Close to home for those of us in the United Kingdom, & not too far for our European friends, the fabulous wildlife of the Scottish Highlands in Winter offers opportunities to capture classic images of several different species, both in portrait style, but also within the environment.
Within the Caledonian forests, you will find the Red Squirrel darting from tree to tree & scampering across the ground in search of food. There are estimated to be only 160,000 red squirrels remaining in the UK, 75% of which are in Scotland. Loss of woodland in the past has caused difficulties for red squirrels, but Scottish forests are currently expanding.
Second, slightly harder to obtain images of due to the altitudes at which they live, the Mountain Hare, this species is renowned for turning white in winter to match their upland surroundings; this is just one part of how this creature has adapted to polar & mountainous habitats.
Also found at higher altitudes, & also a species that changes colour according to the season, the Ptarmigan; the ptarmigan is a medium-sized gamebird in the grouse family. In summer, it is a mixture of grey, brown & black above with white bellies & wings. In winter, it becomes white except for its tail & eye-patch, which remain black.
The red deer is Scotland’s largest deer. Males have large, branching antlers, increasing in size as they get older. Red deer are dark russet-brown, with a paler buff rump patch & a light tail. Red deer live on moorland & mountainsides, as well as grasslands near to woodland.
The Crested Tit is a species which you will only find within the Caledonian pine forest of the Scottish Highlands; they appear to be hyperactive birds, often appearing restless as they forage for food in the Scots pines & on the ground. Although they are less colourful than many of the other tit species, they have a striking crest on the top of their head which can be raised & folded back to varying lengths. Their black & white speckled forehead enhances this impressive feature. They also have a black, eyeliner style, mark through the eye & a thin black collar.
The red grouse is a medium-sized bird of the grouse family which is found in heather moorland in Great Britain & Ireland. It is usually classified as a subspecies of the willow ptarmigan. The red grouse is differentiated from the willow ptarmigan & rock ptarmigan by its plumage being reddish-brown, & not having a white winter plumage. The tail is black & the legs are white. There are white stripes on the underwing & red combs over the eye.
All these species & more besides can be photographed during our new 7-night photography tour to capture images of the fabulous wildlife of the Scottish Highlands, this will take place between the dates of 7th – 14th February 2021. It is ideal for photographing crested tit, mountain hare, ptarmigan, red deer, red grouse, red squirrel & more. The Scottish Highlands in Winter tour is of 7-nights duration & costs £1749 per participant; this wildlife photography holiday takes place in the Inverness area of Scotland within the United Kingdom.