It is a rare person who goes through life not carrying regrets, I have few, but for me, my biggest was not attempting to break into the world of wildlife filming much earlier in life. Luckily I have dabbled in wildlife photography for a few years and I have been fortunate to witness some amazing moments, some I captured, others were simply beautiful moments captured in my mind's eye. However, my passion for storytelling finally cemented my decision to make the jump from stills to filming and living as I was at the time in Andalusia, southern Spain, close to a plethora of resident wildlife species as well as being Living as I did in southern Spain for 12 years, from 2003 to 2015, it was a perfect opportunity for me to begin making trips into the Sierras close to my home, armed with a kind friends video camera and a passionate desire to hone my skills, and begin to hone my skill and hopefully create stories about the plethora of wildlife around me. I took adavantage of the dense populations of birds of prey, concentrating mostly on Eurasian Griffon Vultures and Bonelli's eagles, with numerous vulture colonies and 2 nesting pairs of the eagles within a 30 minute drive of my home.
I will never lose my passion for capturing stills images, but the desire to film some of the amazing things I have witnessed, some rarely seen or filmed before was too great a temptation for me to turn away from. Story telling is an art, some posses by the bucket load, I think I have it by the egg cup load, but where there is passion and fierce determination for what you do, there is always hope. We are all capable of learning more and pushing those limits far beyond what we ever thought possible.
Just before I returned to the UK in 2016, I spent almost 4 months in the Andujar region of Andalucia, where I went in search of one of the worlds rarest species of wild feline, the Iberian Lynx. I slept in the back of an old Toyota Previa for the duration, and with absolutely no assistance from the wildlife authorities ( medio ambiente ) or the organisations montitoring certain Lynx with radio collars, I managed to locate 5 different cats and capture 12 minutes of footage, yes a whole 12 mins. Does not sound like much, but with no help offered by the government wildlife department ( Medio Ambiente ) to individual freelancers, only registered production companies, I really had my work cut out for me to locate the cats over a vasr area, and capture what I did. I am currently seeking to raise finance for the film and would be delighted to talk to anyone who is interested in the project. There is a fascinating story behind their long demise and their brush with extinction only as far back as 2000, when their numbers in the wild were down to between 75 and 100 individuals. In 2017, regardless of the increased numbers due to the captive breeding program, they are far from out of the proverbial woods yet, as far as their mid to long range survival is concerned.
In 2018, I piqued the interest of a production company in Bristol regarding my 3 years spent living and photographing the Patagonian Pumas / Mountain Lions, in Chile's awe inspiring Torres del Paine National deep in southern Patagonia, between 1998-2003. In the southern hemisphere autumn ( April - May ) of 2018 I found myself back in southern Patagonia, for the first time in 15 years, only this time I am shooting footage for a planned documentary about a female Patagonian Puma rearing her cubs in this Patagonian Eden, I fell in love with so many years ago. I have had numerous close encounters with these magnificent felines during my extended adventures here, and for those that are interested I will be uploading clips to my Youtube Channel ( WILDASLIFE NATURE FILMS: Simon Littlejohn ) which also contains rare footage of the Iberian Lynx ( Lynx pardinus ) I am set to return to Torres del Paine National Park in November 2019, to spend the entire summer filming several females with their new spring litters of cubs.