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Scottish spring.

I must admit I have become incredibly shocking in keeping my blog up to date, it's almost been a year since my last one about Costa Rica. So hopefully I will get caught up over the next few weeks.

This blog is about my Nature's Images trip to the Cairngorms, possibly one of the very best areas that the UK has to offer.

During the trip we concentrated on three species only, early mornings with Black Grouse, an arduous climb up to the corries on Cairngorm for ptarmigan and a couple of days with mountain hares.


Black grouse are amazing birds, one of only two species that Lek. I have photographed leks over the years and always prefer working in Scotland to abroad, even though you often get more dramatic snowy images in Finland. This year we were very lucky with both some stunning dawn light and the presence of up to four grey hens, female black grouse. These had an amazing effect on the cocks who danced and scrapped with renewed vigour. This was arguably the highlight of my photographic year.

I love working with mountain hares, but not anymore in the winter when the number of photographers has become embarrassing, often with greater numbers than the hares. It just doesn't feel right as increasinging numbers of guides add even more photographers to this over-crowded site. However, if you avoid the manic rush of winter, peace once again reigns! 

Ptarmigan are the real mountain grouse. In spring they start to change their plumage to their summer finery.