FOR Dan Knight, waiting weeks for an elusive long eared owl, using a tasty treat to entice a pine marten into view and having a rutting red stag grunting at his face is all worth it when his camera clicks to captures the perfect image.

Initially using his grandma’s old camera to develop his skills, and his passion for taking pictures of birds and animals, Dan, of Baildon, is now an established wildlife photographer and runs workshops around Yorkshire and in Scotland as well as camera club mentoring sessions.

Here Dan, a member of the Telegraph & Argus Camera Club, shares some of his stunning wildlife photographs and the stories behind them:

“Since I could remember I’ve always had an interest in being outside, with a passion for wildlife instilled in me by my grandparents. When not taking photos of wildlife, you’ll find me wild camping somewhere in the UK.

“I first picked a camera up over 10 years ago, it was my grandma’s, I believe it was an Olympus Bridge Camera. It was there that my passion for photography in general grew, and just over five years ago I purchased a Nikon D3300; this being an entry level DSLR and myself being a complete novice, it was a fantastic camera that I still recommend to new photographers.

“I started my photography journey capturing images of landscapes around North and West Yorkshire, and it wasn’t long until I ventured further afield. It was around this time I purchased a Nikon D7100, the current camera I use.

“My passion for wildlife eventually merged with photography. I purchased a second-hand Sigma 150-600mm lens and I’ve never looked back since. I still return to landscapes every now and then but wildlife photography is where my heart lies.

“I enjoy photographing all wildlife but my passion is birds, especially owls and kingfishers. I had the wonderful opportunity a couple of years ago to photograph kingfisher chicks in a nest chamber, which was an incredible experience and something that is so rarely seen.

“Kingfishers nest in burrows along river banks, so viewing a nest is near enough impossible. A friend of mine built an artificial nest burrow on his land in Lincolnshire; I was invited down to photograph them on the day the chicks were ringed.

“I think this was my favourite wildlife experience I’ve had to date and something that has rarely been photographed. All six chicks fledged the nest successfully a week or so after the image was taken.

“The image of the barn owl with its evening meal was taken at around 2am at a private site in Lincolnshire, using a low power flash and LED lights to photograph the owl in the dark.

“The red stag image was taken in Bushy Park, London. I spent a little time there last October during the red deer rutting season. Being my first time there, I really didn’t know what to expect. The sounds of the stags bellowing resonated around the whole park - however the experience of one bellowing directly at me is one I’ll never forget!

“With the badger reflection photograph, I wanted to show the beauty of badgers because unfortunately on the whole they have a pretty bad reputation. This image was taken in Scotland at a private site and again with flash and LED lights.

“The day had been a windy one, but as darkness fell the wind subsided and the reflection on the pool changed to glass almost, allowing me to photograph this near perfect reflection.

“I call the image of the male and female kestrels ‘Incoming’. It shows a female kestrel coming in to land as the male consumes a mouse. It was taken in Lincolnshire during the nesting season; the kestrels were extremely active, collecting food regularly for their six chicks, which I’m pleased to say all fledged successfully.

“Grey herons are absolutely stunning birds in my opinion and photographing them in the mist makes them even more stunning. This image of a heron in the mist was taken in Lincolnshire at around midnight, the mist began to roll across the almost calm water just as the heron began to wind stretch.

“This is a rather unique image for me as I’ve never seen a heron in this particular pose before.

“I think most of us welcome the return of the swallow as it marks the start of the warmer months. This particular swallow (pictured leaving its nest) had nested in a storage shed in Lincolnshire and was using the broken window as an entrance and an exit. I set my camera up outside the shed on a remote trigger and used flash to help freeze the movement of the swallow as they are incredibly fast birds.”

* See more of Dan’s work at and Facebook Dan Knight Photography and Workshops