Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Notre Dame de Paris

Seen here is Notre Dame de Paris during my visit to Paris in November 2013. I was crossing the Petit Pont - Cardinal Lustiger bridge over the river Seine heading to the Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame RER station, having just tried steak tatare for the first time in a nearby restaurant, when I spotted the opportunity for this shot.

Notre Dame de Paris is a Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité, a natural island in the Seine. Construction began in 1163, and it was completed in 1345. It was damaged in the 1790s during the French Revolution, and restoration began in 1845. More recently a restoration and maintenance project was started in 1991.

The bridge that can also be seen is the Pont au Double. The current bridge is a one arch cast-iron one built in 1883 to replace the original, which had previously collapsed and been rebuilt.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Mute Swan Cygnets

In June 2014, a friend and I went for a walk on Southampton Common. He has an EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lens, and we were both keen to see how it performed with my new 1.4x extender. We came across a Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) family on one of the ponds, and spent a while there photographing them with the combination of lens and extender.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Amur Tiger

This is another shot of Bagai, Marwell Zoo's young male Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica). It was taken in March 2014.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Grévy's Zebra

This shot of a Grévy's zebra (Equus grevyi) was taken at Marwell Zoo in March 2014.

Émile Oustalet first described the Grévy's zebra in 1882. He named it after Jules Grévy, who was the president of France at the time and had been given one by the government of Abyssinia.

The Grévy's zebra is found in Kenya and Ethiopia. It is one of three species of zebra, the other two being the plains zebra (Equus quagga) and the mountain zebra (Equus zebra). It has narrower stripes, is taller and has larger ears than the other two species. It feeds on grasses, legumes and browse. Grévy's zebras are hunted for food by lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs.

The Grévy's zebra is currently listed as "endangered". It is estimated that less than 2,500 Grévy's zebras are currently left in the wild, down from 15,000 in the 1970s. Grévy's zebras were hunted for their skins in the past, but they are now legally protected in Ethiopia, and protected by a hunting ban in Kenya. The main threat to the Grévy's zebra now is from habitat loss and competition with livestock. The population trend has been considered stable since 2008.