So I've finally got round to christening my website with its first blog post. Truth be told, I've been incredibly busy of late so I found it quite tricky to decide exactly what to cover!
But after about an hour of dithering, I came to the decision to write about my recent photography trip up to the Cairngorms Nation Park in the Scottish Highlands. Now if you're into your wildlife, then you know that the Cairngorms are an unadulterated wildlife haven! Needless to say, weeks before this trip, I was salivating (not literally) at the thought of what I might be able to shoot during my stay.....I was excited. The one thing I was most certainly not excited about, was the 9 hour car journey from Nottingham.............on my own, but boy was it worth it!

I arrived at our lodge, Easter Corrie, in the Glenlivet Estate at around 8pm and it was the clearest of nights, with absolutely zero light pollution, the sight was breathtaking.

The crystal clear skies above the Cairngorms National Park

The crystal clear skies above the Cairngorms National Park

After meeting the other photographers, we all decided to hit the hay and get an early night, as we'd all agreed to get up at the crack of dawn and go on the hunt for Ptarmigan! This was near the top of my 'species to see' list for the week so I was up and out of bed in a flash!

The location required a 45 minute trek up Cairngorm, Lowepro pro trekker 400AW on my back, to reach the snowy plateau, which is where the Ptarmigan seemed to congregate. The exhausting hike up to this point took a lot out of me so a 5 minute water break was in order. It wasn't long after this that I saw my first Ptarmigan, and what a sight it was! A pair, male and female, were sat on a patch of grass in the middle of the snow. My Canon 400mm came in very very useful here, as it gave me the reach i needed to snap a full frame image of the bird, but also allowed me to achieve a nice bokeh at f/5.6. Down into a prone position I went, so I was less of an imposing figure, and slowly started edging my way toward them. The bird sat still for long enough to get a few shots I was really happy with. The hen was especially beautiful.

This was by no means the only Ptarmigan I saw during the hike, in fact, the place was brimming with the little beauties! I was even lucky enough to get a couple of Red Grouse too.  Thank you for reading my first post! Follow me for more updates on my projects and what I'm upto.

For more shots from this hike, click here.....