Three in the "Wild Wood"

19th December 2013
In the "wilds" outside of Inverness, David and Margaret (Wlaker) have built a superb hide for their own use.

The challenge of building such a sturcture is no mean feat as David has designed it so that when photographing, the subjects are at eye level.

Well I say David built it - but probably more of the shifting and carrying with his Dad doing the craftmanship bit !

Comfortably fitting three photographers with bags and tripods it looks out across the "wild wood" - with plenty of photographic opportunities, and a great opportunity to try out different focal lengths using various lenses.

Lots of wildlife is visiting the hide both day and night - and I have added the links to both David and Margaret's websites which show what has been achieved so far -

By the way when you are on David's site checkout the Grouse in snow shot which you may recognise from the front cover of the Scottish Field magazine a worthy cover shot.

For the couple of days I was in Inverness in terms of light conditions if we got down to iso2000 we were doing well !!

The shorter days meant it was a far cry for the 06:00 starts (with light already in the sky) finishing somewhere or other at circa 23:00 and ready to start early the next day during the months of August and September.

The wind blew, the temperature though remained high but with no real light - even in the open expanses of the mountain, stalking haress we struggled to find decent light the sky filled with low grey cloud.

The hides location David and I have chatted about over a number of months and after viewing a couple of locations, and with the judicious use of trail cams - they settled on their current venue. I will say despite having recieved a number of photos of the site and added descriptions, it certainly surpassed my expectations.

I will also say being treated to trail cam shots of all the "stars" shows what promise this site holds over the coming months and seasons.

Not to say that wildlife is too hard to come by in the Inverness area, I have stayed in and around the city - and one hotel in the town had in addition to bed and breakfast a viewing area to sit and watch badgers, with a lone pine marten waiting in the wings for the badgers to finish feeding.

So it was we sat and waited for the "locals" to show and even though the light was not good enough to catch the Crested Tits flitting in and out of the site - the Woodpeckers, Red Squirrels and Treecreepers made for some interesting shots.

The site is the sort of place most wildlife photographers would give their "eye teeth" for - all natural surroundings, jam packed with wildlife, and plenty of opportunities for the future.

All that just on the doorstep - 15 minutes from breakfast at David's (cooked by Margaret !) or maybe David did the first breakfast - anyway a great way to start the day in very easy and relaxed company.

So a few shots from a couple of days, the days are shorter at the moment, but the time passes too quickly no matter whether it be summer hours or winter hours.

For me I am already looking forward to my next trip in a few weeks time, hope the snow has arrived by then ! and maybe a dash of sunshine !

To all those who read this probably the last "blog" from me before the "Big Day" - so all that remains is to wish you a Happy Christmas.


Photo comment By David Walker: Great images Graham especially considering the light. As always enjoyed your company and we are both looking forward to your next visit, just bring the snow!!

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