When we went to bed last night, it was snowing quite heavily but, by the morning a lot of it had disappeared up at Andy’s house. Loading the car up, we headed down to the red squirrels again, hoping for more snow and more views of these beauties.
We were not disappointed! There was more snow at the hide and we were soon settled in the hide, our cameras at the ready.
Photographing anything in the snow is a challenge, photographically. The camera tends to under-expose the subject, due to the brightness of the snow, so you have to compensate for that by over-exposing. Getting the balance right takes practise. The snow is wonderful though, as it acts like a huge reflector and enhances the colours.
After an hour or so, our first squirrel appeared. He looked just gorgeous in the snow, his ear tufts slightly dampened and crimped….. we all fired off numerous shots as he searched the snow for the nuts we had hidden.
Trying to position ourselves to get the best angle and as few distracting tufts of heather and grass as we could, we followed this lovely individual and a second one who appeared some time later….
It was just wonderful to sit in this hide, in the middle of the woods, with snow gently falling. It was quite magical and, having spent several hours there, watching the comings and goings of the wildlife, you really begin to feel part of the landscape.
As we got to the middle of the afternoon, everything went very quiet, so we decided to head down to the crested tit site. The further we drove, the deeper the snow became and, as we opened the doors after parking, the snow was almost up to the door rim! The light was beginning to fade and the sky was pastel shades. We made our way up through the woods and it was like a magical winter wonderland!
A tawny glided silently through the trees and alighted nearby. A sika deer appeared between the trees, the sound of our approach deadened by the deep snow.
We just had enough time for some creative silhouette shots of the cresties before the light began to fade completely…
What can I say?… what a super day!