Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and that you are all looking forward to the New Year. Welcome to my new blog series for the RSPB, over the course of which I will be discussing all things to do with our British wildlife. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Edward (Ed) Marshall, and I am a 22 year old wildlife photographer based in the Midlands. After spending a long, but thoroughly enjoyable, three years studying a B.Sc (Hons) in zoology I then studied a full years M.Sc in Biological Photography and Imaging. This of course has lead me to where I am today.

I've always had a huge passion for the natural world, and I spent a great deal of my time out and about as a kid simply watching wildlife. It was only natural for me to make the transition to picking up a camera and trying to capture the things that I witnessed, and as you will see, I’ll be using my images to illustrate these blog posts as time goes on. I’ll try not to get too in depth with the photography side of things, but I think it’s always nice to hear the story behind an image, which I hope you’ll enjoy as well.

This Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) was very obliging of my presence whilst it was hunting last christmas (2012). It was a real privilege to experience as, typically, I've found these birds are very difficult to approach close enough to in order to get these sort of images. As always with my photography I try to enjoy the moment I'm photographing without my camera, so you can imagine my dismay as a dog came bounding up to me to have a sniff whilst I was simply watching the bird, causing the heron to take flight across the lake.

Since early November I've been a member of the volunteer team of editorial assistants who work on the Natures Home magazine, answering your emails and looking through the various submissions that are sent in to us in their masses. I'm always inspired to try and get out and about when I read our members emails, and I can only hope that I will inspire some of you to do the same in the future!

I will see you all in 2014!

Ed Marshall

For those of you who would like to see more of my wildlife images, have a look through my website www.edmarshallwildimages.co.uk, like my Facebook page Ed Marshall Wild Images for more updates on what I get up to, or follow me on Twitter @edmarshallphoto.