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Spanish Bird Photography in 2018

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Nestled in the trees within the olive grove, the little owls make their nests image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

We run a number of wildlife photography holidays to the Spanish Plains, each is designed to allow you to photograph the wide variety of Spanish bird species that live in, on & above these expansive vistas; you may wonder what species are likely to be photographable during each of the various Spanish Bird Photography Trips.

One of Calera's Bustards at sunrise image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

Our weekend to weekend offering, Spanish Birds of the Calera Plains, is now in the fifth year of running – this Spanish Bird photography holiday takes place between 21st – 29th April 2018 – during the 8 night duration trip, you should hopefully be able to spend time in the hides capturing images of bee-eater, black kite, black vulture, black-winged kite, cuckoo, great bustard, great grey shrike, griffon vulture, hoopoe, kestrel, lesser kestrel, little owl, red kite, red-legged partridge & more. The trip is designed to allow you to take advantage of each of the various hides, multiple times; additionally there are further hides that you should be able to make use of, one for passerines & another, the lake hide, which has produced some amazing images of stilts & other lake dwellers through the years.

On the ground, a little owl attempts to out stare the camera lens grove image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

Running several weeks earlier, on 30th March – 2nd April 2018, the long weekend trip, of 3 nights duration, known as Birds of the Spanish Plains, will afford you time in the hides to capture images of black kite, black vulture, black-winged kite, cuckoo, great bustard, great grey shrike, griffon vulture, hoopoe, kestrel, lesser kestrel, little owl, red-legged partridge & more, plus hopefully, at this early point in the calendar, there will be opportunities for photography of the marsh harrier.

The afternoon sessions at the shoreline hide are often bathed in a glorious light image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

At the beginning of May, specifically 5th – 7th May 2018, a weekend visit will afford clients four hide sessions, two morning & two evening, hopefully providing opportunities to photograph bee-eater, black kite, black vulture, black-winged kite, great grey shrike, griffon vulture, hoopoe, kestrel, lesser kestrel, little owl, red-legged partridge, roller & more; we also hope to include the little bustard for this 2 night trip.

Tossing an insect, this European Bee eater demonstrates it's agility image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

Our last trip for 2018, sees us visit during the weekend of 26th – 28th May 2018, this trip, will again afford clients four hide sessions, two morning & two evening, hopefully providing opportunities to photograph the following species, bee-eater, black kite, black vulture, great grey shrike, griffon vulture, little bustard, little owl, red kite, roller & more besides.

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

The location of the hides in the area surrounding Toledo is superb, teeming with wildlife & has never failed to impress, this is why we have used this network of hides for the last four years, & will continue to do so, it would be great to have you join NaturesLens for any of the above wildlife photography holidays, the 8 night trip is led for NaturesLens by Sean Weekly, whilst Pui Hang & myself split the guiding duties on the weekend visits – all four of the Spanish Bird Photography Trips are conducted on a full board, non-shared hotel room basis; & we include easy transfers between Madrid Airport & Calera y Chozas.

One of the Lesser Kestrels passes food to it's mate photographed on one of the pair of NaturesLens Wildlife Photography Holidays to capture images of the Birds of Spain

David’s images of the Birds of the Spanish Plains

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Earlier this year, David was part of a small group who headed to capture images of the birds of the Spanish plains with Pui Hang & myself, we spent a weekend photograph the various species that are to be found in the area.

Ordinarily, we had expected some of the species to have diminished numbers as they would have started to migrate following their successful breeding earlier in the season, however the season had been wet, many of the earlier clutches had sadly failed & so large numbers of birds remained & were trying for a second clutch – this certainly applied to the hoopoes, the bee-eaters & more.

The female adult hoopoe feeding one of the young from this years clutch - photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of the Spanish Plains Photography Holiday Read more

Birds of Spain, a week of amazing photography

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Montagus Harrier photographed in Calera from the hides used on the NaturesLens Calera Photography Holiday

During Mid-April 2015, NaturesLens have been offered exclusive use of some hides in Spain. Located not far from Madrid, the hides provide some great photography of some of the birds of Spain, in short, some stunning species at some awesome locations! This is a trip that offers unique wildlife photography of some of Spain’s best bird species from some of the best hides we know of.

Great Bustard at Sunrise photographed in Calera from the hides used on the NaturesLens Birds of Spain Photgraphy Holiday

Species you should be able to capture incredible images from the hides include the following:

  • Great Bustard
  • Little Bustard
  • Kestrel
  • Lesser Kestrel
  • Kite
  • Black-Shouldered Kite
  • Marsh Harrier & Montagu’s Harrier
  • Hoopoe, Bee Eater, Shrike, Roller & Magpie
  • Curlew & more from a Lake hide
  • Black Vultures

If you’d like to see more sample photos of some of these species, these are available on the booking page – all were taken at the hides that we will be using. If you want to see any further photos, please contact us by email.

Reserve a place on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera, Spain Photography Holiday, with a deposit of only £300, balance due February 2015.

Flights to Madrid are not included in the trip price, but are currently available for an approximate cost of £100.

Montagus Harrier photographed in Calera from the hides used on the NaturesLens Birds of Spain Photgraphy Holiday

Events

Spanish Birds of Calera Photography Holiday

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Mating Bee Eaters photographed in Calera from the hides used on the NaturesLens Calera Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens on an exciting photography excursion suited to wildlife enthusiasts, photographing the diverse bird species that inhabit the plains of Calera. With a wide selection of comfortable hides throughout the area at our disposal, we will provide you with the best bird photography opportunities possible, capturing them in flight, within their habitats & interacting with one another. Working from dawn ’til dusk witnessing this wonderful range of species in action, this is an experience like no other – you can’t afford to miss out!

One of the Black winged Stilts that frequented the lake hide photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday

The range of bird species which thrive in Calera are a sight to behold. From the Little Owl to Black & Griffon Vultures, their characteristics & common behaviours are diverse, but they all live side by side making up a large proportion of the delicate local ecosystem which exists in this region. Birds can provide some of the most exciting wildlife photography opportunities, as their quick, unpredictable behaviour keeps us on our toes & enables captivating movement & in-flight imagery to be captured.

A pair of Bee eaters gently pass food between them photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday
Our 9-day excursion to Calera offers individuals opportunities to photograph a huge range of native species, including the Bee Eater, Little Owl, Great & Little Bustard, Black & Griffon Vultures, Lesser & Common Kestrel, Hoopoe, & the Black Winged Kite, as well as many others. We offer an all-inclusive accommodation & meal package to ensure that all you need to worry about is taking unique & mesmerising photographs.

A hoopoe comes in to land showing off the crest which is the trademark feature of these birds photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday

Sunrise & sunset are often considered the prime times of day for creative photography, so unlike other holidays & tours, we ensure that our photography sessions make the most of these times of day. This provides unrivalled exposure to the variety of species & the environment which inhabit this region.

NaturesLens provides 7 days packed with hide sessions, & on most days you will have the opportunity to use different hides in the morning & afternoon to photograph different species. This trip works on a rotation basis, so that each member of the group gets the opportunity to take photographs from a variety of hides. The region is home to a wide range of Iberian Southern European specialities, & we will do our best to tailor your schedule to one that is personalised to you, if you make us aware of your target species.

A Little Owl with prey photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday

An adult hoopoe gently feeding a caught insect to one of the young from this years clutch photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday

One of Spains Black Kites captured in flight against a snowy mountain range photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday

The freedom we provide with the times of day for photography is important, as many of these bird species are very wary & cautious around humans, & it may therefore be necessary to arrive under the cover of darkness. It will also be advisable to approach slowly, & keep noise at a minimum whilst in the hides so as not to startle the birds, as well as to optimise your chances of photographing the birds whilst they are unaware of your presence.

The weather can vary between different times of day in this region at this time of year, so we advise that you bring layers & prepare from somewhat unpredictable weather conditions. Join NaturesLens for a wildlife photography experience you will never forget. Places are limited, so book today!

A bee eater captured tossing a bee before swallowing it photographed on the Natureslens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday

A Hoopoe delicately feeds its young photographed on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera Photography Holiday

Birds of Calera Photography Holiday Availability

SPACES AVAILABLE

Recommended Equipment

Clothing

We recommend that you dress up warmly for the early mornings – it can get quite cold sitting in the hide in the early hours. Wearing layers is advisable so that they may be shed at a later stage where necessary.

  •  Warm fleece for early mornings and once the sun has set.
  •  Clothing for hide work should be camouflage or neutral browns & greens.
  •  Water bottle or flask for tea & coffee.

Camera Equipment

  • Digital camera body.
  • Macro Lenses.
  • Lenses in the range 70mm – 200mm.
  • Lenses with f2.8 will give the best light capture & speed of focussing.
  •  Tripod.
  • Spare memory cards.
  • Spare battery.
  • Battery charger.
  • Lens cleaning cloth.
  • Laptop or another type of storage device – we will be shooting lots of images.

Additional Notes

The residential workshop itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.

NaturesLens residential workshops require a minimum number of participants, if sufficient residential workshop places are not sold the residential workshop may not be run, this residential workshop has a minimum participant level of 4 plus NaturesLens guide(s).

Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.

Spanish Birds of Calera Photography Holiday BOOKING FORM

All bookings are made subject to our terms & conditions.