Meet Loch Lomond’s Colourful Locals | Wildlife Photography Vlog #11

Meet Loch Lomond’s Colourful Locals | Wildlife Photography Vlog #11

January 22, 2020 14 By Peter Engel


[gull cries] [music] Hi everyone and welcome
back to another dreich, damp, drizzly, dreary day here in Scotland, and more specifically
at Loch Lomond! Yes, I’m back here again. For a few reasons: one, because I live here;
two, because on- in the comments to my last video somebody left a really lovely, well-meaning
comment saying that, y’know, now that I have this kind of set-up why don’t instead of photographing
birds all the time I go on safari to photograph y’know lions and tigers, they suggested the
Maasai Mara in Kenya, y’know, they suggested India. And I was like y’know: “I’d love to,
I really would” but um- I checked with my bank account and she said no… It’s been
my dream to go to Maasai Mara in Kenya since I was really, really wee so y’know hopefully
one day but I don’t really see it happening any time soon. I’m “stuck” with Scotland’s
wildlife. Fortunately, for me, maybe unfortunately for you if that doesn’t excite you. Each to
their own. But I thought that I would make a point today of coming down to Loch Lomond
to show off my appreciation for my local wildlife. And to hopefully inspire you guys to appreciate
your own local wildlife. Whether you are lucky enough to have your local wildlife be tigers
or elephants or giraffes, whatever. Or if you like me are, y’know… stuck with gulls
and ducks and pigeons. Um… I wanted to show that, y’know, while objectively seeing a lion
is cooler than seeing a pigeon. It doesn’t mean that seeing the pigeon isn’t y’know…
[crickets]… doesn’t have it’s coolness too [laughs]. That is the point of today’s video,
that is the point of coming back to Loch Lomond. I’m sorry if you guys are a little bit fed
up with seeing it because I have came here with my camera quite a few times now. But
this is where I live, this is the wildlife that I have access to. As you can see, lighting
conditions are not the best. It is January, in the west of Scotland, we don’t get much
sunlight. Y’know the sun rises to a point and then it’s just kind of like: “OK that’s
me done.” A lot of you guys on my last video suggested using auto-ISO, which is something
that I had never considered before. I am using- or trying out auto-ISO today focusing on shutter
speed and aperture. And the camera that I am doing that on is my Canon EOS 80D and attached
to that I have my Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary lens. I’m gonna go see what of Loch Lomond’s
wildlife I can photograph. Yeah, let’s go do that! [music and crunching gravel] So already,
I’ve seen something which I consider to be pretty cool, I’m sorry if they’re- they’re
not lions! Just as little black specks in the dis- bleh – just as liddle… [sigh]…
just as little black specks in the distance I see some tufted ducks. Which I’ve actually
never seen before in person, so, that’s exciting for me. They are quite far away so I’m going
to just try and get them in a picture. [laughs] I honestly love them they look they have little
mullets and it’s the cutest thing ever. You probably won’t be able to see it very clearly
in my picture but if you want to google a tufted duck you’ll see their little mullets,
and it’s the best. Today I’m also – I’ve done it in the past, although it’s not a habit
yet – been trying out using the back button focus, which… for those of you who – sorry
– for those of you who don’t know – ugh I can’t do this one-handed – it is this button.
Where you can kind of see it says AF-ON, or for you it says NO-FA. That’s purely just
preference as opposed to pressing the shutter half down. I’ve been trying that out and I’m
actually really enjoying it. Although, like I said, using the shutter is a habit for me,
so I’m just gonna keep trying them both to see what I prefer in the long run. I was lucky
enough to get the biggest poser of a robin to [laughs] model for me. They sat in front
of me for ages, working different angles and I think I’ve got some nice, sharp shots of
it. So, I’m looking forward to seeing those. ‘Cause they were just like Loch Lomond’s Next
Top Model. Guys! I have finally, finally got a goosander! And it’s definitely a goosander,
like, I’m 100% confident. Yes! Just also got a few shots of a pied wagtail gettin’ it’s
wiggle on! It’s super cute. Just giving itself a little bath, and, a little shimmy… What
am I talking about!? [laughs] So some old dude just came along with a big loaf of bread so, um, you can imagine… it was pandemonium. [gulls crying and ducks quacking] That’s the
only word- way to say it. There’s a lot more goosanders now. And! Behind me; cute little
moorhen just chillin’ out. Although I’ll just clarify right now that I am in no means promoting
using human food to attract wildlife, you should not do it! You also should not feed
bread to ducks and swans and other waterfowl, despite what your grandparents might’ve had
you do as a kid, it’s not good for them! Just to clarify – I don’t agree with that. Yeah…
I think next time that I do one of those ‘how many species can I photograph in an hour?’
challenges – because I had a lot of fun and want to do it again – I will definitely come
here. Because, I’ve seen quite a lot of stuff. Maybe if I hit 5,000 subscribers this year
I could do another one. If you liked that video um…….subscribe. What I’m trying
to say with me implementing a lot of you guys’ advice is that I am 100% eager to learn from
you guys, y’know, this channel isn’t like other wildlife photographers who are y’know
SO good. And SO professional. I am a beginner, I’m still learning, so I’m not making these
videos with the intention of teaching you guys how to be wildlife photographers, if
that makes sense. I’m literally just doing it to share my love for this hobby, which
I’ve just recently discovered in the last year, and to share my love of wildlife which
is something I’ve had my entire life. For fear of making this sound really, really cheesy
and corny is that the final image is not that important to me, so some of the shots that
I will show you guys will not be up to your personal standards, will maybe not even be
up to mine. But it’s for the intention of showing off the wildlife rather than the quality
of the photograph, if that makes any sense. Obviously, I want to get better images I wanna
get better at taking really sharp, good shots, great composition, great lighting, everything,
I obviously that’s a goal. But, for me, getting a good shot, or a good final image, is just
a bonus. What I love so much about wildlife photography isn’t so much y’know going home
and seeing what- putting them on my laptop and seeing what they look like, it’s more
being out there and seeing the wildlife and studying them through the camera, and seeing
them in detail, and spending time with them. And that really does sound so cheesy, but
I just wanted to make that clear that at no point am I claiming to be an expert or even
claiming to be any good. I just love to share my love for wildlife, and for wildlife photography
now. So, I just thought I would put that out there. As well as an invitation for you guys
to 100% critique my images and give me advice, as long as you’re doing it in a constructive
way, because, there’s nothing worse than, for someone who’s just learning a hobby, who’s
just learning how to do something, if people come on and are really nasty and are really…
presenting a lack of encouragement, I dunno if that’s a good phrase to use. But yeah I
just thought I would put that disclaimer in, because I don’t think I’ve talked about it
so much. Yeah… You’re more than welcome to give me advice, and as I have kind of proven
today, I will definitely implement it, I will listen. I’m here to learn, as much as here
to show the wildlife. Anyway! Back to it! I have just spotted through the trees something
really, really exciting and I’m gonna just have to make my way through either thicket
or bog to try and photograph them. But this is, oh my god, I really hope I can ’cause
this is really exciting! Ehm… if I photograph them I will let you see them, if not, I’ll
tell you what it is afterwards. Do I go through- try and climb through the trees?Right, I’ll
see you in a minute. Right in front of me, just through- right there, are – 1, 2, 3,
4… about 5 or 6 mandarin ducks. And this is so exciting to me ’cause I have been looking
out for these guys for months, coming here trying to find them, and I’ve just spotted
them! And they’re right there and they’re… oh they’re so beautiful. For those of you
who don’t know, mandarin ducks are not native to the UK. They’re technically an invasive
species, and they have kind of got a bit of a population going here, just from escaping
from collections. The stronghold was mostly down in the south of England but they have
somehow managed to make their way up to Loch Lomond. And I’m so excited that I’ve found
them! They’re a bird that’s native to Asia, and they just are absolutely stunning. When
they’ve got their winter plummage, the males are so colourful, just must be the most colourful
bird that we’ve got here in the UK. So I’m so excited I seen them – oh my god! I just,
I saw them and my heart just stopped. There looks to be, like, about four males and one
female. The female is just the grey one, like in a lot of – there’s a dog behind me – like
in a lot of birds the males are the ones that have got the colour and I’d literally climbed
through trees and spikes and thorns to get down to see them… oh there’s a dog doing
a poo behind me. I can honestly not overstate how happy this has made me just to spot these
guys. So, I think I will be here for a while photographing them. I might creep closer,
but there’s lots of spikes and thorns and… I might do that. It’s worth it. Y’know I’ve
been jagged several times, my feet are freezing because I’m literally pretty much in the loch,
but my heart is so full. And I’m so happy watching these guys and I don’t wanna leave.
Like I just don’t wanna leave them. I know that what I was saying at the beginning of
the video that pigeons and mallard ducks and gulls can be cool, but seeing these guys is
also just really, really exciting. And also just I feel fulfilled because I’ve been looking
for them for so long, and now I’ve finally found them. I feel like I’m the human personification
of the heart-eyes emoji right now. I definitely don’t see myself leaving these guys any time
soon so I thought that I would just end the vlog with them; I wanna thank you so much
for watching, I hope you enjoyed and I will maybe see you next time. Bye!