It just goes to show…

I know what it’s like. If you hear the word ‘Alaska’, your mind races to wolves, grizzlies, moose and ice-capped mountains. Any trip there has to include all of these and more. The Cairngorms is the same. It’s the home of ospreys, pine martens, crested tits and capercaillie. These are the wildlife superstars and these are the species people want to see. But what about chaffinches?

Image: Peter Turnbull

We’ve just come to the end of our Winter Wildlife programme and uneventful as the weather was (in the main), we’ve enjoyed the company of four great groups who adapted to the unseasonal conditions and between them, produced some fantastic images of…wait for it…chaffinches! Yes, yes,  you can mock but just look at these images. Disappointing as it might have been, there’s been very little snow and our guests were left with two choices: wallow in self pity or make the most of things. Universally they chose the latter and good for them.

Image: Charlie Goddard

Selling a photo tour in the Cairngorms on the back of chaffinches is going to be a tough call for anyone but it shouldn’t be. I’d rather have one of these cracking images in my library than a mediocre shot of an osprey or pine marten. Well done to all of our photographer guests for nailing some great shots and for realising that subject rarity is irrelevant when it comes down to it.

Next year we’re planning some changes to our Winter Wildlife programme and we’ll be uploading dates soon. Thanks to everyone who joined us in 2012 – I hope you enjoyed your time spent in the Cairngorms and I hope you enjoyed your time with the wildlife icon that is The Chaffinch.

Image: Cheryl Surry