early 2007 provided the opportunity for much spectacular photography. The wildlife was particularly obliging around the Ariau Jungle Lodge, up the Rio Negro from Manaus, where this wild squirrel monkey was photographed.
SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE
The area around Cape Town has become a particular interest, both for wildlife and wild flowers. The whalewatching here is spectacular (see "Special Features") and this southern right whale was photographed from Hour Bay, south of Cape Town.
CALIFORNIAN BROWN PELICAN
This brown pelican was photographed in the harbour at Monterey in California, which seems especially blessed with the diversity of wildlife that can be easily seen there.
A trip in 2006 to the Djuma Game Lodge at Sabi Sands, next to the Kruger National Park, provided excellent game viewing and photographic opportunities, including very close views of this leopard that has been habituated to visitors.
SNOW BUNTING, GREENLAND
Arctic wildlife is not always easy to see, especially around Greenland where rather too much of it seems to be shot. Songbirds, like this snow bunting, are generally more approachable, and Michael had excellent views while botanising around the village of Quqortoq (see also "Special Features").
Although this shot may seem to belong in 'Below' rather than 'Above', it was in fact photographed from the deck of a cruise ship sailing into Isafjordhur in Iceland. Surface bubbles were removed in Photoshop to complete the image.
These two green iguanas were photographed from a small excursion boat while exploring the waterways around Santarem on the River Amazon, during a cruise there in early 2007.
Back in South Africa, Michael photographed this sunbird on the summit of Table Mountain in Cape Town. The large numbers of visitors there mean that the birdlife is more accepting of people and so can be photographed more easily without disturbance.
In 2006, Michael did a lot of research on a project in South Africa to 're-breed' the extinct quagga. The quagga has been shown to be a race of the plains zebra, and attempts are being made to breed animals with a quagga-like appearance, as here at Bartholomeus Klip private reserve.
Another of Michael's images from his trip with Sue to Djuma Lodge in the Sabi Sands game reserve, where they had excellent views of bull elephants as well as many other characteristic 'big game' species.
CALIFORNIAN SEA OTTERS (captive)
Michael has been keen on zoos since childhood, and his first job was in the education unit at Edinburgh Zoo. The test of a good zoo, he says, is one in which healthy-looking animals can be photographed behaving naturally in conditions that could be in the wild, like these sea otters in the Lisbon Oceanario (although his extensive collection of zoo photos are always labelled as being of captive animals).
TASMANIAN DEVIL (captive)
Sometimes, sadly, zoos provide the only opportunity to photograph some species, like this Tasmanian devil, photographed in Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney, Australia. In the wild these animals were always extremely rare, but now they are threatened with extinction as a result of diseases in the wild population.