I have always wanted to film Ospreys catching fish in the Scottish lochs and a short visit to Speyside last week provided the perfect opportunity. The only problem is that you have to be in a hide overlooking the feeding loch before the Ospreys arrive and that meant before 5.00am!
It is absolute pot luck as to how many come to feed and of course you have no control over the weather. On both mornings the Ospreys performed magnificently with eight present on the first day and nine on the second in-between the time of 5am to 6am. Unfortunately the light was so poor that I was taking pictures at ISO6400 and subsequently most of those photos have been deleted! However, on both mornings two Ospreys fed after 7.00am when I was able to take better quality photos. Click here
During our visit to Speyside there were many other forms of wildlife to be seen and some of those will be shown in next weeks gallery.
The significance of our finding a female Polar Bear on the Spitsbergen ice with three cubs did not seem that remarkable until the ships captain’s address at the end of the cruise. He told us that in twenty three years of guiding his ship through the summer pack-ice he had never seen a female Polar Bear with three cubs!! It was certainly a once in a lifetime encounter for us and whilst we only had minutes to capture the event as our ship sailed past I managed to obtain enough photos to record the event. Apparently the female Polar Bear regularly gives birth to triplets in her underground winter den but three seldom survive the harsh conditions when they emerge in March into the Arctic environment. click here.
I have never classed myself as a whale fanatic but all that changed on the Spitsbergen cruise when we twice encountered Blue Whales – the largest creature ever seen on Earth! At more than thirty metres long and coming close to the boat it was an incredible experience to watch them blowing and breaching unconcerned by our presence.This weeks gallery includes photos of the Blue Whales and some of the birds that we encountered close to the front of a glacier. click here
Since concentrating on digital still photography over the last five years I have always longed to return to Spitsbergen with its Polar Bears and Ivory Gulls. Holding me back of course is the high cost and popularity of the Polar Bear cruises. Whilst on Islay last month an opportunity arose to join one of the cruises at less than half the normal cost – it was an opportunity I could not resist.
I had always dreamed of filming a large Polar Bear on a kill and surrounded by the holy grail of the Arctic, the Ivory Gull. It happened on the third day of the cruise and I make no excuses when I admit to taking more than five hundred photos in only thirty minutes.
Enjoy some of these in the gallery and can you spot the one with five Ivory Gulls on?
Could it get any better? see next week!! Click here
No visit to Islay is complete without a look at the many water birds that occupy its beaches, seas and lochs. During our recent three weeks visit we came into contact with many of these and I have included a selection in this weeks gallery. Click here
While on Islay I had the chance of a visit to Spitsbergen at very short notice so be prepared for some spectacular galleries to follow!