Aviemore, Highlands - Ospreys
I have been photographing wildlife now for a few years and have built up many cherished encounters in the natural world. Whether its being a few metres away from a short-eared owl or tracking otters on Mull, certainly one of my highlights was to experience and photograph the diving ospreys hunting their prey!
Rothiemurchus is a small fishery on the outskirts of Aviemore in the Highlands.I arrived at Rothiemurchus at 4:30am and prepared myself. It was still totally dark. The weather the previous few days had been atrocious with many of the rivers flooded and burst their banks! I was told that this would serve to my advantage as the rivers were too murky for the ospreys to fish properly so they would certainly make for the pools at Rothiemurchus for breakfast.
Just shortly after 5:20 the first bird hit the water! I was utterly amazed at the spectacle. I fired off a few shots but knew I didn't have anything as the light was too dark. I had the camera settings at ISO 3200 f2.8 and still the shutter speed was about 1/125. Anyway I was just in awe at how big these birds are! Their wingspan is colossal!
We had a good session in all as their were in total 10 dives over a period of 4 hours, mainly during the hours of 5:30-7:30. At one time, as an osprey was leaving the water with a trout, another bird hit the water and snatched a fish out! The camera was constantly in a state of buffering!
All the shots where taken with ISO of 2000 and higher and all at f2.8 I guess its the nature of the subject that by 8am its all over and the birds are well fed.
I went back for an evening session and waited another 4 hours but no birds showed. It would be nice to get them in some decent light...maybe next time :-)