Tag Archives: Scotland

Photographing Rock Ptarmigans in winter

AlpenschneehuhnRock Ptarmigans (Lagopus muta) are always high on the wish lists of birders and photographers visiting Scandinavia in winter. Finding Ptarmigan is one thing, but knowing where to photograph them is another challenge. It took me several trips between March and May to see and photograph Ptarmigan. Definitely  are my favourite bird.

You have to go out to the north or up to the Alps to see a Ptarmigan in Europe. Rock Ptarmigans rarely venture down from the highest mountains, they do not come to feeding stations and there are no comfortable hides with flushing toilets to sit in and wait. You have to go and experience their habitat and their conditions in order to spend time with these fabulous birds. You must enter their domain. What is striking is how uncomfortable this can still be even on the best days in some winters.

Only rarely you might be lucky on a Ski parking lot in the Alps. After high winds and heavy snow in winter, Ptarmigan can be seen from the car park. They are very much hit and miss, however, and a good scope is normally required. Not to get bored, there are normally some White-winged Snowfinch (Montifringilla nivalis) hanging Continue reading Photographing Rock Ptarmigans in winter