Portfolio of Images
Ron McCombe Wildlife Photographer
Workshops – Images – Illustrated Talks
Ron has been a full-time wildlife photographer for over fifteen years, running workshops here in the Scottish Borders and throughout Scotland and Northern Europe. He also travels to Africa, Canada, USA, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Germany, and the Czech Republic searching for his images.
Ron has a large image library of his photographs and gives illustrated talks to interested groups,
All the images displayed here are the copyright of Ron McCombe. If you would like to own a copy of one or more please contact him on this link
Goldfinch, these birds are in breeding plumage at present and look stunning, they are also very aggressive quite often attacking other birds close by. This bird flew in with great speed and chased a couple of birds off the wooden post displaying great aggression and determination.
May 5th 2021
The blue tit is a regular visitor to my garden and provides great opportunities to get some really good images of these gregarious little birds. They are very industrious particularly when the eggs have hatched and the young need feeding their search for food is vigorous and relentless.
This is the image of the pine marten jumping head on towards the camera lens. It’s quite a difficult image to get an I am running an advance pine marten workshop to get this image
Just before the jump, then pine marten sits before jumping. This set of images are of the very elusive pine marten which in one of the rarest mammals in the UK,
Jumping head-on, this is the second image from the same session as the previous image
This is a very difficult shot to get. I gave been trying for a while to get this image. I am pleased I finally managed it. There’s lots of scope for missing the picture with remote flash triggers and remote shutter release and trial and error on timing. The end results are worth it
Pine Marten, this is the second image from my visit to the Galloway Forest to photograph these amazing little mammals., This one is a little more difficult, getting it to stand up but with a little patience, but the wait is worth it.
Pine Marten, I think this is a female she came in looking for food. I used flash for these images, I like the crispness flash gives the picture.
The pine martens are generally nocturnal, the photography is a little more challenging but I like to see the animals in their natural environment
This image of a badger is similar to the one below. This is the image I wanted, the badger feeding, backlit and in the rain. I went to the site near Kirkcudbright several times, but in an area which has more than its fair share of rain, it never rained when I was there until my last visit a few days ago, when after sitting in the hide for four hours in the pitch black with the rain pouring down this badger showed itself much to my relief I managed the picture I had wanted for quite a few months, the badger on the reflection pool in the rain backlit. amen
Eurasian Badger on a reflection pool, an image i have been wanting for a long time.
I finally managed it with the help of old mate Alan Mcfadyen in Kircudbright
Bass Rock from the clifftops of East Lothian on the east coast of Scotland.
Taken in winter (no gannets on the rock) at a windy time of year
A fine art image
Woodland BIrd Hide Scottish Borders
I get just as much pleasure from photographing the local common species at home. The blue tit is great little bird very industrious, great parent rearing many young at once and usually having a second brood if the food in good supply.
For more blue tit images click this link
Kruger National Park Africa
The vervet monkey I think is my favourite monkey in Africa. They are very attractive and very mischievous. They are quite common in the Kruger National Park I came across them almost everywhere I went.
Kruger National Park South Africa
Yellow-billed storks at their nest site having a disagreement on who should be tidying the nest. I’m quite pleased with this image.
The nest was 200 yards away and the picture was taken out of the window of the vehicle on a bean bag, with a focal length of 1200 mm at f8 and a shutter speed of 1/2500 sec.
Lilac Breasted Roller
Kruger National Park – South Africa
This is one of the wonderfully coloured birds that the African continent has n abundance. Thus the amazingly coloured bird is quite a common sight in Africa in general, but the Kruger National Park in particular. They feed on crickets, locusts and invertebrates and are often found perched on dead trees and tops of bushes.
Kruger National Park. South Africa.
The sable is one of the antelope family and quite a thing to see. They are quite a rarity these days, and this one caused a bit of a stir amongst the locals and visitors alike when it appeared. I am very pleased to have taken this picture as it was one of my target species for the trip and one I thought I might struggle to get.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
The spotted hyena is one of the most common mammals in Africa, some times difficult to see depending terrain, but in the bushveld of the Kruger National Park, they just appear from nowhere, which makes it a very dangerous animal indeed.
Taken in Kruger National Park South Africa.
We got too close to this large male elephant and it gave us a false charge just to warn us off. We didn’t need a second warning! Just behind him and out of sight from us in the bushes were a group of fifteen elephants with young ones, that’s why he got a little excited
African Brown Snake Eagle
Kruger National Park South Africa
Taken in the Kruger National Park South Africa. A very striking eagle, it sits on the very top of available trees looking for food, snakes and lizards etc. then swoops down to finds its prey.
Eurasian Nuthatch, juvenile
This is a juvenile nuthatch taken at my woodland bird hide near Hawick in the Scottish Borders.
The adult bird has a very pointed beak, the juvenile is softer and more rounded, probably not long out of the nest it will elongate quite quickly now it is feeding itself.
This image is from the Scottish Highlands near Braemar. There had been a lot of snowfall overnight and the red deer were driven off the mountains looking for food and found it difficult to find because of the depth of the snow.
Because of this, the red deer will come into the woodlands as the snow is not as deep and forage for food. This red deer stag started to nibble lichens off the tree trunks as he was so hungry. It’s an unusual picture to get but I am very pleased I managed it.
Winter is an amazing time in the snowy highlands of Scotland. Wildlife behaves in an extreme manner in extreme conditions and they do unpredictable things which makes Scotland one of the best places to photograph wildlife. Red deer mountain hares, ptarmigan, golden eagle, pine marten and Scottish wildcat.
What a feast of wildlife to be had.
See more red deer images here
Great Spotted Woodpecker
This is from my woodland bird hide near Hawick in the Scottish Borders. I like to get the more difficult flight shots if the occasion arises, the woodpeckers have had a good breeding season rearing three young woodpeckers all fit and healthy.
All the family come into the hide area to feed regularly giving me the chance to get some images including this one of the female woodpecker in flight.
You can see more images from the woodland bird hide here in this link
This is probably my favourite owl, the hawk owl, taken near Oulu, in Western Finland. The owl has a mouse in its talons, this is to feed the owlets at the nest.
The perch the owl is sitting on is opposite the nest site and the owl uses this every time it comes in to feed it’s young. So if you can find a spot like this, you should get better images.
The hawk owl will sit at the very top of the trees and wait until it sees a mouse or other prey then swoops down and picks it up in its talons and takes back to the nest site.
This is a stunning bird, A male Pine Grosbeak taken in Northern Finland at a place called Kaarmanen, at the Hotel Naljan Tuulen Tupa. It’s a hotel that specialises in photographer and bird watchers.
The hotel staff make the most amazing fish soup, after being out in the deep snow, the fish soup is exactly what you need to warm you up. There are a number of pine grosbeaks around the hotel at a feeding station along with other bird species.
It’s a great place to start a trip or a stop-off point when travelling into Norway.
Goldfinches are quite an aggressive species of bird. They bully other birds to get at the food, but in particular, they are very aggressive to other goldfinches during this competition for food. It’s not the easiest shot to get but possible with patience and determination.
This was taken at my woodland bird hide here in the Scottish Borders near Hawick. See details here
This image was taken in Northern Sweden near Kalvtrask, Vasterbotton Lan which is in the Arctic Circle.
I have been travelling to Northern Sweden for many years. The end of the platform where the bird is sitting is seven metres from the camera. There is a piece of meat in the snow. The eagles come down and eat the meat which takes a few minutes, plenty of time to get the picture. I have had this image in my head for 8 years of the eagle being lit up with the late afternoon sun. I have sat there when the bird was feeding but no sun, I have sat there with lots of sunshine and no eagle. Eventually, the plan came together. Patience is a virtue.
More golden eagle images here
Taken on a visit to Bass Rock at nesting time. Quite a tender moment as the adult gannet preens it’s young.
It’s a great privilege to be able to land on Bass Rock with over 60,000 breeding pairs on the very small island.
It’s a great trip well worth the effort