Ian Hay

Ian Hay (website)
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Where are you from?
Appropriately for a birdwatcher, I was raised in a Yorkshire village called Swanland, but have lived in the Angus Glens of Scotland for the past 12 years.

Why did you want to become a Photographer?
It started with a love of walking and a Yashica 124G that I bought from a Porter whilst studying at Lancaster University. I have since focused on wildlife and environmental photography as I think it helps me connect people to the world around them.
My day job is to help manage and promote the wonderful area between Fraserburgh and St Cyrus on the East Coast of Scotland. Photography helps me pass on the massage and hopefully lead people to know and love what’s available in this beautiful area. Also, like many environmentalists I spend much of my time in meetings, reading reports and generally stuck in an office, so anything that reminds me why I do what I do is good. I love the fact that photography lets you do silly things, like spending 24 hours in a tiny hide surrounded by thousands of Cranes, or walking miles in the dark to be in the right place for the dawn Black Grouse lek or a coastal sunrise.

Why did you choose this particular shot to be your favorite photograph?
The Ythan Estuary just north of Aberdeen is one of my favorite places, it is simply stunning with sand dunes and a wealth of wildlife crammed into a small area. In summer it’s alive with breeding Terns and Eiders and the ever present seals. In winter it’s wonderful, for waders and wildfowl with the, oh so cute Sanderling working the shore like clockwork toys. On the day I took this photograph, the temperature was down to -16C and I had taken an impromptu afternoon off work. Forgetting my over-trousers meant I couldn’t get as low as I would have liked to the ground, however I would have missed this shot if I had, as for a split second a small group of waders formed a V formation. What also makes this shot for me is the character of the birds, with all the Dunlins continuing feeding whilst the ever curious Sanderling takes a look at the shivering mass of photographer (me) a few meters away on the beach. Whilst I have photographed many rarer and more exotic species, a large canvas print of this Image takes pride of place in my home.

Anything else you want to add?
Only that I promise to update the image of the month on my website soon.

Ian Hay

Ian Hay

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