For years I have always wanted to photograph Red Squirrels but never got round to booking anything. Finally I made the effort and looked into hiring a hide to photograph Red Squirrels from.
After a bit of research I found Paul Fowlie’s Red Squirrel hides in North Yorkshire. I wanted Jack my 9 year Son to come along too, because as we live in Derbyshire he had never seen Red Squirrels before. So I booked the hide to myself so he could come along, and the reflection pool was included with what I had booked.
Red Squirrel Hide
I had booked the Red Squirrel hide for the middle of August. This is because it would fit in with the school holidays for Jack and I am impatient once I’ve finally decided on something.
Autumn time really is the best time of year for any outdoor photography I think with the light and the colours.
But it was absolutely fine in August and I can always go again another year in Autumn.
Red Squirrel photography
On Paul’s website and when I contacted him he said there has never been a no show of Squirrels for photography workshops. But there’s no guarantee they will show up.
Great it will be just my luck, I thought!!! No Red Squirrels to photograph.
I wasn’t disappointed from the moment we arrived to when we left there were Red Squirrels chasing around the place.
Best lenses for photographing Red Squirrels
I took Paul’s advise as to which lens would be best for photographing the Red Squirrels.
So I took the 70mm – 200mm f2.8 and my 400mm f5.6 lenses plus two camera’s.
You can hire lenses from Paul too which is good to know. He also provides bean bags and gimbal heads in the hides to save you carrying extra equipment.
The reflection pool
We started the morning off in the woodland hide then moved on to the reflection pool. The whole morning was just brilliant but the reflection pool has to be my favourite part of it all.
Paul gave Jack a small bowl of hazelnuts for the Squirrels.
The only problem there was that Jack kept throwing the hazelnuts in the water when the Red Squirrels arrived. You need the water still for good reflections! As you can image when a hazelnut is thrown into the water it takes a little while for the water to settle. Hazelnuts seem to float in water too, which can cause a few distractions in your images.
We both had a brilliant time and it was a great experience.
Jack got to see and feed loads of Red Squirrels, plus he never once got bored.
I completely over shot the day with 1,800 images of Red Squirrels a few birds and a pheasant. It’s a good job I have unlimited photo storage to store all my Red Squirrel photos in lol.
I’m sure I must have a few images for the competitions I will be entering next year out of 1,800.
Here are some of the images from the morning.