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Wild Wales: Invisible man; Wildlife cameraman Dee Doody tells Alun Prichard how he does a vanishing act to capture the best shots.

Byline: Alun Prichard

INVISIBILITY is the aim of every cartoon and comic villain but it is a Welsh wildlife cameraman who has finally devised a way of completely disappearing from sight.

For lensman and wildlife expert Dee Doody becoming invisible is essential to film the shyest of birds and animals.

Most of Doody's colleagues and rivals would argue that blending into the surroundings with camouflage clothing is the nearest to invisibility one can hope for but Doody has come up with an ingenious way to guarantee invisibility by doing exactly the opposite and being as visible as possible.

Doody, whose new ITV1 series Wild About Wales starts tomorrow afternoon, explains his unique optical illusion as he goes about capturing an elusive bird of prey on film. 'I'm going for a a shot of an osprey today,' he says, 'she'll be circling overhead and I'll be wearing bright red. Suddenly I'll disappear in a flash as I go into my hide. She'll think I've gone because there'll be no sign of anything red.

'If I were wearing khaki and blending into the background she'd still be looking out for me.'

This con trick avoids sparking the strong suspicious instincts of many creatures and their wariness of man. Dee explains that creatures tend only to see things that are either tasty or suspicious. If would-be wildlife watchers look neither tasty nor suspicious, they effectively disappear into the background.

'I tend to allow animals to see me but never look at them," he says. 'Then I do stupid things like wander about picking things up and very rapidly they'll begin to believe you're not a threat. Then you can slowly wander into a hide and watch.'

It is hardly surprising that Dee has come to understand the ways of so many creatures as the Llanidloes man was born and brought up in Zimbabwe where he learnt about animal behaviour through feeding baby elephants as a child.

Moving to Wales as an adult he worked for the RSPB becoming an expert on bird behaviour and mimicking their calls.

' Wales is so rich in wildlife, all you have to do is go out into the countryside and enjoy it,' he says. Just remember to be distinctly visible and soon a cloak of invisibility will fall on your shoulders
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 13, 2005
Words:383
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