Have you lost a camera on Cairngorm?

That was the simple question I asked on Facebook on 6th November, more in hope and for a bit of fun than anything else. Quite quickly lots of good spirited folk and those up for a fun project started sharing the picture below and soon enough it seemed like there may be a chance – albeit remote – of returning the camera to its owner.


So what’s the back story? Whilst crawling around photographing Ptarmigan in the Northern Corries I became aware of something sticking into my ribs. Not that unusual probably another rock I thought to myself. I was staggered when I looked down to see a metallic object and low and behold a camera. Partly covered in snow and with a few bumps I popped the camera in my pocket and when I got back to the car I put it under the blowers to try and dry it out.

On closer inspection the camera was an Olympus u Tough that they advertise as having a “Waterproof, shock-proof, freezeproof design”. So that filled me with hope that we could try and download the images and find the owner. I was easily able to downland the images. The camera still working after an age on the hill and not being rotted is testament to the manufacturer!

The image of the smiling woman in the blue jacket was put on Facebook. A good number of folks got behind the search – it is them I really need to thank as the image was tweeted and shared several hundred times. Even after the first 24 hours had passed there was some interest but by the 8th November I was starting to think about what to do with the camera as no-one came forward.

Then I received an email from someone called Mark C “The person in the photo is my wife”. No way, this is amazing!

“We were skinning up to the ridge to the 1141 spot height when the camera was fumbled and went sliding off at speed into the mist down the flank of Coire an t’Sneachda.”

“Someone posted a link to the facebook page concerning the found camera on UK Climbing today (I don’t do facebook myself), anyway as it was a public image I had a look and low and behold I know the person in the photo (not however the owner) we were all out on the hill ski-touring together the day the camera was lost.”

“I had given this up as long gone a long time ago.”

“I have let the owner know about your facebook page and hopefully he will be in touch. He will be chuffed to bits as he always held out hope it may turn up one day. Thanks a lot for sharing and hopefully reuniting a long lost camera with its owner.”

So we were close but not there yet – Mark recognised his wife but the picture had been taken by someone else!

A few hours later I receive an email from an Austrian called Volker D.

“I believe the camera you found on Cairngorm is mine – lost on an epic day of ski-touring. The photo shows my good friend Diane C.

We were going up the side of the ski area heading towards the North Corries when I stopped and accidentally dropped the camera. As I watched it slide down the hill over the frozen snow into the fog and blizzard, my first instinct was to ski after it. But I quickly thought better of it remembering the many people who have lost their lives trying to save a £200 camera and let it slide away.
The fact that it still works and you have managed to track me down gives credit to the construction of the Olympus µ TOUGH
In any case thanks tons for all your efforts – you’ve made my day!”

So now all that remains is to reunite Volker with his camera – I have suggested we meet on Cairngorm. It seems appropriate!

New tour – bird photography holiday in the Outer Hebrides

Following several successful visits to the Outer Hebrides, we are delighted to announce a new tour to these special Islands including both North and South Uist and staying centrally in Benbecula.

The main target will be Corncrake;


Our targets will include;

  • Short Eared Owl (in good years over 20 can be seen in one day)
  • Passage waders; Sanderling, Dunlin, Whimbrel and Ringed Plover
  • Breeding Waders; Redshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Lapwing and Golden Plover
  • Outside chance of Merlin, Golden Eagle and Hen Harrier
  • Red and Black Throated Diver
  • Otter and Red Deer
  • Various rare Orchids on the Machair
  • Weather permitting we will try and schedule a trip to the remote St Kilda

This trip will be in 2014 – as all our bird and wildlife photography tours and holidays sell out at least 6 months in advance be sure to reserve your place

Mull, we love it!

Well we’ve just got back from another May on Mull and another fabulous year and great guests to share the island with…

… I am in the process of writing a more through trip report, but thought I would share this White Tailed Eagle image and let you know we are running some White Tailed Eagle photography tours later this year – more details here.

Always spectacular, we can’t get enough of these stunning birds.

Up on high

This winter as been the most unpredictable and in many the hardest for photography for some year. Mild weather has restricted activity at the feeding stations whilst wet and more often very windy weather has limited opportunities to get up the hill.

Of course the birds are still here its just a bit harder to find them or rely on them to be in the regular places they would haunt during colder periods.

So far so good on the winter workshops and we have had some fun days – sometimes challenging, but always rewarding.

With a cold spell on the way we are hoping for some cold, snowy and hopefully less windy weather.



Greater Yellowlegs

Day after day of severe winds and heavy rain has limited activity to some extent, but news of a Greater Yellowlegs at Loch Fleet proved too tempting to resist. Being a self confessed wader nut meant I was up there at the first opportunity – even the tiling was put on hold!

Following on from the Greater Sand Plover this represented the second excellent wader in the Highlands this year. Fully aware Tringa type waders are a bit skittish at the best of times I wasn’t expecting too much. Immediately it was clear that this was not true to form and was very confiding.

The bird was favouring a small area of flood water and continued to feed and behave normally with a procession of dog walkers, interested locals and birders coming and going. I decided to set up in the pool itself – despite being ill prepared for lying in frozen water – and wait for the wader to approach me. After about two hours I had one of the most memorable shoots of the year as this graceful North American wader approached to within three of four feet and promptly fell asleep!

In all I watched the Greater Yellowlegs at a a range of 10 – 20 feet for about three hours at which point I was just too cold to lie in the mud and cow pats any longer!

A fine finish to the year.

Winter is on the way

This week has seen the first snowfall in the Highlands and the peaks are looking stunning with their snowy caps above golden autumnal forests. We’re busy restocking the feeders and looking forward to photographing Crested Tits in the snow again this winter. If you would like to join us please check out our winter photography workshops.