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Nature photography around Moray with Pat Douglass

By Alistair Whitfield

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After the lull of the summer September comes with much anticipation for the nature photographer.

Pat Douglass
Pat Douglass

Everything starts moving again.

The birds that have been with us since early spring now depart and head south to their winter feeding grounds.

Icons like the Osprey complete the task of teaching the youngsters to fish for themselves and depart.

However, we barely notice as the skies are now filled with new arrivals – and along the east coast that means geese, thousands and thousands of geese.


They arrive in huge flocks their calls penetrating the stillness of the night or audible over the sound of traffic in the towns as they come together to rest after their long flights.

Having spent the summer breeding in the Arctic they return to our milder climes for the winter.

After a few weeks feeding and resting some will continue south but many will remain until next April when the cycle starts again.

Findhorn Bay is well known for its huge numbers of geese which will peak in the next few weeks.

They will roost on the marshes, arriving at sunset and departing with the sunrise as they move to the fields to feed during the day.

Depending on the tide they will come and go during the day, bathing and drinking in the freshwater streams but the big movements are at the beginning and end of the day.

These are the sights that make such a spectacular photograph: the geese filling the sky silhouetted against a dramatic sunset or the pinks of a new day.

With the sunrise now later it’s not so hard to get out for the dawn.

Ideally the high tide won’t be until after sunrise so the birds are not pushed off the marshes too soon – they do fly at night and the sound is amazing but it’s not so good for photography!

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