I did have an enjoyable time and it made up for quite a few nearly shots over the past few weeks. It also gave way to what must be one of the highlights of the year! I spent the morning in the river valley watching some dippers displaying before becoming increasingly worried about the snow and getting stuck on these back roads. I decided to head towards the main road whilst keeping an eye out for anything interesting. I stopped and checked the occasional finch flock and hare sheltering in the fields.
On one routine stop I noticed two more finches and – wait – they are Snow Buntings! Absolutely brilliant. A most unexpected find and I am suddenly presented with a dilemma of getting a shot. There is a blizzard outside, the thermo reads -2 and they are bounding around a field. I pluck up the courage to try and get closer and believe that a bizarre commando style elbow crawl is the best option and eventually I manage to get within range. I have left the tripod so have to hand hold the lens whilst lying in the snow. I have also left all my memory cards back in the car so all I have will have to do. Fortunately I had some seed in my pocket so put that down. Then, just as I start getting close, a motorist stops to check that I am okay! Of course he does, there’s a madman in the field in a blizzard on the floor. I gesture everything is fine and he leaves me in peace. I take about 200 shots before the memory card is full. It is only when I get back to the car I see one of my hands is quite wizened and it takes nearly an hour to get all my feeling back. Adrenaline must have kicked in. Too much action for one day!
Here’s the shot