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Just back from another 2 day trip at Rothiemurchus fisheries near Aviemore on a tour run by ‘Osprey Whisperer’ Jo Mcintyre, to witness and capture Ospreys fishing in a trout lake again.
Arriving on the Sunday afternoon at 3 PM, I had Helen with me this time as we were making a holiday of it, visiting the European Championship cycling in Glasgow, and then going over to Fort William post Ospreys. We were once again at the excellent Boat hotel at the nearby Boat of Garten village, and after going for a walk around, met with Jo and some of the other photographers for dinner at 6.30. We had a nice evening, with Joe and Tom from the USA, Neville and Iain, all who I had met before apart from Tom.
Monday: Up early and off to the fishery, I met the others in the car park, as well as Gary and Mike who were there for that morning only, and we were off to the hides to be in position by 5 AM, and once again the banter was good! Most of us went in Hide 1, Iain and Nev tried Hide 2 and 4 for different shots, and we got settled in waiting for the light to get better and heres our spotter Ally hopefully come on the radio with good news. Once again we adjusted settings and photographed the ducks on the pond to keep up with the ever changing light as we waitied, chatting with each other to pass the time. I had my 300mm f4 lens on my Canon 1DX again which was perfect to make sure you get the composition in, and brought my 500mm again just in case we had a lot of dives and I could experiment with close ups etc.
Ally was informing us of Ospreys in the air, and the dominant bird seemed to be absent so we were hoping for action, and at around 6.15 on he came with ‘getting lower….DIVING!’ the bird came in left to right and took a trout and was gone, I got some nice shots in focus, and was hopeful of more action in better light. As it turned out we had 11 dives all together, with 5 taking fish, at one point 2 nearly came in together as the growing juveniles were practicing as well. It was a great morning and I got some good shots, the last dive around 9 AM even had some sunlight on it! We met Helen for breakfast at the Boat, then went for a look around another village close by, Grantown on Spey, which had some nice shops and tea rooms and was beautiful down by the river, before going back to the lake in the afternoon, but nothing doing there this time. I spent the afternoon in Hide 4 hoping for a front shot with Joe, but nothing came in despite a few Ospreys flying over.
Tuesday: Up early again and in the hides by 5, I went in hide 4 again but the others went for hide 1, so I was all on my own but I had some nice side shots so wanted to put myself in position to get a front shot. Quite early we heard the familiar ‘chirping’ of an Osprey, and unfortunately it was the dominant bird back again and it was chasing away other birds coming in, so a bit frustrating to start with. As more birds came and went we were getting worried it would be a ‘bo dive’ day, but then at around 9AM Ally came on the radio and said one was getting lower, then ‘DIVING’. It came in over the middle of the lake side on to me but just rear shots for the others, but then pulled up at the last minute and went round again! Next time it came in it went deep into the water and got a trout, and turned and came out in my direction with a big fish. I got some nice shots, not quite front shots but more 3/4, but something different. Once again nothing in the afternoon, and that was it for me with the others staying on for 1 more day. We stayed on and had dinner with the others in another very nice hotel, Muckrach Country House Hotel, and toasted Jo who is taking a break from running tours so she can do some of her own photography for a while, and then in the morning Helen and I went over to Fort William to finish off our mini tour of Scotland.