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Red Squirrels, Aberdeenshire

 Red squirrel leaping onto log, Aberdeenshire.

Red squirrel leaping onto log, Aberdeenshire.

Excuse the oxymoron but I am becoming moderately obsessed with red squirrels. Fast, agile, charismatic and often found in tricky lighting conditions make them beguilingly difficult to shoot. However the sense of achievement of capturing a shot with such an iconic species is well worth the effort.

The shot above was taken just as the squirrel was about to jump onto the tree trunk. I had noticed that this was one of several routes favoured by the squirrels and thus positioned myself appropriately.

 Two red squirrels chasing each other. Bark debris thrown up from their feet.

Two red squirrels chasing each other. Bark debris thrown up from their feet.

When photographing wildlife it is imperative to observe closely their movements, interactions and behaviour as this increases your likelihood of being at the right place at the right time. With a species as industrious and lively as red squirrels the time spent observing is a pleasure in itself.

 Red squirrel about to jump in dappled woodland light.

Red squirrel about to jump in dappled woodland light.

The image above demonstrates difficult lighting conditions that can be found when photographing in woodland. The dappled light through the tree canopy casts light and shadow areas. With luck, observation and patience a subject can frame itself within the light.