Saturday, 8 May 2010

Getting things off my chest !

Last week, I posted about a fantastic encounter with a Snowy Owl here on Unst. It has now come to my attention that there have  been comments made on how we may have approached the bird and the results of our encounter. The comments were made on another photographers blog (and also comments relating to the quality of the pictures by a.n.other). Both Brydon and myself agreed at the time, that, the birds welfare should come first and no photograph is worth unnecessary stress. It was a rare moment to savour (anyone can pay a fortune to go and see one in the Arctic or Canada etc)  but to get one in habitat in the UK is something special and one that we wanted to enjoy and also share. If I had wanted to get any closer, then I had with me, probably the best person in Shetland for the job, ie Brydon Thomason. The first encounter was when the bird detected us because it was out of our view but it had obviously heard us. With the following two encounters it moved off because it was being mobbed firstly by numerous Oystercatchers and secondly by GBB Gulls. When we found it again, we again watched it for quite a while - in fact the bird remained there for over 3 hours.

When I returned there the following day, if I'd had the time ie all day and the bird was present in the area, I am sure I could have relocated it. As to the equipment issue, I was using a Canon camera with an EF500+1.4ex lens but still cropped the pictures heavily as we did not stalk it and Brydon was using good Nikon gear. I am obviously not a professional and as far as I am concerned, neither are so called photographers of wildlife who resort to disturbing breeding birds unnecessarily (Schedule 1 species etc) or unscrupulous methods such as using tape lures etc, all in the name of getting a picture !


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