Ecological Experiences was originally set up as both a business and information on ecological subject matter.
Whilst Wildlife Tours, talks etc are still available, the website now has a greater emphasis on encouraging and develop an understanding, appreciation, fascination and enjoyment of the Natural World, in which we are not only part of, but have such an immense impact upon.
Features of the website include:
Wildlife Photo Diary, which provides a write-up on recent sightings and photographs of what I have seen
Articles and features on Natural History, ID guides and 'Trip Reports'
Tours and Talks eg Wildlife Photography
Member's receive:Occasional Newsletters, help with identification& photography advice
Links for reliable websites, for information and Natural History orientated services
Ecological Experiences also stands up for both the biotic and abiotic content of this planet other than the Homo sapiens element, on which we (H. sapiens) are totally dependent and does not support any unnecessary killing of flora and fauna for human benefit or indeed 'scientific research' or any interference, which affects the day to day functions of animals.
The 'Early Years'
From a very early age, I had a fascination for Natural History, particularly pond-dipping, reading animal books, watching any programmes about animals that came on the television (not many at the time), going to zoos and looking for birds' nests.
For my sixth birthday I was given a book called 'The Wonders of Life on Earth' (which I still have) by my parents. In this book, I had my first introduction to Charles Robert Darwin and his journey on the 'Beagle' to the Galapagos Islands, Geopiza finches and a picture of a strange-looking extinct fish a Coelacanth, which was discovered again many years later.
The newly appointed head teacher at Ormesby Primary School (Mr Tebbut) encouraged me to have a wildife table in the school foyer and also at this time, I started a bird club in Ormesby, which the late Percy Trett came to give a talk, as the first 'guest speaker'. The first visit to Breydon Water came about around this time, although the original visit there (very disappointingly) was cancelled due to it being too muddy!
In 1969 an interest for rarer species to our shores came into being when a Cream-coloured Courser was found on my uncle's half harvested sugar beet field at California (Ormesby East-end) and that same year I met the late Dick-Bagnall-Oakley twice, when on the first occasion he drew a picture (using a biro) on the inside cover of my Longman's book on the Blue Tit, of a pair of Mallard in flight with an inscription at the bottom of the page saying: Best wishes from one bird-watcher to another, Dick-Bagnall Oakley 1969.
Over the years this interest in Natural History developed further and a visit by the warden of Hickling Nature Reserve, the late Colonel Bob Sankey (Right) to Martham S.M. School, led to me biking from Ormesby St. Margaret to Hickling (around 10miles) every Saturday to carry out Grey Heron nest counts. This was a marvellous time, out on my own in a designated boat from Whiteslea Lodge, with a big bunch of keys to all the hides, an honouree warden's arm band and eventually allowed to go up the tree hide on my own (now the tree tower) sixty foot up in an Oak tree, accessed by two ladders with netting over the top, before emerging through the trap door of the platform. I also used to sit at the back of the 'Little Tern' during the famous 'Water Trail' and instructed to tell the visitors what the ducks were!
With the advent of more Natural History TV programmes being broadcast, the likes of Gerald Durrell's and David Attenborough's travels to various places in the world in search of intriguing creatures was a source of inspiration and wonder, along with Heinz Zeilman's films, Jacque Cousteau the inimitable Animal Magic (even then I was not keen on the Jonny Morris anthropomorphism parts of the programme!) and Survival.
Photographic Equipment used
Prior to digital SLR's, Pentax K1000 camera bodies were used with a 300mm zoom lens, a 500 mirror lens (occasionally) and a 125mm lens in combination with extension tubes and a standard flash unit for macro purposes. This accounts for any photos used on the website, which are derived from either print or slide film.
Since using digital SLR cameras, various Pentax bodies have been used from a K10 (used with a non digital 300mm zoom lens) up to a K5 with mainly a Sigma 300mm zoom lens with a 1:2 macro facility and a Sigma 150-500 zoom lens.
With the shutters failing on every digital Pentax owned (after very limited usage with the K5) a switch to Nikon camera bodies in 2016 began with a D3200 and a Nikon-fit Sigma Macro lens (the combination of which has been used to take all macro images since and currently). The addition of a second Nikon camera body, a D7100 followed as did a change in the make of lens from a Sigma to a Tamron 150-600 zoom. A Nikon fit Sigma 300mm zoom with 1:2 macro was also added for its versatility and ease of use when subjects are at close range.
A brief personal synopsis.....
Hello, I am Perry Fairman (that's me over there to the right, withered and worn!).
I am an Environmental Biologist BSc. Hons. (Ecologist-very much the same thing), former teacher (PGCE) in both secondary (Science-Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and adult education (Ecology & Conservation, Sustainable Development) and basically an all-round naturalist.
I have studied Natural History all my life and have worked for various organisations (Speyside Wildlife, Norfolk Wildlife Trust etc) whilst also conducting my own research, independent of monetary rewards and have written articles and reports for various bodies where some of my photographs have also been published.
I have a particular interest in Behavioural Ecology and this also helps immensely with photographing the various animals, which I see and find.