Saturday, December 07, 2013

Rothiemurchus Ospreys - Day 2 and a Bit

This is the second and final part describing my trip to Scotland earlier in the summer to photograph the Ospreys at Rothiemurchus. Before I get on to those magnificent birds of prey, I will spend a couple of moments to show a few images of other birds that appeared in front of and around the hide. These birds provided a good distraction while waiting during the occasionally prolonged quiet periods between Osprey dives. As with many types of wildlife photography involves periods of quiet tranquillity interspersed with moments of intense action by both wildlife and photographer.

A Grey heron was present on and off throughout the two days. During the whole time it was present over the two days, I never saw it catch any fish although to be fair it did only made a couple of half hearted fishing attempts.

The big bird gracefully coming in to land

Standing around preening in some typical Scottish summer weather.
The other bird to grab my attention was a hyperactive Common Sandpiper which spent a good deal of time in front of the hide and at times was too close to focus on. It was very good to see this small wader up so close for a change and with the benefit of the sunken hide putting the bird at eye level. However, it proved quite tricky to get photographs due to the length of the grass but after quite a bit of effort I managed to get a few images I was happy with.

Time to move on to the Ospreys. The second day saw another early forced departure from bed with it still being dark outside. A quick look out of the hotel window unfortunately showed the previous evenings forecast to be correct with a leaden blanket of grey above. Light was going to be limited.

For this morning session we opted to chose the second of the two new hides at the far end of the pool. We had about three dives in total that morning  from an un-ringed bird, one of which again very close to the hide. Not the most productive of mornings particularly with a challenging lack of light to play with but still a memorable session in its own right to watch this specialist predator once again in action.

After returning to the hotel around mid-morning for breakfast and a by now much needed sleep we returned to the hides in late afternoon for the final evening session. However, the evening followed a very similar pattern to the previous one, with the rogue 'Red 8T' bird patrolling above and keeping all the other Ospreys away from the pool.

The next day saw Andy's workshop starting and I was due to have breakfast and then start the long journey southward. However, there was still a hide available which allowed myself, Rob and Dave a final morning session.. A spectacular morning of action it turned out to be with around 17 dives during the session. The wind was not in the ideal direction for the hide we were in but it still provided a good variety of photo numerous opportunities. Included amongst the plunging Ospreys was the un-ringed bird together with  'Blue DF' and of course the notorious 'Red 8T'.

A selection of images from this final busy session can be found below.

At first glance it looks like this may be a miss and the fish may of had a lucky escape but somewhere at the back there will be a talon firmly locked on.
 An osprey dive is not without a lot of flying spray.

We even managed to get some welcome sunlight.

 Some sunlight shining through those broad powerful wings

Full stretch with and without fish

The restrictions on visibility and speed of the dive prevented actually capturing ospreys at the point of hitting the water. I just managed to catch this one which will give you an impression of the power of an osprey dive.
 Water quickly falls off the bird once they have made it back into the air leaving a trail of spray in their wake.
So there you have it. Two and bit days with the wonderful ospreys that visit Rothiemurchus, spent with some great company and with the bonus of some rare Scottish sunlight. You cannot ask for much more than that and I am left with memories of my mini adventure in Scotland that will stay with me for a very long time to come.


The happy wanderer. said...

There are some wonderful images there, so thanks for sharing them.

JR said...

Truly amazing shots of this Osprey!

Nora at Island Rambles said...

Incredible shots. I have the same gear and cannot achieve this! cheers from Nora
We used to blog together many years ago.

Linda said...

Absolutely gorgeous captures!

Bob Bushell said...

Excellent photography, my favourite is the Osprey.

laurent said...

Ces photos sont extraordinaires même splendides !

Sharon Whitley said...

Stupendous images!


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