Feather and fur
When not travelling to Peru and Alaska, twenty-year-old Bertie Gregory captures the wildlife he sees in the area around his home in Lytchett Minster and on Brownsea Island
Published in August ’13
‘It all started off when I was twelve years old and I got an underwater disposable camera,’ recalls Bertie Gregory of his beginnings in photography. ‘Later on I started nicking my dad’s SLR, but I remember the moment when I decided I wanted to take wildlife pictures. I was out walking my dog in the snow when a deer rushed out in front of me; I started taking pictures and haven’t looked back since.’
Bertie, who is in the second year of a zoology degree at Bristol University, has seen his photography take him all over the world, but there’s no doubting his favourite place in Dorset: ‘Brownsea Island is a big place for me. It’s got an amazing population of terns in spring and summer and a big feeding flock of avocets in the winter. I’ve been fortunate to work with Dorset Wildlife Trust and am working with the 20:20VISION project, which meant I could stay overnight in the hide and so get some fantastic early light to shoot with.’
Somewhat closer to home is Bertie’s back garden: ‘It’s quite boggy with lots of mud and worms, and we have a buzzard who comes there almost daily for the worms.’
Bertie is also an unnoticed, or at least non-threatening presence at a local badger sett where last year there were nine badgers who have become habituated to a hide.
But badgers are not his favourite animals; that distinction belongs to peregrine falcons: ‘I’ve seen them in the wilderness off Vancouver Island taking sea birds, and in the city skies above the Palace of Westminster taking pigeons. They really are incredible, the world’s fastest animal and so adaptable.’
Bertie hopes to be able to take his aesthetic sensibilities and wildlife knowledge and translate them into a career in wildlife film-making or presenting wildlife television programmes. Like his favourite animal’s, his adaptability and speed mean it would be a brave man to bet against him.