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Social Reporting from the Capercaillie Lek

12 Apr

If you live tweet from a bird hide does anyone care? How can you capture nature as and when it’s happening? Can you create a story around something that may or may not even be there?

This Easter I challenged myself to try social reporting from the caperwatch 2013 at RSPB Loch Garten.

Social reporting is about capturing an event from the inside using audio, video and photos.

Caperwatch is about waking up at 4am to see if you can spot a big black turkey like bird dancing, while peering through the window of a little wooden hut on the side of a loch.

The bird I’m talking about is the capercaillie and here’s how I got on: Watch to the video on youtube here

I interviewed Richard Thaxton from the RSPB to ask why we have to get up so early to see the capercaillie dancing, here’s what he said: Watch the video on youtube here

On the way and during the caperwatch I live tweeted some photos, here’s a couple from the carIMG_20130330_051821 IMG_20130330_052451

We watched the sunrise from the hide, wow!:

IMG_20130330_101255

This is the osprey EJ, taken through a telescope with my phone on the eyepeice:

IMG_20130330_065656

Can you spot the red squirrel in this shot?:

20130330_073416

But the bird didn’t dance. Does that matter? We also went to see golden eagles but they didn’t fly in:

20130401_113600

And we visited the national dolphin centre but we missed the dolphins by an hour:

20130331_170035

I didn’t mind and the things we did see were beautiful. Getting up at 4am was worth it just to see the sunrise. Eagles would have been a bonus but mountains were enough.

Life can be a bit like that sometimes, you don’t always find what we’re looking for, things don’t always turn out how you planned but if you don’t look for things in the first place you’ll miss the wonderful things there are to see along the way.

Just wanted to point out the kindest way to watch a capercaillie is in the RSPB Loch Garten hide. The capercaillie are critically endangered and when they dance every day they sometimes just drop dead. Bop till they drop. If you go looking for them in the wild and one sees you it will dance to defend itself. The purpose of dancing (or leking) is to attract a mate and you are not that. You will be wasting the poor birds energy and it could be enough to push that bird over the edge. Please let him save the last dance. 

 
 

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11 responses to “Social Reporting from the Capercaillie Lek

  1. Leo du Feu

    April 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Really really enjoyed this post Emily. Thanks for it. Keep enjoying birds!

     
  2. belledelettres

    April 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Wow!

     
  3. helenmackinven

    April 15, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I’m not a ‘morning’ person but I think even I’d manage to get up at 4am to see such stunning images. Brilliant photos Emily!

     

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