Brown hare.

May 2023 - Wildlife flourishes

Four seasons in one day - sun, rain and hail; that tends to be the story of April. Frosts came in the early part of the month along with moments of warmth but now we’re back to northern winds that turn raindrops into ice pellets! Let’s hope May promises better things to come…

We spent Easter at our cottage in Kingussie which gave me the chance to enjoy a session down by the River Tromie. Rock and water provide excellent material for abstract photography and I was happy to come away with some pleasing images. We also took a trip towards Laggan and enjoyed watching a brown hare sitting in the middle of a field. Nothing unusual about that but it was the only one we saw and while it felt safe enough to lie up, it never took its eyes off us. We happily left it as we found it.

Spring flowers are now out in abundance and I have spent time photographing primroses, lesser celandines and wood anemones; dog violets, wood sorrel and green alkanet are on this month’s hit list.

I have enjoyed several mornings on the River Esk watching a pair of dippers to-ing and fro-ing from their nest. They are attractive little birds that forage for food underwater and are often found flying just inches above the river. They are also frustrating to photograph as they are constantly on the move - either bobbing up and down or darting along the water course - but I have been pleased with results so far.

Life is hotting up on the loch where I work; the mute swan has become very territorial and is now incessantly chasing off the greylag and canada geese while the poor female mallards are being constantly pursued and harassed by desperate drakes. While common and therefore perhaps overlooked, the drakes are currently in their prime and the sun highlights the amazing beauty of their colourful plumage.

Spring has certainly arrived and I look forward to the wealth of wildlife becoming more visible or returning to our shores.