Spent yesterday afternoon at the Argaty Red Kite hide and would highly recommend a visit to Central Scotland’s only feeding station for these impressive raptors. Situated on a working farm, it’s a great example of wildlife conservation and farming coexisting and providing a valuable source of tourism revenue to the local economy. Between 1989 and 2009, RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage conducted an ambitious reintroduction project for this severely persecuted species, having become extinct in Scotland as a breeding bird during the late 19th Century following their once widespread population becoming decimated by sporting estates, egg collectors and taxidermy. With their help, Lerrocks Farm continues to play a vital role in their revival, through supplementary feeding and education. Continue reading Red Kite Reintroduction Flying High At Argaty→
I recently spent a very enjoyable week wildlife-spotting on the Isle of Mull, just off the west coast of Scotland. The island’s biodiversity is excellent, primarily due to the wide variety of habitats on offer. Oak woods, coniferous forest, moorland, marshland, sandy beaches, sea lochs, machair, hill lochans, streams and rivers, mountains, estuaries and around 300 miles of coastline: Mull has it all. And the seas that surround the second largest island in the Inner Hebrides are arguably even more species-rich, with an abundance of fish, crustaceans and other marine life.
Every now and again, you come across a book that is more than just a book. Something that transcends its primary purpose. A real labour of love. The Red Squirrel: A future in the forest is such a book, and much like its subject matter, it needs your help. A crowdfunding campaign is currently underway to secure the funds required to get the photo book into publication, with just 25 days remaining. You can find out more about the project and how to contribute to it here. Continue reading Shining A Light On The Red Squirrel→
We visited this refuge during our recent trip to Croatia, where eight of the country’s less fortunate Eurasian Brown Bears reside, having been orphaned within their first year of life primarily due to hunting and road traffic collisions, or rescued from dilapidated zoos. Since 2002 it’s been run almost entirely by volunteers, who depend on donations to build enclosures and cover the daily maintenance of the site and the animal care costs. There are around 1000 living wild in the country, as part of the larger Dinaric population of 2800: the second largest in Central Europe.
Having recently returned from a nature-orientated trip to Croatia, the subject of rewilding, and in particular, the proposed Lynx reintroduction here in the UK, has been on my mind. The highlight was a day spent exploring the magnificent – and truly wild – Risnjak National Park. Apart from being a prime example of a thriving forest ecosystem brimming with biodiversity, it was also the setting for Croatia’s own Eurasian Lynx resurgence, originating from the release of six animals from Slovakia into Slovenia in 1973.
I thought it was about time I compiled some hints and tips for taking that perfect wildlife shot, having spent many years trying to do just that, albeit just as an enthusiastic amateur. So here are some points to consider the next time you venture out. Much of it will also apply to wildlife spotting best practice too.
Maximise your chances of seeing something by going out at dawn and dusk. Obviously not applicable to all countries, but particularly relevant in Britain, where so much of the fauna is nocturnal or crepuscular.
Familiarise yourself with all of your camera’s settings.
Think about the wind direction and avoid wearing strong smelling fragrances.