As 2023 draws to an end, it’s only natural to review the past year. Let’s have a look then, shall we?

Kangaroo Island Kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus)
Kangaroo Island Kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus)

This is my absolute favorite photo this year, by far: a Kangaroo Island kangaroo tenderly licking her daughter. It was amazing to see how the mother cared for her little one; they had such a special bond! Witnessing moments like these is why I love wildlife photography.

The KI kangaroo is a subspecies of the Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus). Because of their long period of isolation from mainland Australia, the KI kangaroos are pretty different from the Western Grey kangaroos. They’re shorter, darker, and much cuter if you ask me!

Mother and daughter kangaroo, the joey suckling her mother on Kangaroo Island

The same mother kangaroo as above keeps a watchful eye on her surroundings while her joey suckles. Incredibly, the mother kangaroo can carry joeys at different development stages in her pouch. She can also provide different nutritional content milk in her four teats to cater to the various joeys’ ages.

A standing Kangaroo Island kangaroo male

Standing tall at almost 1.8m (5.9ft), a Kangaroo Island kangaroo male (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus) surveys its surroundings at sunset on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. This one was quite tall and showed plenty of muscle, so I kept my distance 😉.

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)
Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

How this photo came about: I’d seen some cute photos of squirrels and strawberries on Instagram, and I decided to give it a try. Said and done. I picked up the most beautiful strawberries I could find at our little market, set up my hide, and waited. For a long time. I had almost given up when this cute red squirrel finally showed up and approached, oh, so cautiously, the strawberries. Quite suspicious of the whole thing, I can tell you.

She picked one up, sniffed it carefully, and then threw it away. Not interested, apparently. I barely had time to take a photo. Then she selected a large walnut instead and ran away with the treasure.

Experiment over, and I’m happy with the outcome. One photo but quite pretty, isn’t it? It was enough for me and even for Canon Sweden, who picked it up as their Facebook cover for October.

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)
Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

I love this photo so much that I turned it into a Christmas card. Don’t you love that mischievous look?

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) posing in our backyard. This is the old oak tree that both squirrels and birds love.

We call it the Tree of Life. Woodpeckers and squirrels chase each other up and down its trunk, small and not so small birds land on its branches first before jumping down to the bushes closer to food and water, and a lot of insects call it home. It provides a quick getaway for birds and squirrels when they get startled, and even our tabby Minette climbs it every now and then to survey her domain. (I suspect the woodpecker may have something to do with it.)

Close-up of a young Kangaroo Island kangaroo female

A young Kangaroo Island kangaroo female (Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus) that used to come with her mother by our Ecopia Retreat villa almost every day. She’s so cute 😍 I probably took hundreds of photos of her!

Wood nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

I love photographing wood nuthatches (Sitta europaea); they usually strike a pose when landing and again before taking off, checking their surroundings. I can always count on them to sit still long enough for me to get a decent photo.

Did you know that nuthatches can forage when descending trees head first? Inveterate hoarders, they store the food in the bark of the trees, then conceal it with moss or small pieces of bark.

European honey bee (Apis mellifera
European honey bee (Apis mellifera

A European honey bee feeding on an allium flower, photographed in my garden with the Canon RF100mm F2.8 L MACRO IS USM lens. I love the simple composition and complementary colors.

As with most of my macro shots, it was handheld. No tripod or focus stacking for me; I love to keep things simple. 

Portrait of a scaly-breasted lorikeet (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus) sitting on a branch

Scaly-breasted lorikeet (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus). I love parrots, and this one was so much fun to photograph! It didn’t sit still for a moment, jumping nosily around as these parrots do, but it did take a break for a few seconds, and I was ready with the camera!

A pair of Kangaroo Island Glossy Black-Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus) sitting on a tree branch

Bonus: the very rare Kangaroo Island Glossy Black-Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus).

My photo of this Glossy Black-Cockatoo couple has been published in the Journey Beyond Magazine in Australia. This was a special moment for me, not only because it’s my first photo to be published in Australia (a dream come true!) but also because it was taken at the Ecopia Retreat on Kangaroo Island (South Australia), a place very dear to me. Yael and Rob, the Ecopia Retreat owners, have created a haven for these rare birds around Ecopia, planting She-oak trees and putting up bird boxes to help them survive. I was thrilled and awed to be able to find them and see them going about their business in the wild.

The Kangaroo Island subspecies of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus) is listed as endangered, with a population of about 450 birds before the devastating bushfires of 2019/2020. 75% of their habitat in the western part of Kangaroo Island was impacted by the bushfires. They feed exclusively on Drooping She-oak seeds and only on particular trees in the forest, making their survival even more challenging. 

New year card showing a red squirrel holding pink balloons on a light blue and pink background

I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos. Here’s to more, better images to come in 2024!

I wish you a very, very Happy New Year! Gott Nytt År as we say in Swedish.

Spread the love