Some of my fondest memories of Strathbeg have come from the evenings here. The way the light casts over the water and the several bird species that come to roost. These combined fills the air with wonder and excitement, not to mention the sounds that echo around the reserve as twilight hits. Due to this, I couldn’t resist hosting a photography workshop around sunset to showcase nature at its best. In conjunction with the Aberdeenshire ‘Across The Grain Doric Festival’, members of the public were invited to come and photograph these spectacles. By attending they could see Strathbeg and nature in a way they may never have seen it before.

The workshop was fully booked with 8 people attending and the weather could not have been better! The sun shone brightly, there was not a single breeze in the air and the loch was calm, allowing for reflections and a very still atmosphere. It was a joy to see the reserve and nature in such a beautiful light.

The photography opportunities were also endless. Several flocks of whooper swans and geese flew overhead, allowing for plenty of silhouetted images. We were treated to a stunning starling murmeration as the sun began to set, which brought much excitement to the group. The pink and purple colours that filled the sky was also a true joy to witness.

The best thing about these events is when the unexpected happens. As the pre-sunset light hit the fields in front of us, we were treated to thousands of spider webs sparking in the light. One member of the group noticed hundreds of tiny spiders along the barber wire fence, which allowed for unusual and creative photography for many. This year there has also been a boom in ladybirds around the reserve and they showed face at the workshop also. Several made home on fence posts and the gates that surrounded us, again allowing for different photography opportunities for the group.

It was lovely to see a variety of people with a common interest coming together to share such a beautiful evening. A huge thank you to all that attended! If you’d like to learn about the spectacles that happen at Strathbeg at sunset and sunrise, there are other events happening around the reserve this autumn and winter. Check out our Facebook page for more information.

Kim Grant (Reserve Intern)


All Photos by Kim Grant