Black Isle Blog
Stories, misguided and uninformed rants and other bits and pieces.
Another short photo blog about something red. Not foxes this time but the red squirrel. I just adore these little animals and could sit and watch them come and go all day! We're very lucky to have good numbers of reds on The Black Isle and our forest edge hide boasts a 100% success rate for winter 2016/17. I'll be honest and admit that I cringe at the thought of over the top self promotion and back slapping however I am very proud of that record after all the time and effort that went in to make it possible. Why am I so proud of it? Not because of what I gained from it but because people came a long way at great expense to photograph these animals and they all left with images. That makes it all worthwhile.
A winter red. This image was taken from outside the hide. Very simple really. You lie on the ground (cold but optional) with the camera on a bean bag and watch as the squirrels come and go.
Another ground level image but without the need to lie on the frozen forest floor! Early winter is a great time to watch and photograph red squirrels as they busily go about the business or burying their bounty of nuts and seeds ahead of the long winter months.
Face to face with a cute little red squirrel. This image was taken from the comfort of one of our hides whilst we sat and enjoyed a hot cup of tea. There is no doubt that the squirrels know you are watching them. They can hear the camera which will often result in great eye contact like this which provides a beautiful, intimate portrait of these endearing little animals.
Our ‘heather hide’ can be great fun, especially if you who like a bit of mush and colour in the image. Mid to late August is the best time for flowering heather.
All the images within this photo blog were taken with a Canon 1D MK111 (7D heather hide) and 300mm lens at f2.8. Yes, I admit it, I like to fill the frame way too much but both squirrel hides offer various photo opportunities as well as the chance for ground level, out of the hide images (autumn winter only).
We have various packages available starting at £60 for a four hour, unguided hide rental morning session. If you want to add extra days and use both hides then excellent, we are happy to offer a discount based on your requirements.
Hide rental is available from Mid August to March. Contact James for more details.
A short but sweet photo blog featuring some gallus, Glasgow foxes. Pure dead brilliant, by the way....
Ever the opportunist, urban foxes thrive on the mess humans leave behind however they also benefit from the generosity of animal lovers who feed foxes everything from cat and dog food to burgers and chips! I have no issue with people feeding foxes as I do it myself but for what it's worth, my advice is to avoid burgers and chips!
It's thirsty work being an urban fox...
Rural foxes can live for 12-15 years however their urban cousins are not so lucky and have much shorter life expectancy at around 2 years. This is largely down to cars (60%) although I’m sure pest control has a big part to play (BBC).
It seems that some humans have issues with both rural and urban foxes and if they’re not being chased by packs of hounds as part of a barbaric hunt, they’re being run over or trapped and shot in our towns and cities.
For those who live in towns and cities, urban foxes provide a connection with nature that may otherwise not be available. Urban green spaces such as city parks provide superb opportunities to see a range of wildlife including foxes and squirrels.
A recent report "shows that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering from mental ill-health and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression" (Natural England 2016).
Get out and explore, you'll be amazed at what you might see.
Keep an eye out for foxes, they don't know the green cross code.