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.
When it comes to red squirrels, achieving decent photographs without the liberal use of hazelnuts isn’t easy. I’ve tried a few times up in the Queen Elizabeth Forest near Aberfoyle, but have had limited results, so I decided to book a session in Neil McIntyre’s hide on the Rothiemurchas Estate.
They may be busy, but there’s some wonderful wildlife to see on The Farne Islands including puffins, guillemots, fulmars and razorbills.
Mountain hares, otters, puffins, water voles and gannets – photographic highlights from the first half of 2017.