We spent the first week on the Isle of Arran, off Scotland’s west coast. The island
had a lovely tranquil atmosphere and we hardly saw another person all week. During
our time there we worked on our otter stalking skills by following two different
otters as they fished along the shore line. Both otters would fish for hours at a
time, taking the odd few minutes nap along the way. We calculated that we had an
otter in our sights for a total of about 15 hours. Most of the time they were well
out to sea, but very occasionally they caught a large fish that could only be dealt
with by coming into the shore.
We spent the next two weeks at Ballintean, Glenfesshie, in the Cairngorms. We spent
most of our time in the hides run by NORTHSHOTS targeting the enigmatic red squirrels,
along with crested tits, great-spotted woodpeckers and treecreepers. We were fortunate
to have just a nice covering of snow - a small amount lying on the ground with occasional
snow showers, but not too much to make driving difficult.
It’s not too often that, given the choice of 2 or 3 woodpeckers to aim our lenses
at, we’ll turn them down. However, when a treecreeper started to call in to the woodpecker
site it was a tough choice to make. It made life easier on the one occasion that
both birds were on the same tree at the same time !
Occasionally we left the protection and tranquility of the hides to explore the local
In particular we spent several days trying to find Capercaillie. In the end he found