Tag Archives: birds

My nature photos of 2012

I have started a new ‘tradition’ at home, in which I create a calendar of some photos that I’ve taken over the previous 12 months; I just finished the one for this year, so thought that I’d put up the photos that I have selected (including a couple of bonus mammal shots to round out the animal groups a little…!).

In 2012, I’ve been lucky enough to travel around Scotland a fair amount, and got a few nature firsts here – crossbills, vivaparous lizards, and finally saw the magnificent capercaillie (and ran away from it as it chased me and a very famous evolutionary biology professor up a path!). I also went to Sweden for a quantitative genetics workshop (where I learnt to love long johns as much as matrix algebra), took a trip to Canada (where I gave my first talk at a major international conference, Evolution 2012), and holidayed in Barbados (where Kirsty and I celebrated our engagement). The final bonus photo in this gallery is actually from 2013, and I hope it is a portent of good things to come!

I’m going to post this to Alex Wild’s request for end-of-year photo sets as well; mine certainly won’t compete with most of those on show, so you should go and check them out! There is some RIDICULOUS stuff going on. Hopefully I’ll have a competitive selection next year, as I’m off to Borneo in July for my honeymoon! That’s right: I’m getting married, like a real grown-up person.

Note: I’ve noticed that various people have ended up here after searching for rogue capercaillie in Speyside… I can’t give out the location myself, but I will say that we were taken there by a local wildlife guide, Steve Reddick, who was an excellent host and whose rates are also extremely reasonable!

High-definition attack

This is footage from a 1000fps camera of an eagle owl attack. It’s pretty spectacular.

I got to fly one of these magnificent birds recently as part of a ‘falconry experience’ at Phoenix Falconry in Gleneagles:

Eagle owl lands on my (well-armoured) arm...

I must add that, while they are incredible to watch, the mental acuity of the individual we were flying made me think that it’s not unlikely that the one in the video mistook a camera for a mouse…

Oh, and this reminds me of when I asked my supervisor if I could get a high-definition camera for quantifying cricket jumping as an indicator of whole-body performance:

“How about a tape measure instead?”