Winter Wildlife 1

It’s a fraught time of year if I’m honest and although we’ve been running our Winter Wildlife photo tours for over a decade, I still fret. Will the squirrels perform? Will the crested tits turn up? Will the damned weather hold? Will Rob Jordan ever refuse a full cooked breakfast?

Our intrepid falconer Alan Rothery with the latest in fashionable headwear.

I hope its not obvious to guests but there’s a whole shed load of behind-the-scenes preparation for these tours and it’s a constant round of topping up feeding stations, sourcing new perches, drilling fat holes for woodpeckers…the list goes on. The worrying is compensated by sharing this great part of the world with great people. The weather’s been less than ideal this week but everyone is still smiling and enjoying the opportunity to indulge in their photography.

Most of our hardy group spent yesterday trudging through icy winds and thick cloud in search of the elusive mountain grouse, the ptarmigan. Picking a day to head into the hills is always tricky and sometimes there’s a compromise to ensure we get up there at all. There were birds around but as I’ve found before in high winds, they tend to be twitchy and we struggled to get anything meaningful. Moving a tripod with a telephoto lens around on slippy rocks is another obstacle that takes some practice to overcome. Not every day spent in this unique environment is a great experience but I always maintain that each day provides great experience. The mountains teach you alot about yourself.

The mountain pioneers!

Thanks this week to Karen, Sally, Steve, Nick, Bert, Derek, Kerry, James, Claire and Nigel for once again making all the fretting worthwhile.

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5 thoughts on “Winter Wildlife 1

  1. Based on past experience, I can only answer one of your opening questions with any degree of certainty – there is absolutely NO CHANCE of Rob passing up a cooked breakfast!!
    Sorry Rob…….

    The sign of a great tour is one where you don’t notice the behind the scenes goings on at the time, but appreciate the effort when it’s all done and dusted. To that end, I can thoroughly recommend the Winter Wildlife tours. It’s just a shame I couldn’t make it this winter. Still, Iceland beckons in a few weeks time, so hopefully that will make up for it.

    Thought for next season………see if you can get Alan to adopt the “not so natural looking bird perch” with his Golden Eagle!!!

  2. Thanks Pete, Rob, Amanda & Brian for another great week. Some things expected, some unexpected, and despite the lack of “real” winter weather, plenty of good stuff to take away. Including a few extra pounds from the breakfasts 🙂 Thanks in particular for the morning watching mountain hares run away at high speed. That distant rear view WAS the shot we were after, right? Seriously, an excellent week and proof, if needed, that pictures are out there whatever the weather. Oh, and well done James for being our worthy “winner”!

  3. Shame all this week brings is school, much rather have the snow that’s up there now! Evidently will just have to go again, 3rd time lucky…

    Though, I think it was Dad that didn’t avoid the full monty this time…

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