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.