Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Need to improve my wildlife skills



Within the last few weeks I had the chance of photographing birds on two occasions. Although I'm interested in birds I do not photograph them very much at all.

The first on here is the shore at the head of Loch Ewe. There are a two curlews in there but they are a little difficult to see and are too small in the frame.


With some cropping I managed to get the following. It is a slightly better view, but the quality is suffering


About a week later I was close to a lake in east London and saw this heron.



Again too far away to be any use and cropping had about the same effect as with the curlews.




Two good indications I need to improve my wildlife skills and get closer to the subject, though for the heron I would have got very wet!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Gairloch February/March 2012


Lucky enough to have been in the north west again for a couple of weeks.

Most of our visits start with a flight to Inverness. EasyJet comes in for a fair bit of criticism and there are no frills, but the flight is short and cheap. However, this time we travelled on the Caledonian Sleeper on a deal which was only slightly more expensive than a flight.

I'd suggest anyone travelling from the south has a look for the deals on the Sleeper. The cabins are small but the whole experience was very good.

Crossing the bridge over the river Findhorn a few miles south of Inverness.



The weather in north west Scotland in late winter can be very rough but also excellent and there were some really sunny days and good sunsets.

Big Sand village from the beach


Sunset over Longa Island


 Beinn Airgh Charr from Loch Tollaidh


 A rock formation at Mellon Udrigle across Gruinard Bay towards Beinn Ghobhlach



The wildlife was also good again; most of it was not rare but it was good to have lots of views of the regulars - curlews, oystercatchers, eiders, hooded crows, buzzards, siskins, coal tits, greenfinches, goldfinches, bullfinches. We were also lucky enough to see a white tailed eagle flying over the house.

The wildlife highlights were the visits from pine martens. Pine martens are fairly common in the area but we were visited every night of our stay. Most of the visits were caught on a trail camera and, while seeing a pine marten can never be guaranteed, with patience (and a regular supply of peanut butter and jam sandwiches) around here the chances of a view are high. The pine marten in this photo was not very concerned when I opened the back door or lay down about six feet away ....


... and the trail camera caught this one night.

video