Until last year Dumfries and Galloway was an area that I had never visited, but since getting up there last year to meet Alan McFadyen and use the superb hide set up he has up there, it is an area that I look forward to returning time and again. Alan now has great hide set ups to photograph many species including Kingfishers, Badgers, Dippers, Cuckoo, coming soon Pine Marten, and what I travelled up for on my last visit Sparrowhawks and a Stoat that had been visiting his woodland hide.
It was a real early start leaving home at 3am to be up in the hide at Ringford, Galloway by 7.30am, but it was worth it when a juvenile female Sparrowhawk appeared within the first hour. She really is a beautiful bird and between her an a Male there were several visits during the day, with lots of squabbling on the perch right in front of the hide…. a real thrill to see what Chris Packham described as the best bird in the world.