More participant photos of the Birds of the Spanish Plains

We are pleased to post up another selection of photos of the Birds of the Spanish Plains, taken on the Birds of Calera Photography Holiday, these were taken & contributed by David Jones, who visited Calera with me in 2015, but was so taken with the area & the variety of species on offer that he decided to revisit in 2016, with Dan leading the trip on this occasion.

You can view some of the images captured by Andrew, one of the participants, on another blog post located here & some of those from Dan, who led the trip for us in 2016 & will do so again in 2017 & 2018, here! But for now, here are some great images from David

A Bee-eater captured tossing a bee before swallowing it - photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography HolidayRead more

Some thoughts on the Birds of the Spanish Plains

The rare & elusive Black Winged Kite - photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday in Spain

Spain’s central plains, about 90 minutes from Madrid, retain their rustic charm & beauty with dilapidate terracotta roofed buildings, rusty farm machinery & very few built up areas. Subsistence farming mixed with large areas of cork oak, olive groves & wilderness create a wide range of unspoilt habitats for the birds of the Spanish plains. This all has the wonderful backdrop of the Sierra de Gredos, a stunning mountain range home to Iberian Ibex, Imperial Eagle, Black Vultures & much more! What really struck me though was the abundance of invertebrates & small birds. A clear indication of how productive the area is. Read more

The first client images from the Birds of Calera Photography Holiday

We’ve been sent some great images from clients in the last week, we will start with a few images of the Birds of Spain, from one of the participants that attended the Birds of Calera Photography Holiday at the end of April, Andrew Oldacre, who had this to say about the trip …

“The hides, their location & backgrounds, all worked well & the opportunities to take some stunning images were many & regular … Overall I can heartly recommend this trip!”

More on these particular birds in an upcoming post from Dan, but the lake hide & the black-winged stilt that was in attendance appears to have been a hit with quite a few of the participants.

A Black Winged Stilt photographed from a lake-side hide - photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday
A Black Winged Stilt walks along the shoreline photographed from a lake-side hide - photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday

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‘Osprey Photography Heaven’

Below are some of the images captured by one of our clients on the recent Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday, the photography holiday was described by one guest as ‘exceeding all my expectations of how many ospreys we would be able to photograph’, whilst another stated ‘this is osprey photography heaven’!

Heading out to make another catch, one of the many ospreys that flew above the boat evey morning - photographed on the NaturesLens Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

These comments are from guests who have spent a lot of time in Scotland, photographing the ospreys in the Highlands – principally Aviemore; instead of waiting several hours for an osprey to dive, each early morning boat trip in Florida saw many ospreys overhead, in their nests, calling, fishing, chasing one & other – every type of behaviour was on show, for hours at a time! Read more

Launch price for the 2017 Ospreys of Florida Photography Holiday

As the sun rises over the lake, casting a blue reflection over the surrounding Cypress trees, hundreds of nesting Ospreys come into view. From an early morning boat trip, the light bathing this remarkable location in golden tones, you will have the opportunity to capture the magnificent Osprey in its glory – join NaturesLens on an odyessy to Florida & an eight-night trip to photograph the Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake.

Heading out to make another catch, one of the many ospreys that flew above the boat evey morning - photographed on the NaturesLens Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

Blue Cypress Lake – so called because of the blue appearance of the cypress trees as the morning sun’s rays reflect off the water – is an idyllic destination for photographers wishing to add remarkable bird images to their wildlife photography portfolio.

Hundreds of Ospreys nest in the beautiful Cypress trees that adorn the lake. There were over 200 nesting pairs at last count, all in the trees which dot the lake’s shoreline & grow into the water. The NaturesLens Ospreys of Cypress Lake wildlife tour is focused on these fascinating birds & their wonderful natural habitat.

Soaring just above the boat, the magnificent osprey - photographed on the NaturesLens Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

We visit in May, which affords numerous opportunities to observe the parent birds soaring out across the lake, back dropped by clear blue skies above, & clear blue water below, to hunt for fish to feed their nesting chicks. Watch as the large raptor, with wings that can grow almost two metres in length, dives into the cool waters, plucking bass to return to its young.

The beauty of the morning as the sun breaks cover over Blue Cypress Lake - photographed on the NaturesLens Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

During five early morning boat trips, you will spend around three hours on the lake, photographing the Ospreys at eye level, nesting, diving for fish & gathering nest material.

In addition to the osprey trips, we include one early morning boat trip to a different lake to photograph the snail kites which are found in the area, this is an extremely rare raptor that has been seeing some growth in the Florida area over the last few years.

Every afternoon, we have access to the boat to visit either the snail kites or, more likely, the local rookeries, where you will be able to capture images of the beautiful roseate spoonbills, the various types of egret & their young.

Rookery photography presents opportunities for superb osebill photography - photographed on the NaturesLens Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

Rookery photography presents opportunities for egret & rosebill photography - photographed on the NaturesLens Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

On the Saturday, we leave the Vero Beach area, transferring to Cape Coral, where we will have a later afternoon & an early morning session capturing images of the burrowing owls of the area, these are similar to our little owls but live in the main community areas of Cape Coral, as well as being able to photograph them in the public areas, we have access to a number of private areas that afford cleaner backdrops & nicer perches.

As with all NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays, small group sizes guarantee prime positions during the boat trips & at other photography locations, with space to work to capture breath-taking images.

We are launching the 2017 photography holiday this weekend, all newsletter subscribers are offered a promotional price of £3249 to join the trip, this works out to approximately £400 per day, which includes all accommodation, ground transportation, burrowing owl photography sessions & twelve AM & PM boat trips to the lakes typically of 3-4 hours duration each. Guidance & tuition by tour leader David Miles is also included, giving guests new to the area expert insight into the birds & their routines.

There are only 3 places available at the special offer price!

The 2016 trip was described by one guest as ‘exceeding all my expectations of how many ospreys we would be able to photograph’, whilst another stated ‘this is osprey photography heaven’!

Join us in Alaska with a discount of £500

We have one place that has become available for the November trip to photograph the Bald Eagles of Alaska, due to the manner in which the space has become available, we are able to offer a discount of £500 off the trip.

An Alaskan Bald Eagle perches in a tree above the snow & ice of an Alaskan plain

This offer is for the main trip, the supplement for single person accommodation & an extension for several days at the end of the trip to photograph other Alaskan Wildlife – the total for this is £3500 – but you can join the trip for £3000 – a discount of over 15%!

What the Bald Eagles of Alaska Photography Holiday includes

  • 6 days filled with Bald Eagle photography opportunities.
  • Photograph Bald Eagles perched in the trees, diving & fighting for fish or sitting within the landscape.
  • We hope to photograph a wide selection of images; both portraits & closeup shots of perched eagles, eagles calling, flying, diving & fighting for fish; plus wider bird in the landscape images to show the habitat that the birds live within.
  • The timing of the workshop is deliberate so that we can observe the bald eagles who gather for the late salmon run.
  • Bed & breakfast accommodation & transportation within the Haines area included.
  • 10 nights Accommodation in a comfortable hotel in the Haines area of Alaska
  • Based on non-shared rooms.
  • Extension to photograph Alaskan Mammals for two days at Kroschel Wildlife Centre.

Bald Eagle flies across a snow covered Alaskan plain

If you would like to join the trip, there is only one place available with this discount, please fill out the booking form here to secure the place at the special offer …

Some more great client images from India

As we mentioned earlier this week, we took clients who were participating in a NaturesLens Photography Holiday in India to two locations in India in late March; the first week was spent at Tadoba Tiger Reserve, whilst the second was spent in Nagarhole – Kabini, we also promised to share a series of photos from Jayne, here they are.

Enjoy …

Bee Eaters photographed at a location near Mysore during a NaturesLens Photography Holiday in India

Some of the beautiful Bee Eaters that we took clients to photograph at a location near Mysore Read more