What time of year is best to visit?
The Squirrels are active all year round. They don’t hibernate and grow a silvery red coat with ear tufts in winter. When the snow falls the opportunities for Squirrel Images can be amazing. In May/June they moult and grow a rich red summer coat often with blonde tails and lose their ear tufts. The Squirrels breed in March and July and courtship, pregnant females and young Squirrel Kittens can often be seen over the course of Spring/Summer.
How do I get to the hide?
After meeting in Hawes at 8.30 you will then be driven the short distance to (and from) the hide (as there is no public parking at the site). Full details of the meeting place are provided post-booking.
What clothing/footwear should I bring?
Walking boots/wellies are advised as ground conditions vary and can be wet. Dress in layers to keep warm and don’t forget a hat and gloves. Colour of clothing doesn’t matter so no need for camouflage!
What lenses work best?
The optimum lens on a full frame body (i.e. Nikon D700 or Canon 5D) is a 300mm or 400mm prime, or a zoom such as a 100-400mm, or a 200-400mm. 300mm lenses can be used with extenders to good effect. On Crop Sensor bodies such as the Canon 500D/600D series or 7D shorter zooms also work well such as 70-300mm or 70-200mm. There are perches at different distances from the hide so both longer and shorter lenses can be used but 600mm lenses are perhaps a little too long.
Do I need to bring food for the Squirrels?
No, the Squirrels are regularly fed to ensure they have a balanced diet and supplement their natural food supply. We will be on hand to top-up feeding points as necessary throughout the session. Please do not handle food or attempt to feed the Squirrels yourself. Bacteria from your hands can be very harmful to Red Squirrels.
Do I need a Tripod?
Tripods are not needed. Beanbags are provided in the hide which are the most effective way of following the action. However, if you would rather use a gimbal or ball head then each window sill includes a special plate where any standard 3/8″ inch threaded head (Wimberley included) can be attached.
How many Squirrels will I see?
The woodland remains one of the best places to see Red Squirrels in the UK. Numbers can vary according to weather conditions, but at the very least we would expect guests to see around six different Squirrels with a minimum of 2-3 present at any one time. More usually upwards of ten different Squirrels are seen throughout a session and sometimes even up to twenty. The population is extremely healthy and there has not been anything nearing a blank session as yet. That said we are dealing with wildlife so there can never be an absolute guarantee! Generally less is more when it comes to Red Squirrel photography however, as individuals are more likely to feed contently and stay still if other animals are not competing for the same spot!
If you have any other queries then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org