My first visit to Eskrigg Nature Reserve, near Lockerbie in Dumfries and Galloway – a fantastic location for red squirrels.
Little did I know when I headed to the Scottish Highlands in early March that I’d spend quite so much time photographing crested tits.
Readers of this blog or followers on social media will be aware how much I love spending quality time with mountain hares. The setting is stunning (especially this year when coated in a thick blanket of snow) and it’s wonderful just to sit with a hare as time passes by – even when the hare does little more than twitch and do a half-hearted groom in 3 hours whilst we survive a blizzard and biting cold winds together!
Imagine my surprise therefore when I was told of a successful colony of water voles not on a riverbank, but in a small park in a fairly depressed area of Glasgow!
Photographing birds in my back garden has proved a challenge, but with a little perseverance and the help of my neighbour’s cherry tree I’ve been able to take a few images I’m pleased with.
Little did I know when I popped down to my local Glasgow park to try out my new Tamron 150-600mm lens in late June 2016 that I’d take my most popular photograph – a rabbit with feather in its mouth!
What a year! I’ve already written about the first 6 months, so I won’t repeat myself, but it’s fair to say that from a photographic/wildlife watching perspective 2017 has been brilliant. From the bucket list I’ve now landed on the Bass Rock amongst the gannets and photographed fishing ospreys – both unforgettable experiences. I’ve learnt a lot: photographic techniques, field craft and wildlife behaviours. My ambition for 2017 was to focus entirely (okay… so I did venture South of the border to the Farne Islands), on Scottish wildlife, learning as much as I could about a small number of locations and the animals living there. Personally I don’t want to be the kind of photographer who just ticks species off, I want to get to know them intimately and in doing so take better images that capture the essence of the animal I’m photographing. On top of all this I just love being out sharing airspace with these amazing creatures, it’s a real honour. If anything my love of wildlife, Scotland, the outdoors and photography has increased during 2017.
A wonderful week spent in the company of otters on the Isle of Mull.
A day spent in Alan McFadyen’s Scottish Photography sparrowhawk hide in the company of sparrowhawks, jays, red squirrels, brambling and great spotted woodpeckers.
Photographing fishing ospreys for the first time with a brand new (to me) Nikon D500 was a gamble – but one that paid off.