Edward Davidson
Scottish Wildlife & Landscape
Photography
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Scottish Wildlife & Landscape Artist

EVENTS- News.

 

The BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year. Edward's painting, 7 Puffins reaches the finals.

1200 Artists from around the world had entered the competition submitting up to six paintings, about 5000 paintings submitted, and the judges reduced the original entries to just 127 paintings. There is 13 categories in the finals and overall winner. My painting - 7 Puffins - has been selected as a finalist in the British Bird Category, and only 8 other artists competing for this category.

The final judging will take place on Thursday 24th May 2012. So I will be I heading off with lovely my wife, in my beloved camper van, to Winchester, Marwell Wildlife Park for the finals.

Seven year wait for painting. Click here to open box.

 

7 Year wait for painting.

Being a member of the SWT is a privilege I hold close. My local nature reserve is 5min from my home, in the middle of the city.

For the past seven years I have been tracking the otters at the reserve. On a weekly basis I check and record the otters' latrines and sprants. This is a good way to tell if the otters are still around the area. However as otters are mostly nocturnal it is extremely difficult to spot them, let alone photograph them. This year has been a good year as the pair of otters had 2 cubs. I realized that because they had cubs to feed they would possibly feed during day light. My best chance of good views and some photographs was here. The week I had planned to go to the reserve was very cold and a thick ice had spread across the loch. Several days past with no sighting of the adult otters.

I checked the forecast, and the Saturday and Sunday were due to be milder. The weekend came and thankfully the ice was melting.

I arrived at the reserve before sunrise on a grey misty cold morning. My gut feeling told me that the otters must come out today to feed the cubs as they would be hungry.

On scanning around the loch I saw an otter feeding in the distance. After several hours feeding it began to head in my direction. Suddenly it dived under the ice about 30ft in front of me. About 15ft in front of me the otter briefly appeared, then dived under the ice again. This was my best chance, I pointed my camera at an area of the loch where I thought it might re-appear. All of a sudden there was ice shards in the air and right in front of me was the otter, in perfect focus. And to my amazement it had a large fish in its mouth. My heart was pounding and my camera clicking - my seven year wait paid off with a spectacular experience.

At last I could begin my painting I had dreamt of as I patiently tracked otters for all these years. Click here.

 

Original photograph taken of the otter.

 

Rare photo of Bittern published in SOC journal.
(Scottish Ornithological Society)

Not only was it a good year for the otters, but at the reserve a Bittern had flown in to spend some time in the loch. Once the news broke Duddingston loch was awash with photographers. Being a photographer I tried to get a shot but it was always too far away and too small on the final image. I watched the bird for several days and decided I would set up my spy camera. I placed it in an area in the reed beds and left it for a few days. I returned and played back to see if I had captured the image, voila!, I got a beautiful photo that will be the foundation of my next painting. The photo is going to be published in the June 2012 issue of the SOC Journal.