Tag Archives: scotland

Six classic species from the fabulous Scottish Highlands in Winter

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.

Top of the list for anyone hoping to capture evocative images of the wildlife of the Scottish Highlands has to be the Red Squirrel.
Red Squirrels are just one of the species to photograph during the NaturesLens Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Holiday
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.
Mountain Hares are amongst the species to photograph whilst in the Scottish Highlands during Winter
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.
Ptarmigan are just one of the species to photograph during the NaturesLens Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Holiday
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.
Impressive Red Deer are included in the species to photograph in the Scottish Highlands during Winter
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 punk rock Crested Tit is one of the species to photograph during the NaturesLens Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Holiday
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 one of the species to photograph in the Scottish Highlands during Winter
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.

Photographing Shetland’s Puffins of Fair-Isle

A Group Of Puffins On One Of The Headlands   Photographed During The NaturesLens Shetland’s Puffins Photography Holiday

Fair Isle is a truly unique place to photograph Shetland’s Puffins. It’s unspoiled, natural & very remote, which brings me to the first stage of this trip: getting to this tiny Island that sits between Shetland & Orkney!

It’s a fantastic adventure to get to Fair Isle & in my opinion, really adds to the excitement of this photographic trip. Continue reading

John & Rosamund’s Shetland Puffins

John & Rosamund were just 2 of our guests on this year’s trip to Fair Isle to photograph the iconic Atlantic Puffin. They were blessed with nearly perfect weather for the entirety of their trip which enabled them to get some fabulous images of the comical clowns of the sea.

A beautifully lit portrait, one of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday A large group also known as a circus of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday A mouthful of sand eels, one of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday

Rosamund said “It was a fantastic opportunity for photographing puffins: the colony is healthy & the birds flying in with lots of sand eels. We learnt so much about the behaviour of these charming little birds.”

Courting behavior seen between a pair of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday
Emerging from the burrow, one of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday Just landed with a mouthful of sand eels, one of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday One of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday Picking the thrift, one of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday

Rosamund added “Initially we thought 5 nights was too long, but given the good weather, it was easy to fill the time between morning & evening shoots. When the light was so bright in the middle of the day we much enjoyed ourselves walking the wonderful & accessible coastline & visiting the lighthouses & the museum.”

Ready for take off, one of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday

I absolutely love this puffin preening shot. Simply stunning & my favourite image from all the ones that they kindly sent in for us to share.

Time for a quick preen, one of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday Time for a wing stretch, one of the Shetland Puffins photographed during the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair isle Photography Holiday

WHY NOT PHOTOGRAPH THE SHETLAND PUFFINS FOR YOURSELF?

If you would like to photograph the brilliant & comical Puffins of Fair Isle, which Kevin will be again leading in 2018, then you can book the 2018 Puffins Of Fair Isle for £1199. This is a great trip & will fill up fast so don’t miss out.

The trip is scheduled to run between the dates of June 14 – 19, 2018.

We include all accommodation on Fair Isle which is a full board basis, flight from Sumburgh to Fair Isle & ferry back from the island to Sumburgh. The itinerary is flexible between puffin sessions to allow us to photograph other species of birds, including Arctic & Great Skuas, Fulmar & other seabirds or if you wish you can head off on your own & explore the island.

My thoughts on the Puffins of Fair-Isle

Posing with a gathered flower one of Fair ISles Puffins looks in a contemplative mood photographed on the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair Isle Photographic Holiday

Fair Isle, measuring at just 3km wide & barely 5km long is Britain’s most remote inhabited island. It can be found marooned in the North Sea between Shetland & Orkney. Due to its location it is not the easiest place to get to. But once you set foot on the island, it truly is a puffin paradise & with almost 24 hours of daylight during June it is a photographers dream. The puffin population on Fair Isle may not be the biggest in the UK, but it is difficult to argue that it isn’t the most beautiful. Read on for my thoughts on the Puffins of Fair Isle & why Shetland, & in particular, Fair Isle, is one of the best locations to capture images of the comical clowns of the sea.

Posing with a gathered flower, one of Fair ISle's Puffins looks in a contemplative mood - photographed on the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair Isle Photographic Holiday Continue reading

Puffins of Fair-Isle Photography Holiday

fair isle puffin

A Shetland Puffin as photographed on the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair Isle Photography Holiday

We have just launched a new tour to photograph the most charismatic sea bird of them all, the puffin, our new Puffins of Fair Isle Photography Holiday takes place on Fair Isle an offshore island so remote it feels like you are entering a community far removed from the rest of the world, Fair Isle is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, a jewel protected by soaring craggy cliffs, one moment bathed in sunshine the next topped by a crown of brooding fog.

Dramatic & untouched, our Puffins of Fair Isle Photography Holiday sets the scene for images so atmospheric; they are nothing short of mesmerising.

So, why not head to Shetland, guided by award winning photographer Kevin Morgans, the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair Isle Photography Holiday offers an opportunity to add the distinctive brightly coloured bill & puffy cheeks of the Puffin to your photography portfolio.

Like many of our other trips, all participants who travel alone will have their own room, with no sharing.

The accommodation is on a full board basis in the Fair Isle Bird Observatory & Guesthouse.

Dates are June 16, 2016 – June 21, 2016.

UNTIL NOVEMBER 8th 2015, A DISCOUNTED PRICE OF £999 INSTEAD OF £1099 IS AVAILABLE

Please visit the Puffins of Fair Isle Photography Holiday page for full details & contact us by email if you have any questions.

July 2015 Osprey Photography Holiday

An osprey pulls itself from the water with a trout grasped in its talons photographed on a NaturesLens Wildlife Photography Holiday

An osprey pulls itself from the water with a trout grasped in it's talons - photographed on a NaturesLens Osprey Photography Holiday

We are happy to announce an osprey workshop for July, 2015; NaturesLens have secured accommodation & hide spaces for a stunning Osprey Photography Holiday during July 2015; these osprey photography sessions are one of the most exciting sessions of photography a wildlife photographer can encounter. The sessions typically start at 4.30am, the anticipation builds, the birds come in to fish, a splash as the bird dives to the loch an to grab a trout, then the lift-off … an exhilarating experience to photograph.

The bulk of the days are free for participants to catch up on sleep, however, one of the days does include an early evening session of Osprey Photography in the same hides. These evening sessions provide opportunities for backlit shots.

The NaturesLens Osprey Photography Holiday, which costs £599, includes:

  • Two morning hide sessions for photography of the ospreys as they fish to feed their new offspring.
  • One evening hide session for photography of the diving ospreys.
  • Accommodation at the High Range Lodge Hotel from July 9th – July 11th.
  • Tuition as required.
[su_promotional_box promo_link_text=”Book Now” promo_link=”https://natureslens.co.uk/scottish-osprey-photography-holiday/” promo_content=”Reserve a place on the NaturesLens Osprey Photography Holiday in Aviemore, with a deposit of only £150, your balance will be due May 2015.”]

In addition to the Osprey Photography Holiday in Aviemore, NaturesLens will, if demand is sufficient, run a 3 day trip immediately afterwards to Mull for several days of Sea Eagle Photography. This extension will include transport to Mull, three nights bed & breakfast accommodation, two public Sea Eagle Photography Cruises & two exclusive Sea Eagle Photography Cruises.

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