Column: A bucket list of wildlife encounters

Humpback whales have been seen in the Forth recently. Picture  via Fife Free Press.
Humpback whales have been seen in the Forth recently. Picture via Fife Free Press.

Animals – I love them.

Well most of them, I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of reptiles or creepy crawlies.

Those who know me well will know that there are a few animal related things I’d love to do one day – an African safari is definitely up high on my bucket list.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to see beautiful creatures like lions, elephants and giraffes in their own habitat, running free.

Seeing it on the television is one thing, but experiencing it for myself would be something else.

I’d love to go to Antarctica and see penguins in the wild.

Or to be in Australia and come across a koala lazing in a tree, or a kangaroo by the side of the road.

I have to admit, watching all the Attenborough-style wildlife documentaries often makes me feel jealous over what cameramen get to witness.

I know it’s not as easy as just showing up at a particular spot at a particular time to get the perfect shot and that often they come back empty handed.

There’s a lot of hanging around, waiting and hoping that the animals will play ball and put on a show for you.

But that’s all just part of the experience.

A trip to Kaikoura in New Zealand for me to watch whales on my honeymoon just wasn’t to be due to strong winds off shore and I had to leave the town – and country – without seeing any whales breaching or flukes.

It was gutting to miss out and not be able to witness these stunning creatures in their own environment.

However, with recent press coverage showing images of three humpback whales in the Forth, perhaps I never needed to venture so far in search of the giant beauties.