Saturday, 11 May 2013

Sheriffmuir Stooshie

Time ran away with me for a few weeks. Being suddenly free and working my way through a backlog of post-dissertation tasks meant walking and birding took a frustrating back-seat again. On a rare sunny interval, I managed to fit the Sheriffmuir circuit in: ten miles up the moors, around the historic battle site and down the burn. Just down from the battle site - a bleak, dark place - I found a more modern, natural battle. Two karate-kicking crows having a stooshie with a buzzard that lazily wheeled over the track, as if unbothered by the bullies. Two wide circles overhead and then the buzzard was off and the crows dropped back down to the field having seen the larger bird off their territory. My friend, walking with me, found it surprising. A reminder that if you haven't grown up birding, ordinary behaviour can seem rather illogical.
I'm quite proud of these photos, though I'll confess they were rather lucky. That doesn't mean that the government has any ethical right to allow companies to use them without my permission, or without acknowledgement or payment. But this is what the government has planned, and you can read about it here. Practically, when this becomes law, it will force me to question how I present my images online. Already I compress them to a size where theft and reuse distorts the quality beyond the point of acceptability. Although I have no desire to add a gigantic copyright logo over the subject, and don't see the point in not posting my photos, these are the only options I can currently think of. Until the government shoots itself in the foot (and not with a camera) and signs this legislation into law, please sign Will Nicholls's petition asking them to reconsider.

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