My name is Harry Appleyard and I am a general naturalist, wildlife recorder, author and photographer based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. My passion for getting out there and finding the very best nature has to offer started as an after-school hobby in the form of photography back in 2008. Covering a fairly small distance close to home, it quickly went from being a means of taking a few pretty pictures to a way of me cataloguing and identifying a wide range of local species, with birds, butterflies and odonata becoming my specialties.
In late 2008 I had my first publication, an image of a Speckled Bush Cricket in my front garden featured in the Dorling Kindersley Royal Horticultural Society Wildlife Garden book and in 2009, I won the junior category of The Parks Trust’s photography competition with an image of a hovering Migrant Hawker Dragonfly at the local brook. I have had numerous publications with my photography across a wide range of media since including Buckinghamshire Bird Club annual reports, BBC Springwatch and Autumnwatch and in 2016, I was a runner-up in the BBC Countryfile Calendar Competition, with an image of Common Frogs featured in their calendar in the following year.
With the infinite wisdom of local naturalists and conservationists, I discovered the world of biological recording, which I now carry out on almost all of my walks locally and beyond. Using my photography as a means of verification, I contribute records of various taxonomic groups to several recording schemes including the Buckinghamshire Bird Club, Butterfly Conservation, The British Dragonfly Society, Spurn Bird Observatory and Birdtrack. On my local patch in south Milton Keynes, I have recorded around 140 bird species alone, ranging from common residents, annual migrants to rare vagrants. Some highlights have included Yellow-browed Warbler, Common Cranes, Kittiwake, Iceland Gulls and Great Northern Diver. In September 2016, I discovered the first Willow Emerald Damselflies to be recorded in Buckinghamshire at a local pond and at another one nearby, I found the first Lesser Emperor Dragonfly to be recorded in Milton Keynes in July 2020.
I have also contributed to various events, including the outdoor walks programme of the Milton Keynes Natural History Society where I have aided with species identification and many public talks, several of which have also been for the MK Natural History Society and The Parks Trust’s adult education programme, utilizing my photography, sound recordings and local knowledge. From 2021 to October 2022, I spent the most part of a year as a Practical Conservation Trainee at The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Spurn National Nature Reserve, getting to grips with livestock work, habitat management and assisting with various public events, including their Bespoke Birding Tours.
I have several 12 month calendars featuring my photography since 2016 as well as greetings cards and most recently my own local birding book, Tattenhoe Birds: Rarities, Scarcities and Oddities. Should you wish to find out more about these products and my events, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
More of my photography can also be found here:https://flickr.com/photos/23240104@N02/