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Bookings open for Dalmatian Pelican Photography in 2019

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Our trio of Dalmatian Pelican photography trips this year have been a massive success – the third group are out in Greece right now – some of the images that have been posted have been nothing short of staggering, summing up the beauty of the birds.

An image captured by Sean Weekly during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays

There will be blog posts from some of the guests forthcoming – & of course, Sean will be writing up his experience & posting images on the NaturesLens blog. The image above & the one below are from Sean, who has created something moody & brooding.

An image captured during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays by Sean Weekly

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Some time spent with the Wildcats, Eagles & Lynx of Spain

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The young female Iberian lynx image captured during a NaturesLens Wildcat, Eagles & Iberian Lynx of Spain Photography Holiday

During December 2017, I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Wildcats, Eagles & Lynx of Spain, this was preparation for a trip that we were researching to add to our portfolio.  Once again, I visited Spain in the hope of capturing some images of the elusive Iberian lynx. This wasn’t the first time that we have attempted to launch a photography trip focussed on these subjects. My initial attempt was back in January 2016 but unfortunately, it was unsuccessful for a variety of reasons, not least the lack of sightings.

I arrived in Sierra Morena hoping to be lucky as the reports I had been receiving was that lynx had been spotted in the areas on a regular basis. I arrived too late to go into the lynx hide so spent the afternoon chatting with my host about the species I hoped to photograph to see if we could turn this into a potential photography tour for the guests of NaturesLens – over the next few hours, the plan for the Wildcats, Eagles & Lynx of Spain was formed.

Our host has been working on his lynx project for a number of years & the area is now home to more Iberian lynx than Doñana National Park with excellent, regular sightings.

The following morning, I rose early to visit the Imperial Spanish Eagle hide. As soon as the sun rose, to my surprise, a Golden Eagle appeared on the large rock to my right. I watched this magnificent raptor feed for a short while, to allow it to settle before I started taking images.

Perched on a rock, a Golden Eagle lit by the dawn light image captured during a NaturesLens Wildcat, Eagles & Iberian Lynx of Spain Photography Holiday Read more

Georgia’s thoughts on our Winter Wildlife of Japan photography holiday

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Early morning in Rausu sees the eagles greet the fishing fleet captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday

Hi! I’m Georgia Wilson. It wasn’t my idea to attend the NaturesLens Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday … that belonged to my eagle mad husband, Graeme. Complicated photographic gear makes my eyes glaze over. So why, you may ask, would I consider going?

Well, I’ve never been to Japan & I like being out in the wilderness areas. I love observing animals & birds in their natural habitat … probably more to the point, I have a spirit of adventure. The thought of being on a boat in the middle of pack ice sounded fun. So with those thought in mind, I agreed to go.
Some wouldn’t consider me as a serious photographer because I only used a Canon Powershot SX720 HS, which has 40x optical zoom & HTC One XL phone camera. However, that thought didn’t stop me from trying to get the most out of my little cameras.
For this trip I wanted to keep things simple. I set the Powershot on automatic, so the camera made all the technical decisions. I was in charge of the framing. The photos below, just a selection from over 300o, are just as they were taken … no ‘doctoring up’. BTW, the cameras were hand held ie. no tripod or mono pod. & I think the photos are a testimony to what a fine camera the Canon Powershot is.
Moral of the story … you don’t have to have expensive photographic equipment to enjoy this trip. All you need is a spirit of adventure & imagination, plus a sense of fun; if you go with the flow, you’ll have a wonderful time.

Georgia herself, bringing a special kind of Aussie bubbliness to the tour captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Mount Fuji captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday The mountainous landscape of Hokkaido in Winter captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday The red crowned cranes at their roosting site near Tsuri captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Perfect moon captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Close up of one of the red crowned cranes of Akan captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday A trio of whooper swans sleep on the thermal waters of Lake Kussharo captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday Early morning in Rausu sees the eagles greet the fishing fleet captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday One of Hokkaido's red foxes pauses as he crosses the snow captured NaturesLens during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday

This trip to see & photograph the Winter Wildlife of Japan was a bazillion times better than any written description could possibly convey. I lost count at the number of jaw-dropping experiences I had … the sunrises, sunsets, every changing light to watch a living painting unfold, surreal , elegant, mystical.

Blend this with the graciousness of the Japanese & their culture … PLUS a small group of quirky travel companions … all perfect ingredients to create a trip that I will remember forever.

Crazy Pricing Offer for Winter Wildlife of Japan in 2019

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A bloody squabble, breaks out over fish, between several of the Steller's & White Tailed Sea Eagles photographed during the 2017 NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

We’ve decided to run a totally crazy offer on pricing for our Winter Wildlife of Japan photography holiday for 2019. Until the end of February we will take 10% off the price so instead of paying £5749, you pay £5175. Join Pui Hang to capture images of varied winter wildlife, in Japan, during the Winter Wildlife of Japan Photography Holiday. The photography holiday is of 13 nights duration on a half board, twin-shared basis.

You, & the others in your small group of like-minded photographers, will travel deep into stunning snow-covered landscapes, capturing beautiful images of wildlife which thrives during harsher seasons in Japan.

Your group will travel throughout several different regions, including the mountainous area around Yudanaka in central Japan, & north of the mainland to the island of Hokkaido, giving you an insight into the variety of landscapes & wildlife which exists throughout the country, made even more photogenic by dramatic winter conditions.

A bloody squabble, breaks out over fish, between several of the Steller's & White Tailed Sea Eagles photographed during the 2017 NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

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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

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.

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Japanese Winter Wildlife tour

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steller's sea eagle in flight by .


To secure your place on this photographic tour, we require a 20% deposit – the balance will fall due on 16th November 2018.

Imagine travelling through a winter landscape in a country heavy with tradition, where you can encounter & photograph entrancing snow monkeys, beautiful dancing red-crowned cranes, dreamlike swans on a snow covered frozen lake plus both Steller’s & White Tailed Sea Eagles on drifting pack ice, this is exactly what the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour offers. Our trip also accommodates chance encounters with Ural OwlsRed Foxes & more native wildlife. Commencing in Tokyo & meeting at Haneda Airport, the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour first travels to the Jigokudani Valley, to photograph the monkeys of “Hell’s Valley”, where steam & boiling water bubbles from small crevices in the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs & formidably cold & hostile forests. Whilst we stay in the town of Yudanaka, our target is to photograph the Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata), more commonly referred to as Snow Monkeys, that descend from the steep cliffs & forest to sit in the warm waters of the onsen or hot springs. The monkeys return to the security of the forests in the evenings. We will spend two full days in the valley. You will have the opportunity to photograph the monkeys in the onsen, or at play in the valley below the main area where intimate mother & baby shots are easily achieved. It is without a doubt a harsh environment in the winter months with snow on the ground for a third of the year, but the hot springs make it a paradise for the several of hundred monkeys that live in the valley & the surrounding forests. Whilst at the onsen or the valley, the monkeys simply ignore the photographers & simply get on with whatever it is they want to be doing. Young Snow Monkey in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour From Yudanaka, our Japanese winter wildlife tour returns briefly to Tokyo, then travels onwards to the island of Hokkaido. Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost & least developed of Japan’s four main islands. Its weather is harsh in winter with lots of snowfall, below zero temperatures & frozen seas. Snow Monkey in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Our first main location is Akan National Park which is located in eastern Hokkaido. The park is well known for its three beautiful lakes: Lake Akan, Lake Mashu & Lake Kussharo. Akan National Park is composed of two separate parts. The smaller, western portion contains Lake Akan with the lakeside hot spring resort of Akankohan Onsen. The larger, eastern part contains Lake Mashu, Lake Kussharo, Iozan (Sulfur Mountain) & centrally located Kawayu Onsen. Japanese Cranes in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour We stay in Akan for at least two full days of photography, at this location the  focus is on photography of the red-crowned cranes; Red-crowned Cranes are the only crane species that have white primary feathers. Adult forehead & crown are covered with bare red skin, & a large white band extends from behind the eyes & meets sharply with the black lower neck. The majority of the body is pure white with the exception of black secondary & tertiary feathers. Eyes are black & legs are slatey to grayish black. Males & females are virtually indistinguishable, although males tend to be slightly larger in size. Red-crowned cranes form flocks in winter but otherwise live in pairs. Once mated the pair will stay together for life. The crane has one of the most beautiful dances in the bird world; these dances help to strengthen the bond between the mated pair. Japanese Red Crowned Crane in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour We will visit a number of crane sites at varying times of the day from sunrise through to sunset, with the intention of watching & photographing the cranes perform their intricate courtship dances; the birds bow to one another, then throw their heads over their backs, then bow again. The pair leaps into the air, at the same time raising their wings. The Red-crowned Cranes’ unison dance is a ritual the pair will perform together many times over the years, to strengthen their lifelong bond. Lake Kussharo is a caldera lake in Akan National Park, eastern Hokkaidō, Japan. As with many geographic names in Hokkaidō, the name derives from the Ainu language. It is the largest caldera lake in Japan in terms of surface area, & sixth largest lake in Japan. It is also the largest lake in Japan to freeze over completely in winter. The lake’s central island, Nakajima, is a composite volcano. Volcanic gases render the lake water acidic, & it supports few fish except in areas where inflowing streams dilute the water. The lake is on the migratory path of the whooper swan. Swan spreads its wings on Lake Kussharo photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Swan in snow on Lake Kussharo photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour We spend two days at the various swan locations, undertaking photography of these beautiful birds at the various calderas around which they gather. In addition some amazing opportunities are presented for in flight, taking off & resting on ice shots, all within a dreamlike landscape. The area is rich with other wildlife, much of which we will spend time at leisure attempting to locate & photograph – this includes red squirrels, red fox & a particular favourite in the form of the roosting Ural Owls. Lake Kussharo Swan in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Swan on Lake Kussahro photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour From Lake Kussharo, the Japanese winter wildlife tour moves onto Rausu; Rausu is a small coastal fishing town, with a small population of approximately 6,500. Located on the Shiretoko Peninsula , it is the most northeasterly town in Japan. During the winter months the population of Steller’s Sea Eagles & White-tailed Sea Eagles hunt for fish on the pack ice, which drifts down from the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia. We will stay in Rausu for several nights, during which we will take advantage of the tour boats that operate from Rausu harbour. These boats are without a doubt the best manner in which to see these stunning birds. White Tailed Sea Eagle sitting on drifting pack ice on Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour White Tailed Sea Eagle prparing to land on drifting pack ice photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Steller's Sea Eagles on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour The Steller’s Sea Eagle is the heaviest eagle in the world. It breeds in northeastern Russia & winters further south, reaching Hokkaido where it spends its days hunting for fish around the pack ice. Packs or clusters of these immense birds gather in Rausu harbour & out on the pack ice waiting for the fish that the tour boats provide. The White-tailed Sea Eagle is another large eagle, closely related to the North American Bald Eagle. It is more widespread than Steller’s & breeds across northern Europe & Asia, & is a year-round resident of Hokkaido. White Tailed Sea Eagle landing on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Steller's Sea Eagle preparing to land on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour The NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour includes three days of photographing the impressive sea eagles, with a 5am & 9am cruises each day. The afternoon of each day is free for rest or photo advice & critique; however, one evening at least will be devoted to photographing the Blakiston’s Fish Owl from a local hide. The Blakiston’s Fish Owl is the largest living species of owl, it is in fact a large eagle owl, with a wingspan that can reach up to two metres long. Blakiston’s fish owl is found in Siberia, northeast China & the island of Hokkaido in Japan which is why the photographic opportunity afforded here is to be grasped, that said, the evening photography is harsh & adequate preparation is required. Additionally on the tour, we will include visits to a sea eagle feeding site on a frozen lake, this provides some amazing opportunities for shots of interaction between the sea eagles of both types, plus black-eared kites. The photographic opportunities afforded for bird in flights shots are equally excellent. White Tailed Sea Eagle soars in the sky above a frozen lake in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Upon leaving Hokkaido, our tour to photograph Japan Snow Monkeys And Hokkaido’s wildlife will return to Tokyo airport, have a brief overnight stop in a local hotel near to the airport & from there depart homeward bound.

NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour Outline Itinerary

Available upon booking the tour & placing a deposit.

Single Supplement

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Dalmatian Pelicans of Kerkini Photography Holiday

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David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens in Greece for their Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday which is to be conducted on & around Lake Kerkini. The lake has impressive snowcapped mountains to the northern edges providing a perfect photographic backdrop. David Howse Dalmatian Pelican Group photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

The photographic opportunities on our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday will be sublime – with opportunities for shots from both the shoreline & on the water itself. Lake Kerkini, situated in northern Greece, not far from the border with Bulgaria, is the setting for our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Workshop – in winter, Lake Kerkini, is the most important place in Europe for the globally threatened Dalmatian Pelican, additionally the lake is a noted haunt of the rare Spotted Eagle. NaturesLens have arranged for the clients to venture, using boats, out on to the lake itself, it is expected therefore that clients will be able to enjoy incredible close encounters with the magnificent Dalmatian Pelicans, many of which should be sporting full breeding plumage at this time of year. Read more

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

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David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

THIS PHOTOGRAPHY HOLIDAY IS NOW FULL – SECOND DATES AVAILABLE FOR BOOKING HERE

Join NaturesLens in Greece for their Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday which is to be conducted on & around Lake Kerkini. The lake has impressive snowcapped mountains to the northern edges providing a perfect photographic backdrop. David Howse Dalmatian Pelican Group photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

The photographic opportunities on our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday will be sublime – with opportunities for shots from both the shoreline & on the water itself. Lake Kerkini, situated in northern Greece, not far from the border with Bulgaria, is the setting for our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Workshop – in winter, Lake Kerkini, is the most important place in Europe for the globally threatened Dalmatian Pelican, additionally the lake is a noted haunt of the rare Spotted Eagle. NaturesLens have arranged for the clients to venture, using boats, out on to the lake itself, it is expected therefore that clients will be able to enjoy incredible close encounters with the magnificent Dalmatian Pelicans, many of which should be sporting full breeding plumage at this time of year. Read more

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!

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Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour

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steller's sea eagle in flight by .

The 2018 photography tour now has had all places reserved, we have opened bookings for the 2019 Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Tour, if you would like to attend that trip, please view the details on the dedicated event’s page.

To secure your place on this photographic tour, we require a 20% deposit – the balance will fall due on 17th November 2017.
Imagine travelling through a winter landscape in a country heavy with tradition, where you can encounter & photograph entrancing snow monkeys, beautiful dancing red-crowned cranes, dreamlike swans on a snow covered frozen lake plus both Steller’s & White Tailed Sea Eagles on drifting pack ice, this is exactly what the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour offers. Our trip also accommodates chance encounters with Ural OwlsRed Foxes & more native wildlife.
Young Snow Monkey in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour From our meeting point at Tokyo Haneda Airport, immediately travels onwards to the island of Hokkaido. Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost & least developed of Japan’s four main islands. Its weather is harsh in winter with lots of snowfall, below zero temperatures & frozen seas. Snow Monkey in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Our first main location is Akan National Park which is located in eastern Hokkaido. The park is well known for its three beautiful lakes: Lake Akan, Lake Mashu & Lake Kussharo. Akan National Park is composed of two separate parts. The smaller, western portion contains Lake Akan with the lakeside hot spring resort of Akankohan Onsen. The larger, eastern part contains Lake Mashu, Lake Kussharo, Iozan (Sulfur Mountain) & centrally located Kawayu Onsen. Japanese Cranes in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour We stay in Akan for at least two full days of photography, at this location the  focus is on photography of the red-crowned cranes; Red-crowned Cranes are the only crane species that have white primary feathers. Adult forehead & crown are covered with bare red skin, & a large white band extends from behind the eyes & meets sharply with the black lower neck. The majority of the body is pure white with the exception of black secondary & tertiary feathers. Eyes are black & legs are slatey to grayish black. Males & females are virtually indistinguishable, although males tend to be slightly larger in size. Red-crowned cranes form flocks in winter but otherwise live in pairs. Once mated the pair will stay together for life. The crane has one of the most beautiful dances in the bird world; these dances help to strengthen the bond between the mated pair. Japanese Red Crowned Crane in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour We will visit a number of crane sites at varying times of the day from sunrise through to sunset, with the intention of watching & photographing the cranes perform their intricate courtship dances; the birds bow to one another, then throw their heads over their backs, then bow again. The pair leaps into the air, at the same time raising their wings. The Red-crowned Cranes’ unison dance is a ritual the pair will perform together many times over the years, to strengthen their lifelong bond. Lake Kussharo is a caldera lake in Akan National Park, eastern Hokkaidō, Japan. As with many geographic names in Hokkaidō, the name derives from the Ainu language. It is the largest caldera lake in Japan in terms of surface area, & sixth largest lake in Japan. It is also the largest lake in Japan to freeze over completely in winter. The lake’s central island, Nakajima, is a composite volcano. Volcanic gases render the lake water acidic, & it supports few fish except in areas where inflowing streams dilute the water. The lake is on the migratory path of the whooper swan. Swan spreads its wings on Lake Kussharo photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Swan in snow on Lake Kussharo photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour We spend two days at the various swan locations, undertaking photography of these beautiful birds at the various calderas around which they gather. In addition some amazing opportunities are presented for in flight, taking off & resting on ice shots, all within a dreamlike landscape. The area is rich with other wildlife, much of which we will spend time at leisure attempting to locate & photograph – this includes red squirrels, red fox & a particular favourite in the form of the roosting Ural Owls. Lake Kussharo Swan in snow photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Swan on Lake Kussahro photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour From Lake Kussharo, the Japanese winter wildlife tour moves onto Rausu; Rausu is a small coastal fishing town, with a small population of approximately 6,500. Located on the Shiretoko Peninsula , it is the most northeasterly town in Japan. During the winter months the population of Steller’s Sea Eagles & White-tailed Sea Eagles hunt for fish on the pack ice, which drifts down from the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia. We will stay in Rausu for several nights, during which we will take advantage of the tour boats that operate from Rausu harbour. These boats are without a doubt the best manner in which to see these stunning birds. White Tailed Sea Eagle sitting on drifting pack ice on Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour White Tailed Sea Eagle prparing to land on drifting pack ice photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Steller's Sea Eagles on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour The Steller’s Sea Eagle is the heaviest eagle in the world. It breeds in northeastern Russia & winters further south, reaching Hokkaido where it spends its days hunting for fish around the pack ice. Packs or clusters of these immense birds gather in Rausu harbour & out on the pack ice waiting for the fish that the tour boats provide. The White-tailed Sea Eagle is another large eagle, closely related to the North American Bald Eagle. It is more widespread than Steller’s & breeds across northern Europe & Asia, & is a year-round resident of Hokkaido. White Tailed Sea Eagle landing on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Steller's Sea Eagle preparing to land on drifting pack ice in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour The NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour includes three days of photographing the impressive sea eagles, with a 5 am & 9 am cruises each day. The afternoon of each day is free for rest or photo advice & critique; however, one evening at least will be devoted to photographing the Blakiston’s Fish Owl from a local hide. The Blakiston’s Fish Owl is the largest living species of owl, it is, in fact, a large eagle owl, with a wingspan that can reach up to two metres long. Blakiston’s fish owl is found in Siberia, northeast China & the island of Hokkaido in Japan which is why the photographic opportunity afforded here is to be grasped, that said, the evening photography is harsh & adequate preparation is required. Additionally, on the tour, we will include visits to a sea eagle feeding site on a frozen lake, this provides some amazing opportunities for shots of interaction between the sea eagles of both types, plus black-eared kites. The photographic opportunities afforded for bird in flights shots are equally excellent. White Tailed Sea Eagle soars in the sky above a frozen lake in Japan photographed on a Japanese Winter Wildlife tour Upon leaving Hokkaido, our tour to photograph Japan Snow Monkeys And Hokkaido’s wildlife will return to Tokyo. The following day, we travel to the Jigokudani Valley, to photograph the monkeys of “Hell’s Valley”, where steam & boiling water bubbles from small crevices in the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs & formidably cold & hostile forests. Whilst we stay in the town of Yudanaka, our target is to photograph the Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata), more commonly referred to as Snow Monkeys, that descend from the steep cliffs & forest to sit in the warm waters of the onsen or hot springs. The monkeys return to the security of the forests in the evenings. We will spend two full days in the valley. You will have the opportunity to photograph the monkeys in the onsen, or at play in the valley below the main area where intimate mother & baby shots are easily achieved. It is without a doubt a harsh environment in the winter months with snow on the ground for a third of the year, but the hot springs make it a paradise for the several of hundred monkeys that live in the valley & the surrounding forests. Whilst at the onsen or the valley, the monkeys simply ignore the photographers & simply get on with whatever it is they want to be doing. Upon our return from Yudanaka to Tokyo, our group will have a brief overnight stop in a local hotel near to the airport & from there depart homeward bound.

NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour Outline Itinerary

Available upon booking the tour & placing a deposit.

Single Supplement

Read more