Tuesday, 22 October 2013


I recently came back from a trip to the Cairngorms. We were only there 3 day, which wasn't ideal but I did learn a lot from the short visit. My main aim was Mountain Hare but due to the weather conditions I didn't get to spend as much time as I had hoped on them.

I spent one day going after Red Grouse which in previous visits resulted in seeing the rear end of them flying off. This time I used my car as a hide and drove up to them. Here are some fellow photographers trying it out. Don't think my car is really big enough for all of us but it worked.

Photographing Red Grouse using a car as a hide.

This was a much more effective way then attempting to stalk them, which I tried before. The car journey resulted in the following image.

Red Grouse Portrait

Red Grouse in the heather

Red Grouse in its environment


Red Grouse keeping an eye out

Red Grouse

Mountain Hare were much harder then I thought they were going to be and took me a number of hours before perfecting a way to get closer to them. I found it much easier in January when there was plenty of snow. Some hares are more tolerant then other and after seeing about 30 different hares, I found a few which stayed around for a bit. I am hoping to go back and spend a solid week on them and get better pictures. But for now here are a few that I managed to get.

Silhouette on the horizon of a mountain hare. Normal view I got.

Mountain hare tucked down in a scrape

Mountain hares sitting in the peat

Mountain hare grazing on the grass

 I also visited a Speyside dusk watch in hope of seeing a Pine Marten. Sadly it didn't turn up but did get some amazing views of badgers and deer under the spotlights. Due to the power of spotlights you had to shoot at 6400iso to get anything near sharp but it was an experience I wont forget. I can only hope that the government comes to their senses soon, listens to everyone and stop the ridiculous badger cull!

Badger under the lights

  • Try stalking Red Grouse but if your having no joy, try finding some along a road and drive up to them.
  • Be persistent with mountain hare, you will find one or two that wont run straight away.
  • Patience with mountain hare is key, the slower your approach the better and the more behavior you will see.
  • Use the landscape to your advantage if possible. Mounds, ditches and rocks are a photographs best friend when stalking wildlife, mountain hare especially.
Website: www.wildlife-photos.co.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/Josh_Jaggard
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