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DIGITAL SLR USER - MARCH

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Introduction

Who knows these days what this month will offer/throw at us in terms of weather, it could be a drenching, a heat wave or a hurricane. I wouldn’t bet on snow, but being adaptable is the key to making the most of natural subjects. The days are still pretty short so the good light doesn’t last long and as winter really ends a lot of our visitors are off northwards. Only a few of our summer migrants are starting to appear so it’s a bit ‘inbetweeny’, time to take advantage of the early birds and the hungry souls perhaps.

Last Chance for Lying in Bait

Whether its blue tits or badgers, robins or roe deer, in this last few weeks before all their tiny minds turn to breeding there’s a last chance to tempt the starving to your table. If you’ve been at it all winter then try something new, maybe concentrate on aggressive behaviour, all the posing and posturing around your bird table can be great fun.

Infinity Pool?

If you haven’t yet tired of the burgeoning catalogue of birds perched on top of their own perfect reflections then surely this is the last chance to flog this dying fashion. Bence Mate’s originals were divine but his imitators need to try harder so get your thinking caps on and add something new to the mix please.

Zoo You!

Beat the pushchairs and their screaming inhabitants and visit wildlife parks now whilst there is still some peace and working space to be had. You never know the Highland Wildlife Park near Kingussie might even have a smattering of white stuff over its naturalistic enclosures.

Get Stuck in Son!

They’re not mad but the brown hares are at it and for some reason this species has popular cult status so pictures of them getting rough and ready are always a hit. They’ve become more common, are still quite shy and a bit telephoto is probably a must. Oh yes, for the record, it’s the females throwing the punches.

Early Birds

Herons and Rooks are two species that will have settled down to nest by now and because they are both big, obvious and colonial, and thus predictable, they make good subjects. Now, they also like the tree tops so its either a tower hide or a search to find a heronry or rookery situated at the bottom of a sloping hill. Actually there are plenty of the latter and if you don’t have a monster telephoto then maybe its time to try digi-scoping.

Poisonous Dance

At this time of year on warm sunny mornings male adders compete for females by ‘dancing’. I’ve never seen this secretive spectacle and haven’t seen too many really good photos of it either. Its one of those things which could pay rich dividends if you could muster the patience, planning and skill. Ostensibly available all over the UK. Go on . . .

Yellow Spreads

You’ve probably missed the snowdrops by now so the next wildflowers to paint the woodland floor one colour are the primroses and lesser celandines. Newly clearer woods that enjoy plenty of light are where you’ll find the richest pickings and outside there are plenty of spots famed for their hosts of daffodils .

Spring Means Spawn

Frogs and toads will have been at it for a while so there is sure to be a steamy jacuzzi full of rampant amphibians somewhere near you. You can put them in tanks to get an underwater perspective on their antics or shoot them at night when their passion reaches a frenzy, whatever get low, you need to be looking them in the eye, lay on a bin bag.

Black Grouse

These fabulous dandies are out there on a moor bouncing and bubbling about to attract females and they are top photographic material. Wacky, colourful, uncommon and remote all the big boys go for grouse. The Scandinavians have tried them heavy breathing in the chill air but for me David Tiplings Blackcocks arse is still the best shot I’ve seen. Not easy, but very nice.

Book a Raid

Rain, cold  . . . struggling to find the energy to get out there where the action is, oh go on then, log on and surf all those fabulous photo-safaris on offer all over the UK and Europe and then try to justify a booking . . . bears, divers, butterflies . . . I’m off!

 

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