Derek reviews our Birds of Spain Photography Holiday

I have been on wildlife photographic trips many times with David & PN. Sometimes as personal friends & sometimes as a client of NaturesLens, whilst discussing plans for 2017, David mentioned that he felt the Calera trip to photograph some of the Birds of Spain would be exactly what I wanted as I have for some time yearned to photograph the Little Bustard displaying.

As all wildlife photographers know you can go to the right place at the right time & still fail to get your shot. – this is exactly what happened on this trip! If it was easy it would soon become boring.

So did I come away disappointed from my trip? The answer is a resounding No as there were so many other great birds to photograph & in wonderful lighting that I almost forgot why I first decided to go on this trip.

Photographed from the lake hide, one of the Black winged Stilts photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday

The hides include a wonderful shoreline hide on a small lake, this provides the opportunity for low-level photography of the birdlife that frequents this water body.

One of the Black winged Stilts poses one only one leg photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography HolidayA Black winged Stilt strides along the shoreline photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday On the shorelines, a Little Ringed Plover photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday

The olive groves in the area are home to little owls & the fantastic hoopoe – both of which species had mated & were feeding their young, meaning visits were plentiful with a wide variety of grubs, insects & other prey.

A mated pair of the little owls that live in one of the nearby olive groves photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday One of the little owls that live in an olive grove photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography HolidayOne of the hoopoes returns to the nest with a freshly caught grub photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday Wings spread, a hoopoe returns to the nest with a freshly caught grub photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday

A particular highlight during the time of the visit is the abundance of European Bee-Eaters, feeding each other, feeding their young & generally putting on a magnificent display for all who will watch.

The classic food pass between a pair of European Bee eaters photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography HolidayA pair European Bee eaters, one with a captured bee photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday A pair of European Bee eaters mating photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography HolidayOne European Bee eater comes in to land adjacent to another photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday A pair of European Bee eaters showing off their beautiful plummage photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday

The bustards – specifically the larger of the species – the little bustard evaded my lens on this occasion!

One of the Great Bustard males photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography HolidayA pair of Great Bustards males walk through the plains of Calera photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday

The lesser kestrel site is one of particular note, the hide is located at roof level, meaning that you are at the exact same level as the colony of birds themselves!

A pair of Lesser Kestrels mating on the roof of an abandoned outbuilding photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday A pair of lesser kestrels on the roof of an abandoned outbuilding photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday

Vistors to the other hides include a variety of smaller birds, red foxes on the scavenge, storks, vultures & kites, plus the azure winged magpie

A perfectly perched Hawfinch photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday A red fox litle all scavengers, the foxes arrive at some of the hides, hoping for an easy food source photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday A White Stork comes in to land at the carrion feeding site photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography HolidayOne of the Black Vultures scurries across the ground of the carrion site photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday An Azure winged Magpie photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday An Azure winged Magpie comes in to land photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday

I will just have to go again to get the Little Bustard.

The group I went with as usual were a great bunch of guys, we all soon became good friends & everyone was always willing to help each other to make the trip even better. Dan, our leader, was also very good & for a youngster has great photographic knowledge & thinks easily outside the box when necessary.

I hope my images will help make you decide that a trip to photograph the Birds of Spain with Natureslens makes for a worthy addition to any photographer’s portfolio of images!

DO YOU WANT TO CAPTURE IMAGES OF THE BIRDS OF SPAIN FOR YOURSELF?

We have scheduled, for the fourth year running, a trip that is to be run during April of 2018, this is an opportunity for you to undertake photography of the Birds of Spain on the plains of Calera for yourself; the photography holiday costs £2099 each participant, this price excludes air travel to Madrid itself – all ground transportation from Madrid & back, & to & from shoot locations, food, accommodation & guidance/tuition is included, the dates for the Spanish Birds of Calera Photography Holiday are April 21, 2018April 29, 2018.

To hold a place on the trip, we only require a 20% deposit from you, with the balance due 12 weeks prior to the trip taking place.