Butterfly Bonanza

August 26, 2018 at 1:40 pm


After some very poor summers for Butterflies this year has been absolutely perfect with long periods of sunshine and heat. Whilst walking through the Caledonian pines in Speyside a few weeks ago a shaft of light attracted over a dozen Scotch Argus butterflies and I stood there with them all flitting around my head! Closer to home in the Pennines I had more than twenty Wall Browns in one locality together plus Peacocks, Green Veined and even a Painted Lady. Click here
The first clear signs of Autumn have been twenty Mistle Thrushes feeding on Rowans and a Kingfisher back fishing on our local canal.

Facing Extinction

August 18, 2018 at 6:22 pm

RN2A1306During our recent travels around Inverness we came across a pair of Slavonian Grebe that were feeding a this years young. Such is the rarity of Slavonian Grebes today that the young in this weeks photo may be one of less than ten reared in Britain this year. Global warming is having a devastating effect on the Grebes and within the next ten years we may loose them as breeding birds. Even in Iceland, where they were once quite common, there are now only 150 breeding pairs left.
Whilst staying at the Grants Arms last week we were surprised to find that we had been upgraded to a room with a four-poster bed and a plaque which stated that in 1860 “Queen Victoria and Albert slept here” – photo in this weeks gallery! Click here

Gone Fishing

August 12, 2018 at 12:02 pm

No visit to Speyside is complete without a visit to the lake where Ospreys come to fish. Unfortunately as this is situated in the centre of Aviemore the Ospreys come to fish early, very early, in the morning. I was in the hide before 4.30 am and by 5.00am three Ospreys had already left with a fish each. As the sun did not rise until 5.30am there was insufficient light to take any worthwhile photos. By 6.30am all the Ospreys had gone and there had been eight fish caught and one missed catch. Only on the last dive was there enough light to freeze the action. It is a big technical challenge for anyone following in my footsteps but , hopefully I will be back next year to take the ultimate photo!! Click here

Dream Fulfilled

August 3, 2018 at 6:29 pm

In making forty full length cine films I was never in a position to film hunting Long Eared Owls at dusk. I did, on two occasions, film them at the nest feeding their young, through the night, involving twenty foot of scaffolding and using lights to illuminate the nest. It was a magical experience and one that is now impossible to repeat. However,I was still missing the hunting at dusk sequences and never got them as Kodak stopped making cine film.
This year everything coincided perfectly – an abundance of voles, endless sunshine at dusk and five young Owls to feed. To satisfy the appetite of the growing young both Long Eared Owls had to hunt in the evening light and provided me with the photos I had always dreamed of. Enjoy this weeks gallery as it is unlikely that I will ever see a repeat performance. click here