Friday 13 February 2009

From the Archives - Red Squirrels at Formby

I met up with a number of other wildlife photographers last night and was extremely saddened to hear of this story and also here. So it was with that in mind, I thought I would share some images from a trip I made there about two years ago.

Sue and I got there quite early, having previously photographed some hares a few miles away. We set up in a particular area, on the other side of the road to the squirrel walk, having put down some hazel nuts in a few photogenic places.

It didn't take long for our first visitors to show up, but they weren't red.
So we used the opportunity to get images like this of Great, Coal and Blue tits, and very handsome they look strutting their stuff in the early spring sunshine.

After about 45 minutes or so, the first of the little Reds came bounding across the ground towards us, looking very cheeky and mischievous. It didn't take long for it to find the goodies we had put out. Unfortunately, the first one didn't stay for long, as a loose dog came running through, ahead of its owners who seemed completely oblivious to us, or my profanities at the dog.

However, within a few minutes of the all clear, it came back and was joined by three of its friends who ran around us for about an hour or so, even getting closer than the minimum focus distance of the 500mm, which is 4.5m.

At one point, one was eating from the supply of nuts that was in a bag that was hanging from my tripod gimbal head, as I was using the 500 hand held at the time. It made me laugh anyway. Wish I had taken a picture as I think I must have had my serious head on and was looking for more specimen shots.

Well let's hope these little creatures can fight this dreadful disease off, but sadly the omens do not look good at all.


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