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Young wildlife photographer offers window into his world with audio diary

  Credit: Oscar Wainwright

Oscar Wainwright’s weeklong diary features a minute for each day of his exploration of the Vale of Glamorgan and the beautiful things he sees and photographs. 

The 18-year-old student from Llantwit Major began taking pictures a few years ago to document the species he saw. He then started working on the quality of his images to show off wildlife in all its glory.

Oscar said: “I’ve always been interested in wildlife and a couple of years ago I started creating a photo diary using my phone with pictures of insects and birds.

Video: Oscar Wainwright’s Audio Diary

“It became a scrapbook of the things I had seen so I asked for a better camera for my birthday. I would use my breaks at school to walk around the nearby river and take pictures.

“I had so much fun doing it and began taking it more seriously and expanded the scrapbook until it was made up of hundreds of albums on my computer.”

Oscar’s audio diary takes us to places around the Vale, from the blustery cliff tops of Monknash to his own back garden in Llantwit where a barn owl takes his breath away.

When Oscar finishes school he plans on taking a gap year to travel and take pictures. He then hopes to study wildlife conservation and ecology at university.

He said: “If I didn’t pursue a degree in wildlife conservation, I feel like I’d be missing out on a part of who I am.

“To see wildlife loss and the effects of climate change makes me think, if I’m not willing to study wildlife conservation, then who will?”

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As well working on his studies and wildlife watching, Oscar is also volunteering for ‘Project Otter’ which is a survey of otter numbers in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Credit: Oscar Wainwright

Oscar said: “I’d taken a few trail camera videos of otters in Cowbridge and someone from the otter monitoring project reached out to me and asked me to be a part of it.

“I’ve always been willing to do whatever I need to do to see something, whether it’s getting up looking for things in the early hours or sitting in the rain and waiting.  

Oscar has an impressive Instagram account which he updates daily with pictures of wildlife. But he’s particularly proud of an image he took a few years ago on his first camera.

He said: “I came across some kestrel fledglings that were ridiculously tame. They were so used to people and you could walk right up to them.

“I took a lovely picture of one of the females feeding on ants with the sunset reflected in her eyes. It was definitely my favourite image I have taken so far.

“At the moment I’m trying to get a photo of peregrines transferring food in flight. When they’re courting, they exchange food in the air and if I did get that shot, nothing would compare to it.”

Oscar’s passion for wildlife and the joy it brings him is clear throughout his audio diary and is a signal to us all to enjoy our natural world.     

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