Loch Garten 17th & 18th May

The first of the Scotland trip reports. I'll incorporate the two Loch Garten visits, the first being on the Tues 17th

The welcome was perfect from Gareth as we entered the reserve, and walking along the path to the visitor centre, it was good to see the RSPB encouraging the youngsters with a faries den.

Also seen alongside the path was a lot of cotton grass

I didn't get to take many photos, the intention was to see the osprey, which we did, and Dorcha which I believe is her name, was keeping the eggs nice and warm. However, you cannot (and understandably so) get any nearer to the nest other than the visitor centre, and with the added photographic challenge, the viewing windows were covered with a fine mesh to prevent any reflections disturbing the osprey pair, which are new to the reserve this year.

So I grabbed a couple from the big monitors in the VC just in case, but I was incredibly surprised to get the following results.

Uncropped

Heavily cropped

Trying my luck a second visit was required where I would try the 2x converter with the camera on the tripod, which understandably failed. The floor wasn't solid, so the slightest foot movement made the camera shake, even at 1/2000 sec shutter speed. I'm including these details in case someone wants to try a similar attempt.

But, the important thing is, ask first before setting up, because it can get busy in the VC.

There is also a pair of white tailed eagles successfully nesting, though there is no webcam for them. On the first day, one chick was trying, unsuccessfully, to stand. Here is a photo of the nest taken from the large screened monitor, so it will be a bit blurry.

BTW, the camera settings were based on the old cathode ray tube (CRT) TV screens, which had a refresh rate of around 1/60 second, so the shutter speed was set to 1/50 to avoid wide horizontal bars forming on the photo. I've no idea what the refresh rates are for LED screens and the situation wasn't really ideal to experiment any further, but something I need to look into for future reference.

Back to the first visit, there were plenty of chaffinches siskins and great tits at the reserve. But the siskins and great tits didn't want to be photographed, so a couple of Mr Chaffie's photos to follow.

The second visit, on the 18th was no less interesting.

Again, a pretty decent photo of Dorcha without the 2x convertor,

And a ghost ant taking away a dead white tailed bumblebee

Two brilliant visits to RSPB Loch Garten, and finally, a photo of loch Garten itself

Mike

Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Nice to hear you had a great visit to L.Garten with such wonderful scenery and species, thanks for posting Mike.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    HAZY said:
    Nice to hear you had a great visit to L.Garten with such wonderful scenery and species, thanks for posting Mike.

    Thank you, and you're welcome.

    I've since done some reading up, and unsurprisingly, there is a lot more to Loch Garten than I actually saw. A good excuse for another visit, whenever I'm up that way again, and I intend to be one day.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • It's certainly a great place to visit Mike, I think the RSPB were just starting to do something like the fairy themed welcome last time we visited Chris thought it was to welcome her as she says she's always away with the fairies. I have heard photographers mention the shake problem before when using a tripod it's the same as when using a scope I suppose every little shake is magnified

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    Wendy S said:
    It's certainly a great place to visit Mike, I think the RSPB were just starting to do something like the fairy themed welcome last time we visited Chris thought it was to welcome her as she says she's always away with the fairies. I have heard photographers mention the shake problem before when using a tripod it's the same as when using a scope I suppose every little shake is magnified

    On compassionate grounds, I'll make no comment about Chris. 

    The wood patio as you enter the VC  is solid and would make a good platform for tripod use, either for scopes, cameras or camcorders. But I'm sure there was good reason for using the flooring they did, and I'm not ignoring cost either, which seems a shame.

    Even the meet and greet post had a decent solid floor, but that may be because the toilets are over a cesspit type installation, where the waste is allowed to decompose naturally.

    Hence why I was surprised to get such decent photos using the 400mm setting, with the added covering on the viewing windows.

    I would be happy to return, and not to be defeated, if conditions allowed I would experiment further with the camera in the VC, and of course, explore more around the accessible areas.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • I see your mention of Osprey Dorcha, were they featuring Loch Arkaig nest in Loch Garten VC as well as their own?  Or did you visit there?

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Glad you managed a trip to LG Mike, it is a lovely place, I have been twice, saw EJ in one of her last years but never mananaged to see Odin. It is so exciting that the new nest is being used after the last many years of saddness. Hopefully it will not be long before we see the first bobblehead. This pair have not yet been officially named but on here we have been calling them Axel (his leg ring being AX6) Mistle (she has a speckled breast like a Mistle Thrush). Was it not yourself that came up with that name? Dochra is a Loch Arkaig. Hopefully we will revisit and see the new centre and the Ospreys.

    Maybe I am not reading your report correct and that you were also at Loch Arkaig and you know the names of the Osprey's perfectly well!

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • CL, this is a different Mike to the one that named Mistle!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Glad you had a good time, Mike, looking forward to catching up with the rest of your visit :o)
  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    WendyBartter said:
    CL, this is a different Mike to the one that named Mistle!

     Thanks Wendy, makes sense now, I really should have noticed that

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    WendyBartter said:

    I see your mention of Osprey Dorcha, were they featuring Loch Arkaig nest in Loch Garten VC as well as their own?  Or did you visit there?

    I'm pleased you raised the question.

    I did a web search and wasn't sure whether Dorcha was Loch Arkraig, which I haven't visited, or not.

    I think someone, most likely me, got some wires crossed, while trying to take in all the info. The monitors were definitely the LG osprey, I could see synchronous movement with optics while on the screen as well.

    So its me who has got names mixed up.

    The three monitors were covering LG's osprey, LG's white tailed eagles and LG ducks, which I think if I recall were on a camera rotation system.

    That clears up my misunderstanding, and hopefully puts the record straight.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler