For those eager to immerse themselves in the great outdoors during daily outings this spring, SWAROVSKI OPTIK, a world-leading manufacturer of long-range optics, has teamed up with the award-winning wildlife photographer Andrew Scriven to provide insider tips on how to increase the chances of seeing local wildlife.
Although Andrew Scriven has travelled across the globe to photograph exotic wildlife in far-flung destinations such as Antarctica, the Himalayas, and the Colombian rainforest, Andrew also has a passion for spotting local British wildlife.
Speaking about how to make the most of daily walks this spring, Andrew said: “The wonders of our world are all still out there for us. We just have to work a little harder to keep in touch with them right now. When I walk every day, I seek out a place of natural beauty, such as a local woodland, park or lake, and take the time to look and listen. I am regularly surprised by the number creatures that still can be seen in such a short amount of time.”
Andrew’s top five tips on how to spot wildlife during a daily walk this spring include:
1.It helps to know what you are looking for, so spend some time researching before heading outdoors
British wildlife reawakens in spring, when flowers burst into colour and begin to attract bees and other insects. Frogs are on the move and migrant birds are arriving. It’s helpful to know what you might be able to see as you wander around a British woodland so before heading outdoors, do a little research on the local area and what can be seen. For example, if you’re heading to an area with a river, look out for the blue flash of a kingfisher and young ducklings on the water. It may also help to research the common imprints and signs wildlife leave behind, such as animal tracks, droppings and hairs.
2.Be patient and watch the trees – the birds are there!
When I arrive in a nature reserve or park, the first thing I observe are the sounds around me and what I can hear. After appreciating the silence and breeze through the trees, start to listen in to the chirping of birds. Our world might have stopped, but for the birds it is business as usual. Listen out for chirps and then stop to look into the trees. Although it may take some time to spot a tiny bird calling out in the spring growth, it’s worth it and is a great way to truly reconnect with nature. For the best chances of hearing birds in the trees, take a walk during the early morning or at sunset, when birds are most vocal.
3.Be as quiet as you can and respect the local environment
It is sometimes hard to get close to a lot of the UK’s wildlife as many creatures will burrow away in hedges or hide in trees after hearing the sound of a human approaching. So tread carefully. Make as little sound as you can and think about what you bring outside with you – noisy food like crisps and loud footwear such as flip flops aren’t always the best idea! The quieter you are, the more likely wildlife will be to present itself. It’s also important to respect wildlife and the landscapes they call home so be sure to keep a respectful distance when viewing nature, however tempting it may be to get a closer look.
4.Slow down and look down – nature is all around
Even when you are very close to wildlife, it can still be hard to spot. You can be standing next to a hedgehog and miss it since animals are generally very adept at camouflaging into their environment. My three-year-old daughter has brought my attention to so many interesting insects and small mammals on the ground, simply by looking down and paying attention.
5.Pack binoculars and a camera
Those keen to get a closer look at nature, such as at the intricate feathers of a goldfinch or the markings on a fallow deer, can prepare by packing a pair of binoculars. Using binoculars during a daily walk is a simple way to get closer to nature without intruding. It’s also worth thinking about your positioning when searching for wildlife through binoculars – use the lie of the land to your benefit and undergrowth to hide your approach. And of course, it’s a great idea to always carry a camera or smartphone in order to take photographs of your spots – you never know what you’re going to see and want to share with others.
The world belongs to those who can see beauty.
Experience the moment!
SEE THE UNSEEN.
For more information about Andrew Scriven and his work,
please visit www.andrewscriven.co.uk
Image 1: A stag in Richmond Park. Photograph courtesy of Andrew Scriven.
Image 2: The award-winning wildlife photographer Andrew Scriven has teamed up with SWAROVSKI OPTIK to provide his top wildlife spotting tips.
Image 3: Spring is known as one of the best times to spot wildlife in the UK.
ABOUT SWAROVSKI OPTIK
SWAROVSKI OPTIK, headquartered in Absam, Tyrol, is part of the Swarovski group of companies. Founded in 1949, the Austrian company specialises in the development and manufacturing of long-range optical instruments of the highest precision in the premium segment of the market. The binoculars, spotting scopes, rifle scopes, and optronic instruments are products of choice for demanding users. The company’s success is based on its innovative strength, the quality and intrinsic value of its products, and their functional and esthetic design. The appreciation of nature is an essential part of its company philosophy and is reflected commendably in its environment-friendly production and its long-term commitment to selected nature conservation projects. The turnover in 2017 was 146.3 million euros (2016: 140 million euros), with an export ratio of 91%. The company has around 950 employees.
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