Red Squirrels in Winter

December, 2012
 

 

A picture of red squirrel in the snow was in our minds for some time. Last year we headed to Scotland where the biggest population of UK red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) is found. Unfortunately we did not get a chance to photograph this ginger coated beauty in the snow. Unusually for Scotland, February was without snow. This year we've decided to head to Yorkshire Dales which is recognized as an important habitat for red squirrels. Upon arrival we've settled down in a small family run hotel. In the morning we had a very nice surprise as the weather temperature had dropped down and it felt that the snow was on the way. We headed up to the woods. The first snowflakes of the season arrived early afternoon and the ground was covered in white in no time. 

Heavy snow band had moved in and the whole scene in Yorkshire turned into a winter wonderland. Ear tufts of the red squirrels looked like sharp needles.

A real challenge began when a heavy snow band moved in. Big  flakes made focusing very tricky but we couldn't stop trying...

The whole scene turned into a winter wonderland. 

Late afternoon we headed back to the hotel. Dinner was served in the light of candles as there was no electricity due to heavy winds. 

Next morning  we headed back to the woods and there was still plenty of snow on the ground.

The squirrels were coming so close that we managed to make an image with a wide angle lens. This one is our favourite shot. 

To our big shock one of our cameras stopped working after yesterday's harsh conditions and high humidity. Without a doubt it was very frustrating. Luckily we found another way of using it ... We placed couple of peanuts inside the lens hood. We were amazed by one squirrel which was not shy at all and showed a lot of interest in the camera.

Couple of minutes later the squirrel have managed to get inside a lens hood.

We photographed red squirrels in Yorkshire Dales. One ginger beauty was not shy at all and got inside a lens hood for a nice shelter.

Even a small lens made an impression...

Red squirrels are very curious animals. Even a small lens makes an impression to them.

It was simply amazing but to tell the truth our faces looked a bit worried. Sharp nails and teeth of this brave little beauty could have easily scratched the lenses and cameras. Luckily the squirrel behaved and have not done any damage. 

It was simply an unforgettable experience. The journey was brilliant and we were left with a terrible heartbreaking feeling of wanting to stay much longer. Back at home, we dried out the camera properly and it started working...