For the last two weeks I've been working on one of my local sites trying to locate and photograph one of the worlds most beautiful birds of prey: the Osprey. I've known of a Loch hidden away in the Scottish hills that provides a home for this majestic bird for a couple of years now and trying to capture him on camera has proven to be very difficult as in the last two years I have only taken around 10 shots of him when he decided to fly by me. At the start of this year I told myself I would put a lot more effort into finding where the Osprey tends to feed on the loch so I could set up a hide in a good location to get some really good shots of him fishing. During the first week I set myself up on the banks of the loch where I could overlook around 80% of the loch, equipped with my binoculars I stayed for 5 hours scanning the area waiting for something to turn up. After 3 hours of getting soaking wet, bitten by midges and very wet feet I saw what at first looked like Gull flying above the trees, after having a good look through my binos there was no way it was a gull. It was the Osprey! He only stayed in the area for around 10 minutes and after then I didn't see him again all day which was a shame, but I did get a few shots but non of them were usable as he was too far away. So from that I knew I was definitely on the right Loch but not the right location.
Week 2 in the project began and this time I was more confident in getting some really nice shots, the weather was good, the midges weren't biting as much and I felt my new location could get myself a lot closer to where I had seen it last. I arrived at the location at 5 in the morning just as the sun was rising, the light was amazing but it didn't last long until the clouds took over and the sun was never seen again all day. 2 Hours in and I had already seen the Osprey twice flying in the distance, never taking my eye off him he slowly made his way to my location. Around 30 minutes later he was getting a lot closer to me so I was able to to start taking shots without disturbing the Osprey.
He spent a good 10 minutes flying around me where I got a good handful of shots, unfortunately I didn't get a single of shot of him fishing which was a shame but I'm very hopeful to get the photos I want in the next coming weeks. The great thing about this project for me is that you usually have to pay somebody to photograph Osprey in the wild, I know I'm not getting the same shots if I had payed for them but it's a great feeling after doing all the hard work to get some really nice shots of such an amazing bird!
Click on the images for a larger view.