Posts

Pui Hang’s review of the 2017 Dalmatian Pelican Photography Tour

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One of the pelicans stands in an icy Lake Kerkini image captured during the 2017 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Tour

Lake Kerkini in Northern Greece is situated in the northeast of the district of Serret just 40km from the town of Serres & 100km from Thessaloniki. The lake is one of the most important wetlands in Europe with about 300 bird species having been observed there. Among them, the Dalmatian Pelican, a prehistoric looking but utterly photogenic & charismatic bird.

Our 2017 Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Tours to photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini marked our third year of visiting this beautiful lake & back in January, I had the pleasure of leading the first of our two trips out there with Sean Weekly, the newest member of our guiding team.

I have to admit to being more than a little excited about the trip. Kerkini was experiencing its coldest winter in over a decade with lots of snow & ice, something they had not seen in 15 years & snow was something that we have been hoping for since we started visiting the area.

As we approached our hotel, we could see that the lake was completely frozen over, which meant boat trips were not going to be possible unless there was a big thaw while we were out there.

A frozen Lake Kerkini barely a pelican in sight at our normal locations image captured during the 2017 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Tour

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The last of the Dalmatian Pelican images from Sean

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Sitting contentedly, one of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

In January I had the pleasure of co-guiding one of the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holidays, along with Pui Hang. We took a group out to Greece to capture images of an oft-overlooked bird, the Dalmatian Pelican. This is the third and final part of a series of three blog posts covering the trip. All the Dalmatian Pelican images shown here were taken on this spectacular trip. If you missed the first part, then you can read it here or the second part here.

A Dalmatian Pelican lands on Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

We had hoped that the lake would thaw sufficiently for a boat trip on our last day. The sun was melting the ice and snow by day but by night the temperatures dropped, freezing the lake again. Ironically, the second group led by Dan were hoping that the lake remained frozen so that they could also have a chance at getting some unique shots too.

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More imagery of the Kerkini Pelicans from Sean

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One of the Dalmatian Pelicans strides across the ice of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

In January I had the pleasure of co-guiding one of the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holidays, along with Pui Hang. We took a group out to Greece to capture images of an oft-overlooked bird – the Kerkini Pelicans. This is the second part of a series of three blog posts covering the trip, with more Dalmatian Pelicans images taken by myself. If you missed the first part, then you can read it here.

A black & white portrait of one of the pelicans photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Read more

The 1st of a series of images captured on Lake Kerkini by Sean

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A Dalmatian Pelican captured at sunrise photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

In January I had the pleasure of co-guiding the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday, along with Pui Hang. We took a group out to Greece to capture images of an oft-overlooked bird – the Dalmatian Pelican. This is the first part of a series of three blog posts covering the trip & showcases some of the images that I captured.

It was looking to be a unique trip as Lake Kerkini had its harshest winter in over 16 years. In fact, the weather was so harsh that the whole 17km lake had completely frozen over! This was going to make the trip completely different from any other. In the past, the itinerary was such that we would be heading out onto Lake Kerkini in boats to photograph the pelicans in beautiful morning light. This trip was not to have the same itinerary in any way whatsoever,  but it would offer a whole different experience altogether!

A black & white portrait of one of the Dalmatian Pelicans photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

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Johan’s images of Kerkini’s Dalmatian Pelicans

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With the signature head feathers, one of the Dalmatian Pelicans glides serenely on the icy waters of Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

The ice and snow that covered Lake Kerkini on this year’s Dalmatian Pelican trip facilitated some fantastic & creative images from our guests. Here are some images which were taken by Johan, who was extremely happy with the weather conditions that allowed him to unleash his creativity.
One of the young pelicans stares straight down the lens photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday A look throgh at one of the Dalmatian Pelicans of KerkiniOne of the young white pelicans waits for fish photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Read more

Pelicans of Greece … continued …

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Dalmatian Pelican Trio Detail one of Daniel Trim's images captured on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

As we moved into the second half of our Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday the lake had really started to thaw with larger areas opening up. With an increasing area to fish in the birds started to move around, the sheer number of cormorant fishing in the open areas was astonishing & another reflection on how productive the lake is. Here rafts of them can be seen snorkelling whilst pelicans wait on the peripheries hoping to steal their catch. I shot this with a slower shutter & again high key to try & replicate the effects of a painting.

Creative Dalmatian Pelican Photography one of Daniel Trim's images captured on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday Read more

New dates for the Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain

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One Of The Grizzly Bears Emerges From The Fishing Branch River Covered In Ice Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

We have been able to get some dates for a return to the Ice Bears of the Yukon, this is the photography holiday for the Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain – our original trip takes place during 2018, & sold out instantly; demand for places at Grizzly Bear Photography at Bear Cave Mountain is very high as only around 24 people get to spend time at the location each year!

An Atmospheric Image Of A Bear In The Landscape Of Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photographic Holiday Read more

Events

Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photography Holiday

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An Ice Covered Grizzly Bear Of The Yukon Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens on a wild Canadian adventure, travelling into the depths of Yukon wilderness to capture unrivalled images of the native grizzly bear as it feeds on spawning salmon in the Fishing Branch River. The specific conditions & sub-zero temperatures in & around this river transforms grizzlies into ice bears, as their fur becomes frozen & frosted; completely changing their appearance as photography subjects.

Only a fortunate few can witness this spectacle annually, & the unique nature of this wildlife photography experience means that we can only offer at most 3 places on this trip, typically only 2, so booking early is essential.

NaturesLens invites wildlife photography enthusiasts on a journey to a national park in the Yukon region, Canada’s wildest & most unspoilt territory, to capture awe-inspiring images of the native grizzly bears as they feed on spawning salmon. This natural wonder only occurs for six weeks of the year, so the lucky few who get to witness this event will take home memories to treasure for years to come.

The location for this wildlife photography holiday lies within a snowball’s throw of the Arctic Circle in the Fishing Branch Protected Area, where the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation & the regional government have joined hands to set aside 2,500 sq. miles of pristine wilderness as Yukon’s largest territorial park.

An Ice Covered Grizzly Bear Of The Yukon Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photographic Holiday

The season to witness this phenomenon is short, just six weeks long, in which the grizzlies gather to feast on the spawning salmon. Their feeding behaviour is intense during this period as they are attempting to put on enough weight to last them through their hibernation in nearby limestone caverns over the winter months & the Fishing Branch River is the key to it all.

Fed by underground springs, it remains unfrozen all year round, & every autumn 35,000 chum salmon make the 1,500-mile odyssey from the Bering Sea to spawn in its pure waters. At times there are so many fish in the river you feel you could walk across it on their backs without getting your feet wet.

The salmon, in turn, attract the grizzlies, as many as 40 every season & as they wade through the river an extraordinary transformation takes place. Within minutes their wet fur freezes in the sub-zero temperatures & they become ice bears to the delight of wildlife photographers.

Being allowed into the park is a rare privilege, as the region is very sacred to the indigenous Vuntut Gwitchin communities who reside in the area, & put great ancestral & cultural value on the land & the environment within the park. The 2500sq miles which make up the park was set aside by the government & local communities as an area for preservation, & the opportunity to capture its rarely disturbed wildlife population on camera is not one to miss out on. A guide with in-depth knowledge of the wildlife & culture of the Yukon national park will lead you throughout the experience to aid you in obtaining editorial-quality images that truly convey the magic of this exceptional wildlife spectacle.

A Pair Of Sparring You Grizzly Bears On The Banks Of The Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photographic Holiday

Our trip includes a two-hour chartered helicopter journey from Dawson City to Fishing Branch River, which takes us across a far-reaching emptiness of deep-frozen rivers & boreal forests bounded by range upon range of white mountains punching to the sky. You will also enjoy seven nights full-board accommodation in a rustic log cabin situated moments from the bank of the river; immersing you in the action yet providing a cosy retreat from the harsh conditions outside.

All internal transfers, accommodation & meals at the camp are all included to make things as straightforward & enjoyable for you as possible.

An Atmospheric Image Of A Bear In The Landscape Of Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photographic Holiday

As well as cabin accommodation, all internal transfers are taken care of for you, to ensure that the whole experience is truly enjoyable & you are able to focus on capturing stunning photographs to add to your wildlife portfolio. Group numbers are strictly limited, so book your place now to avoid missing out!

Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Workshop Availability

3 places available.

Recommended Equipment

Clothing

We recommend that you dress up warmly for early morning starts – 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.

For our boat trips, non-slip waterproof boots or wellington boots are recommended. As with most boats water can slosh through the scuppers if the boat rolls so sandals or light pumps can get wet and spoil your enjoyment.

  • Waterproof (and windproof) coat.
  • Warm trousers, preferably waterproof.
  •  Thermal clothing.
  •  Thermal socks.
  •  Non slip waterproof boots or wellington boots (no cleats or studs please).
  • Waterproof cap or hat.
  •  Gloves.
  •  Sunglasses.
  •  Warm fleece for early morning starts and once the sun has set.
  •  Clothing for hide work should be camouflage or neutral browns & greens.
  •  Water bottle or flask for tea & coffee.
  •  Sunscreen.
  •  Travel sickness pills.
Camera Equipment

  • Digital camera body.
  • Lenses in the range 70mm – 500mm.
  • Lenses with f2.8 will give the best light capture and speed of focussing.
  • An alternative to long telephoto lenses is a tele-converter (e.g. 1.4x or 2x).
  •  Monopod or tripod.
  • Remote shutter release.
  • Spare memory cards.
  • Spare battery.
  • Battery charger.
  • Lens cleaning cloth.
  •  Camera and lens waterproof cover.
  • Laptop or another type of storage device – we will be shooting lots of images.

Additional Notes

NaturesLens photography holidays include only the travel stated on the event page, flights of any nature are not included. Flight details, where applicable, are made available to clients in plenty of time to allow for booking at the best prices available.

The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.

NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants, if sufficient photography holiday places are not sold the photography holiday may not be run, this photography holiday has a minimum participant level of 3 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.

Unless stated otherwise, most NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays are suitable for single travellers, we design our holidays so that each participant gets their own room, there is no sharing & no single supplement - if this is unclear for any event, please check the accomodation arrangements prior to making a booking.

Please note the cuisine on many of the NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays is authentic & typical of the region in which you are travelling, international or western cuisine is often NOT available - if this is unclear for any event, please check the cuisine arrangements prior to making a booking.

Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photography Holiday BOOKING FORM

All bookings are made subject to our terms & conditions.

Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Proposed Itinerary

  • 15-Oct-20 – Travel to Whitehorse – overnight Whitehorse
  • 16-Oct-20 – Travel to Dawson City – overnight Dawson City
  • 17-Oct-20 – Travel to Fishing Branch River – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 18-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 19-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 20-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 21-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 22-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 23-Oct-20 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 24-Oct-20 – Travel to Dawson City
  • 25-Oct-20 – Travel to Whitehorse
  • 26-Oct-20 – Travel to UK

Ice Bears of the Yukon Photography Holiday

An Ice Covered Grizzly Bear Of The Yukon Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

Ice Bears of the Yukon Photography Holiday

THIS EVENT FOR 2018 IS SOLD OUT … BUT we have been able to get some dates for a return to the Ice Bears of the Yukon, this is the photography holiday for the Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain; demand for places at Grizzly Bear Photography at Bear Cave Mountain is very high as only around 24 people get to spend time at the location each year!

We have secured dates for the last session of Ice Grizzly Photography of the season in 2020, which should be the coldest and therefore most likely to offer the opportunities of the Grizzly Bears clad in ice when they emerge from the waters of the Fishing Branch river. The dates for this very special wildlife photography holiday are October 15, 2020 – October 26, 2020.


Join NaturesLens on a wild Canadian adventure, travelling into the depths of Yukon wilderness to capture unrivalled images of the native grizzly bear as it feeds on spawning salmon in the Fishing Branch River. The specific conditions & sub-zero temperatures in & around this river transforms grizzlies into ice bears, as their fur becomes frozen & frosted; completely changing their appearance as photography subjects.

Only a fortunate few can witness this spectacle annually, & the unique nature of this wildlife photography experience means that we can only offer at most 3 places on this trip, typically only 2, so booking early is essential.

NaturesLens invites wildlife photography enthusiasts on a journey to a national park in the Yukon region, Canada’s wildest & most unspoilt territory, to capture awe-inspiring images of the native grizzly bears as they feed on spawning salmon. This natural wonder only occurs for six weeks of the year, so the lucky few who get to witness this event will take home memories to treasure for years to come.

The location for this wildlife photography holiday lies within a snowball’s throw of the Arctic Circle in the Fishing Branch Protected Area, where the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation & the regional government have joined hands to set aside 2,500 sq. miles of pristine wilderness as Yukon’s largest territorial park.

An Ice Covered Grizzly Bear Of The Yukon Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

The season to witness this phenomenon is short, just six weeks long, in which the grizzlies gather to feast on the spawning salmon. Their feeding behaviour is intense during this period as they are attempting to put on enough weight to last them through their hibernation in nearby limestone caverns over the winter months & the Fishing Branch River is the key to it all.

Fed by underground springs, it remains unfrozen all year round, & every autumn 35,000 chum salmon make the 1,500-mile odyssey from the Bering Sea to spawn in its pure waters. At times there are so many fish in the river you feel you could walk across it on their backs without getting your feet wet.

The salmon in turn attract the grizzlies, as many as 40 every season & as they wade through the river an extraordinary transformation takes place. Within minutes their wet fur freezes in the sub-zero temperatures & they become ice bears to the delight of wildlife photographers.

Being allowed into the park is a rare privilege, as the region is very sacred to the indigenous Vuntut Gwitchin communities who reside in the area, & put great ancestral & cultural value on the land & the environment within the park. The 2500sq miles which make up the park was set aside by the government & local communities as an area for preservation, & the opportunity to capture its rarely disturbed wildlife population on camera is not one to miss out on. A guide with in depth knowledge of the wildlife & culture of the Yukon national park will lead you throughout the experience to aid you in obtaining editorial-quality images that truly convey the magic of this exceptional wildlife spectacle.

A Pair Of Sparring You Grizzly Bears On The Banks Of The Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

Our trip includes a two hour chartered helicopter journey from Dawson City to Fishing Branch River, which takes us across a far-reaching emptiness of deep-frozen rivers & boreal forests bounded by range upon range of white mountains punching to the sky. You will also enjoy seven nights full-board accommodation in a rustic log cabin situated moments from the bank of the river; immersing you in the action yet providing a cosy retreat from the harsh conditions outside.

All internal transfers, accommodation & meals at the camp are all included to make things as straightforward & enjoyable for you as possible.

An Atmospheric Image Of A Bear In The Landscape Of Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Bears Of The Yukon Photographic Holiday

As well as cabin accommodation, all internal transfers are taken care of for you, to ensure that the whole experience is truly enjoyable & you are able to focus on capturing stunning photographs to add to your wildlife portfolio. Group numbers are strictly limited, so book your place now to avoid missing out!

Ice Bears of the Yukon Workshop Availability

FULLY BOOKED.

Recommended Equipment

Clothing

We recommend that you dress up warmly for early morning starts – 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.

For our boat trips, non-slip waterproof boots or wellington boots are recommended. As with most boats water can slosh through the scuppers if the boat rolls so sandals or light pumps can get wet and spoil your enjoyment.

  • Waterproof (and windproof) coat.
  • Warm trousers, preferably waterproof.
  •  Thermal clothing.
  •  Thermal socks.
  •  Non slip waterproof boots or wellington boots (no cleats or studs please).
  • Waterproof cap or hat.
  •  Gloves.
  •  Sunglasses.
  •  Warm fleece for early morning starts and once the sun has set.
  •  Clothing for hide work should be camouflage or neutral browns & greens.
  •  Water bottle or flask for tea & coffee.
  •  Sunscreen.
  •  Travel sickness pills.
Camera Equipment

  • Digital camera body.
  • Lenses in the range 70mm – 500mm.
  • Lenses with f2.8 will give the best light capture and speed of focussing.
  • An alternative to long telephoto lenses is a tele-converter (e.g. 1.4x or 2x).
  •  Monopod or tripod.
  • Remote shutter release.
  • Spare memory cards.
  • Spare battery.
  • Battery charger.
  • Lens cleaning cloth.
  •  Camera and lens waterproof cover.
  • Laptop or another type of storage device – we will be shooting lots of images.

Additional Notes

NaturesLens photography holidays include only the travel stated on the event page, flights of any nature are not included. Flight details, where applicable, are made available to clients in plenty of time to allow for booking at the best prices available.

The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.

NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants, if sufficient photography holiday places are not sold the photography holiday may not be run, this photography holiday has a minimum participant level of 2 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.

Unless stated otherwise, most NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays are suitable for single travellers, we design our holidays so that each participant gets their own room, there is no sharing & no single supplement - if this is unclear for any event, please check the accomodation arrangements prior to making a booking.

Please note the cuisine on many of the NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays is authentic & typical of the region in which you are travelling, international or western cuisine is often NOT available - if this is unclear for any event, please check the cuisine arrangements prior to making a booking.

PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY FULL

THIS EVENT FOR 2018 IS SOLD OUT … BUT We have been able to get some dates for a return to the Ice Bears of the Yukon, this is the photography holiday for the Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain; demand for places at Grizzly Bear Photography at Bear Cave Mountain is very high as only around 24 people get to spend time at the location each year!

We have secured dates for the last session of Ice Grizzly Photography of the season in 2020, which should be the coldest and therefore most likely to offer the opportunities of the Grizzly Bears clad in ice when they emerge from the waters of the Fishing Branch river. The dates for this very special wildlife photography holiday are October 15, 2020 – October 26, 2020.

Ice Bears of the Yukon Proposed Itinerary

  • 15-Oct-2020 – Travel to Whitehorse – overnight Whitehorse
  • 16-Oct-2020 – Travel to Dawson City – overnight Dawson City
  • 17-Oct-2020 – Travel to Fishing Branch River – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 18-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 19-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 20-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 21-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 22-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 23-Oct-2020 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 24-Oct-2020 – Travel to Dawson City
  • 25-Oct-2020 – Travel to Whitehorse
  • 26-Nov-2020 – Travel to UK