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Sean reports in from our Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday

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A Golden Eagle stares straight down the lens at the photographer photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday

Last month saw me heading off to the mountains of the Sierra Morena in Spain leading the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday.

I knew from the itinerary that had been planned that it was going to be an amazing week of photography with some great sightings & photo opportunities. After a very early flight, the group & I arrived in Spain meeting up with the local guides. After a couple of hours on the road we arrived in the local town of Adamuz, which would be our base & home for the duration of the trip. The town is situated in beautiful natural surroundings & is a very picturesque location. Due to the time we arrived, we decided we were going to explore a few wildlife locations that we would be working on over the coming days. It was a great afternoon exploring our surroundings & getting some ideas for the images to come.

The next day we split into two groups to keep noise etc to a minimum whilst working from the hides. A couple of us spent the day in the Golden Eagle hide.

A magnificent Golden Eagle photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography HolidayA Golden Eagle peers around a log photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday Read more

Announcing two New Exciting Bird Photography Holidays

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A goshawk image captured from the hides used on the Golden Eagles & Goshawks In Winter Photography Holiday

Following on from our Bears of Finland Photography Holiday announcement of earlier this weekend, today we are spilling the beans on a further two new bird photography holidays for 2017 that should be packed with superb opportunities to add some stunning images to your portfolio.

Eagles & Raptors of Spain Photography Holiday

An image of a Bonelli's Eagle - typical of the images that may be captured during the Eagles & Raptors of Spain Photography Holiday

NaturesLens invites wildlife photographers of amateur & semi-professional ability to join them in escaping to the wilderness of the Sierra Morena, capturing stunning images of native eagle & raptor species. Observe these magnificent birds as they soar overhead, scouting out prey across the hills below.

Based in a rustic Spanish village, you will enjoy the unspoilt scenery & emblematic species which the region has to offer. Small group sizes ensure that you have optimum use of the hides, allowing you to capture spectacular images from the best angles, with photography guidance provided by NaturesLens leaders where needed. Spaces are therefore limited, so book early to avoid disappointment!

Full details of the Eagles & Raptors of Spain Photography Holiday are available here – response has been great so far & we only have two places remaining available.

This photography holiday is being led by Sean Weekly, one of the NaturesLens guiding team since 2016.

Golden Eagles & Goshawks in Winter Photography Holiday

A goshawk image captured from the hides used on the Golden Eagles & Goshawks In Winter Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens in the snow-covered forests & mountains of northern Norway, observing breathtaking scenes as golden eagles & goshawks soar & settle in their remote & unspoilt habitats. NaturesLens guides will assist you in taking stunning photographs of these impressive bird species, the Golden Eagles & Goshawks, as well as others, with the dramatic mountain landscape providing the perfect backdrop.

This is a wildlife photography excursion like no other, designed with photographers in mind to ensure you are given the best experience possible. Book early as places are limited.

Full details of the Golden Eagles & Goshawks In Winter Photography Holiday are available here.

This photography holiday is being led by Kevin Morgans, a veteran member of the NaturesLens guiding team since NaturesLens first started.

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 the Spanish Plains from a recent visit

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Although our main photography holiday for the birds of the Spanish plains takes place in late April or early May; for the first time this year, we additionally visited at the end of May, specifically over the bank holiday weekend. Our local guide opined that some of the species would have left & the young of others would have fledged, so there was a possibility of a lesser selection of species to photograph – this would not be a hardship, given only four photography sessions over the weekend & plenty of species remaining, we would still have plenty to photograph.

As it turned out, this was not the case, we had virtually the same species as those who had visited 6 weeks previous; due to rains earlier in the season, the bee-eaters were still courting, nest-building & mating, the black-shouldered kites had not departed for their migration south & many other species were still displaying a full set of behaviours.

Jason was amongst those who accompanied us on this trip to our location, which is about 90 minutes from Madrid, he has kindly sent in a selection of the images that he captured whilst on the Spanish plains, he had sessions with shrike, bee-eater, hoopoe & time in the carrion hide, which sees visits from black & red kites, storks, many vultures, ravens & more.

We have one place remaining available for the 2017 weekend, which will be held between the dates of May 27th – 29th 2017, if you’d like to attend & capture images of the birds of the Spanish plains for yourself, send us a message using our contact form.

Jason has kindly sent us a selection of his images that we are happy to publish below:

A male bee-eater delicately passes a freshly caught insect to a female of the species - photographed on a NaturesLens Photography Holiday to Spain to photograph the birds of the Spanish plains Read more

More participant photos of the Birds of the Spanish Plains

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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 Holiday Read more

Some thoughts on the Birds of the Spanish Plains

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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

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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

Read more

Events

Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday

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A Golden Eagle perches whilst bathed in the golden light of the setting sun photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday

Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday

NaturesLens invites wildlife photographers of amateur & semi-professional ability to join them in escaping to the wilderness of the Sierra Morena, capturing stunning images of native eagle & raptor species. Observe these magnificent birds as they soar overhead, scouting out prey across the hills below.

Based in a rustic Spanish village, you will enjoy the unspoilt scenery & emblematic species which the region has to offer.

Small group sizes ensure that you have optimum use of the hides, allowing you to capture spectacular images from the best angles, with photography guidance provided by Sean Weekly where needed.

Spaces are therefore limited, so book early to avoid disappointment!

A Golden Eagle perches whilst bathed in the golden light of the setting sun photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday

The Sierra Morena is the longest-reaching mountain range in Spain, making up a formidable barrier protecting the fusion of culture & wildlife which lies north of the mountains from the harsh Atlantic winds coming from the south. This combined with low tourist numbers has protected the area from damage & degradation, maintaining an unspoilt natural environment & allowing native & migratory species to thrive.

Your base throughout the 8 day Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday will be a small village, offering peace & quiet & traditional local culture & food for you to enjoy. Your photography will benefit from unrivalled access to 5 separate hides, placed strategically within the landscape to provide optimum opportunity to photograph a range of species including the common Kestrel, Spanish Imperial Eagle & the Golden Eagle.

An additional drinking pool hide offering excellent positioning to capture images of a range of migratory birds coming to rest at this location.

A kestrel flies back to it's nest within a derelict Spanish farm building photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday A hoopoe perches with a recently caught grub photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday

The region offers an idyllic backdrop of rolling hills & desolate rural expanses, broken up by areas of dense evergreen bushes & shrubs as well as pine & oaks woodland. The sparse populated areas are home to cobbled streets, vineyards & traditional village buildings, which only add to the rural aesthetic of the region.

A hoopoe returns to the nest having captured a grub for it's nesting young photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday A Golden Eagle peers around a log photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday A Golden Eagle perches photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday A Golden Eagle perched photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday

This rustic Mediterranean landscape offers keen wildlife photographers the perfect opportunity to capturing stunning images of a wide range of bird species, from raptors to owls & passerines, as they fly overhead or settle in their unspoilt habitat. With 7 nights’ accommodation provided on a full board basis, & Canon camera lenses available on loan where needed, everything is taken care of for you so that experiencing & photographing the species & their environment are all you need to worry about.

This trip suits keen photographers with a desire to experience the magnificent wildlife which the Sierra Morena has to offer; capturing editorial-quality images of a range of bird species, & others, to treasure for years to come. Places are highly limited to ensure the best experience for every guest, so book early to avoid disappointment.

A Golden Eagle comes in to land photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday

Spanish Raptors 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.
  • 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).
  •  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

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 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.

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.

Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday BOOKING FORM

All bookings are made subject to our terms & conditions.

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