Red Squirrels In The Galloway Hills
I love photographing Red Squirrels, ever since photographing my first one about 2 years ago I've never said no to a chance at photographing them again. I think people believe that they aren't that many Red Squirrels in Galloway area but they are there in good numbers they're just a lot harder to find but with the help of friends and family I've been able to locate a few good sites for them. When given the chance to capture them in the Galloway Forest there was no way I was going to say no! I had been told by a friend that a few Red Squirrels had been visiting at the end of their (massive) garden. So I popped myself down on a beautiful December morning to see if I could find them. After getting there after about 15 minutes I had already seen my first Squirrel scurrying up and down one of the trees. I've always found it easier to photograph Red Squirrels in the morning than the evening as they seem more active at this time of day.
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I didn't use a hide as this can restrict your movement and Red Squirrels do a lot of running around so if I was stuck in a hide I would have missed out on a lot of shots. After taking a few shots I realised how quick they were getting used to my presence which was a huge relief as I thought they were going to be quite shy and always run off. But they didn't. When one of the squirrels found a nice spot on one of the trees he would stay there for at least 20 minutes, this was a great opportunity where I could slowly make my way closer towards him for a better shot. When moments like this happen with nature it makes you appreciate the subject even more, they have excepted you being there and are comfortable with you getting closer. There is no better reward than this.
I spent a good 3 hours with the squirrels which resulted in many images that I was very happy with. I wanted a few shots of them on the ground but when they would leave the comfort of the trees they would sprint as fast as they could to the next tree making it very difficult to get a decent shot. In the next few weeks I'm hoping for a bit of snow so I can get something different with them but I have a feeling we're not going to see much snow :(
It's now January and I still haven't been out with my camera yet, mainly due to work and trying to start the year by getting some business out of the way so I can focus more on creating images. I have some huge plans for this, not just projects on certain subjects but projects that last all year and result in something very special at the end of the year.