RED SQUIRRELS IN THE SNOW

I was fortunate last week to be in the Cairngorms National Park during the return of the wintry weather that blanketed large areas of Scotland with fresh snow. One of the animals that I had hoped to photograph during my trip were Red Squirrels. One of the best places in the UK to photograph Red Squirrels is at Neil McIntyre’s feeding station. Neil has been feeding Red Squirrels for over twenty years at his site and runs morning photography sessions for up to five photographers.

I had already booked a morning with Neil and his Red Squirrels and the day dawned with a blanket of fresh snow and the promise of more to come! I have always wanted to photograph Red Squirrels in the snow and could not believe how lucky I had been with the weather – this is not always the case!        

Neil very kindly collected me from the B&B where I was staying in Inverdruie, Aviemore and I joined two of his clients (who he was guiding for the whole day) for the short journey to Neil’s feeding station. On arrival, we were joined at the site by two other photographers. A short walk and all five of us photographers were set up waiting for the Red Squirrels to arrive.

After a short wait, the Red Squirrels arrived and began foraging for the nuts that Neil had put out for them.

As the weather and the light varied from bright and sunny to overcast and snowy, this together with the different perches that Neil has installed, created opportunities for different images.

At times the Red Squirrels would come in so close that it was not possible to fit them in all into the frame.

Whilst my trip only afforded me enough time for one session with Neil’s Red Squirrels, I will hopefully be back soon.

If you are interested in photographing Neil’s Red Squirrels or any of his other services, he can be contacted through his website www.neilmcintyre.com.

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