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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

New dates for the Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain

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

We have secured dates for the October 15 – 26 sessions of Ice Grizzly Photography of the 2020 season, this is late in the season & should be very cold, therefore presenting opportunities to capture images 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 – 26, 2020.

Our time spent in the area of Bear Cave Mountain is a rare privilege, as the region is sacred to the Vuntut Gwitchin community who reside in the area; these First Nation peoples place a great ancestral & cultural value on the land & the environment within the park. The vast area 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 Fishing Branch river will assist our group throughout the experience to aid you in obtaining fantastic images that truly convey the magic of this exceptional location & the wildlife that calls it home.

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

We only have 3 places for 2020; if you would like to attend, then we require a deposit of £1899 to hold your place – the total cost of the trip is £9499 per person, with an itinerary as indicated below.

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

All accommodation & meals at the camp are all included to make things as straightforward & enjoyable for you as possible. Also included are the internal transfers by helicopter to & from our river-side base, 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!

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 Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photographic Holiday

A truly beautiful scene of the dalmatian pelicans with the mist rising behind them off the lake photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday

A different angle on Kerkini’s Dalmatian Pelicans

Derek has been on several photography tours & trips now with NaturesLens – you can see his images of Florida’s Blue Cypress Lake Ospreys elsewhere on our blog – & right now, he is in Calera, photographing some of the best birds that the Spanish Plains have to offer; however, in January, he joined Dan’s group & flew out to Thessaloniki, the intent of the trip, to capture some images to add to his portfolio of Kerkini’s Dalmatian Pelicans.

Like the first group, the second group found Kerkini wrapped in the cold embrace of winter conditions that had not been experienced for years; parts of the lake remained frozen whilst they were there, gradually thawing towards the end of their trip, although the normal boat trip could not head out onto the lake, our local guides took the various group members out on small fishermen’s boats instead.

A truly beautiful scene of the dalmatian pelicans with the mist rising behind them off the lake photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday

So what did Derek think about Kerkini & it’s pelicans? … ‘Well, what can I say – amazing! I have looked several times over the years & thought the pelicans are not for me. How wrong can you be? They are probably one of the most amazing birds I have photographed – character, attitude & style are just a few of the adjectives I would use to describe these birds.’

On the ice of a frozen Lake Kerkini, the pelicans waited to be fed by the fishermen photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography HolidayA dalmatian pelican demonstrably ready for a close encounter photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday One of the Kerkini Pelicans takes time to preen that impressive plummage photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography HolidayWith the ice gone melting, the pelicans resumed their normal cycle of behaviour, wanting to be fed at the shoreline photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography HolidayWaiting for the shoreline feed, the pelicans are as expectant of action as the photographers photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday

I particularly like the close-up images of the Dalmatian Pelicans that Derek captured, as he noted, the birds each have their own personality, capable of looking stern, amusing or quizzical, the one guarantee is that an eye contact image with the pelican filling the frame from Kerkini is compelling.

One of the dalmatian pelicans shows the others how to grab the fish photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography HolidayCatching fish as the others apparently watch the demonstration by one of the pelicans of Kerkini photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography HolidayA group of pelicans move as one to attempt to catch a fish photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography HolidayCatching fish is truly a competitive sport amongst the pelicans of Lake Kerkini photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography HolidayAnother set of those special conditions that you hope for at Lake Kerkini, Pelicans & mist make for dreamy sequences photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday
During one morning, the group experienced the most wonderful conditions, with a delicate mist rising off the lake, & the pelicans, you can see that image at the head of this blog posting; on another with the ice still close to the shoreline, the pelicans stood expectantly waiting for fish from the fishermen of the area, with whom they have formed a relationship going back over many years. The fishermen feeding the pelicans during wintertime has led to a healthier ecosystem; the presence of the pelicans throughout the year, without them migrating, helps to keep the cormorant population at a reasonable level, which in turn balances and maintains the lake’s delicate ecosystem.

You can see a few more of Derek’s Kerkini Pelican images on his personal website.

DO YOU WANT TO CAPTURE YOUR OWN IMAGES OF KERKINI’S DALMATIAN PELICANS?

We have a single space remaining on the first trip of 2018, this is an opportunity for you to undertake photography of the Dalmatian Pelicans on Lake Kerkini for yourself; the photography holiday costs £1049, this price excludes air travel to Thessaloniki itself – all ground transportation from Thessaloniki & back, & to & from shoot locations, accommodation & guidance/tuition is included, the dates for the Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday are January 11 – 15, 2018.

To hold a place on the trip, we only require a 20% deposit from you, with the balance due 12 weeks prior to the trip taking place.

A White Tailed Sea Eagle stood on the ice of one of the frozen lakes photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

Winter Wildlife in Japan – Stellers & White Tailed Sea Eagles

Stellers & White Tailed Sea Eagles – more aspects of Winter Wildlife in Japan

The fourth & last instalment of Nicola’s images are dedicated to the magnificent Steller’s & White Tailed Sea Eagles. Our winter wildlife in Japan tour includes 6 boat trips to photograph these fantastic raptors. Each day, the group faced different weather conditions which presented them with different photographic opportunities. Sometimes, the eagles came so close that the group were almost over-lensed with intermediate zoom lenses!

A visit to one of several frozen lake in the area is always included in our tour, & this year yielded some great images of the eagles ‘striding’ across the ice.

A Stellers Sea Eagle sweeps it's wings forward on the ice of one of the frozen lakes photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayOne of Hokkaido's White Tailed Sea Eagles photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayOne of Hokkaido's Steller Sea Eagles swoops for a fish photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

One of the White Tailed Sea Eagles swoops for a fish photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA White Tailed Sea Eagle lands on the Rausu pack ice photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

A White Tailed Sea Eagle stood on the ice of one of the frozen lakes photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA White Tailed Sea Eagle soars through the air above one of the feeding sites photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

Nothing can prepare you for that incredible moment when you are amongst the ice floes with eagles all around. It is pretty common for our guests to finish each of the sessions feeling as though they have been in the gym, with arms that ache from non-stop shooting.

Many of our group came on the trip to fulfil a long awaited plan to see the Snow Monkeys; however, they left saying that the highlight of the trip was actually the boat trips to photograph the eagles. In Nicola’s own words “this was an amazing trip – lots of wildlife on hand, with lots of opportunities to take stunning images.”

A Stellers Sea Eagle strides across the ice of one of the frozen lakes photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday A juvenile White Tailed Sea Eagle having just landed on the ice of one of the frozen lakes photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday A juvenile Stellers Sea Eagle eats fish whilst being pestered by a pair of crows photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

DO YOU WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH THE WINTER WILDLIFE IN JAPAN FOR YOURSELF?

With the 2018 trip full, we have opened up bookings for the 2019 trip, this is an opportunity for you to undertake photography of blakistons fish owl, red crowned crane, snow monkey, stellers sea eagle, ural owl, white tailed sea eagle, whooper swan & more in the wintery landscapes of Japan for yourself; the cost for a single traveller is £5749, with single occupancy accommodation throughout, no sharing & no single supplement!

To secure your place on this photographic tour, we require a 20% deposit – the balance will fall due on 16th November 2018 – we include all ground transportation within Japan, transport to & from shoot locations, dinners & breakfasts, accommodation, entrance fees, boat fees for six boat trips & guidance/tuition; the dates for the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Tour are February 9 – 22, 2018.

 

 

A solitary whooper swan swims in a thawed area of one of the Caldera Lakes of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

Winter Wildlife in Japan – Whooper Swans & Foxes

Whooper Swans – the graceful aspect of Winter Wildlife in Japan

The Whooper Swans of Lake Kussharo are always a revelation to our guests. When one thinks of winter wildlife in Japan, the first thought is inevitably, Snow Monkeys, followed closely by Stellers’ Sea Eagles & Red Crowned Cranes. But people rarely think “I want to go there to photograph whooper swans” & who would blame them?

Take a look at Nicola’s images below. Such beautiful, elegant birds with plenty of opportunities to photograph them in flight, walking in the snow & sat on the lake with a backdrop of snow capped mountains. The possibilities are endless.

A Whooper Swan comes in to land on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday A bevy of whooper swans wander across the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA pair of whooper swans wander across the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA solitary whooper swan isolated within the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA bevy of whooper swans swimming in one of the thermal lakes found on Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday A solitary whooper swan walks on the edge of one of the Caldera Lakes of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday A duo of whooper swans clean themselves in the thawed area of one of the Caldera Lakes of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday A solitary whooper swan swims in a thawed area of one of the Caldera Lakes of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday A solitary whooper swan on the edge of one of the Caldera Lakes of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

Red Fox – a frequently seen predator on Hokkaido

The stunning Red Fox is another highlight of our Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour. Looking magnificent in their winter coats, foxes are very common in Japan. They are not persecuted & therefore less nervous of humans which allows for some great encounters & photographic opportunities. They are also the subject of many Japanese folklore, the most common being that they are very intelligent, have long lives & magical powers.

One of the red foxes of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

DO YOU WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH WINTER WILDLIFE IN JAPAN FOR YOURSELF?

We have a couple of spaces remaining on our 2018 trip, this is an opportunity for you to undertake photography of blakistons fish owl, red crowned crane, snow monkey, stellers sea eagle, ural owl, white tailed sea eagle, whooper swan & more in the wintery landscapes of Japan for yourself; the cost for a single traveller is £5499, with single occupancy accommodation throughout, no sharing & no single supplement!

If you are a pair of travelling companions or a couple then you can share accommodation & book these two places for £5199 each instead of £5499! Quote JAPANPAIR in the referral code text box to have the discount applied to your booking – book now & hold your places with 20% deposit only!

To secure your place on this photographic tour, we require a 20% deposit – the balance will fall due on 17th November 2017 – we include all ground transportation within Japan, transport to & from shoot locations, dinners & breakfasts, accommodation, entrance fees, boat fees for six boat trips & guidance/tuition; the dates for the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Tour are February 10 – 23, 2018.

A pair of huddled snow monkeys of Hells Valley on the main island of Japan photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

Winter Wildlife in Japan – Snow Monkeys

Snow Monkeys – the always amusing aspect of Winter Wildlife in Japan

Whenever we mention our Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour, the first thing most people say to us is “Do you visit the Snow Monkeys? I would love to see them!”  No trip to Japan would be complete without a visit to these charismatic primates, watching them play in the snow & relaxing in their onsen. These wonderful images were sent to us by Nicola (Billows) who was one of the participants of our 2017 trip to Japan.

One of the adult snow monkeys of Hells Valley on the main island of Japan photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday One of the very young snow monkeys of Hells Valley on the main island of Japan photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday A portrait of one of the adult snow monkeys photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday One of the adult snow monkeys bathing in the thermal spas photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayAn adult snow monkey of Hells Valley on the main island of Japan photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayOne of the young snow monkeys of Hells Valley on the main island of Japan photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

The Snow Monkeys, also known as the Japanese Macaques are probably best known as the three wise monkeys that embody the proverbial principle “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. The Japanese Macaque is better known as the Snow Monkey as it lives farther north than any other non-human primate. Except for the face & posterior, which are pink, they are covered with brown, greyish or yellowish hair. This thick coat helps the Snow Monkey to survive in temperatures as low as -20 degrees C (-4 deg. F).

A pair of huddled snow monkeys of Hells Valley on the main island of Japan photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayOne of the very young snow monkeys cuddled into it's mother photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday  A pair of snow monkeys groom each other whilst sat in the thermal pools photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

DO YOU WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH WINTER WILDLIFE IN JAPAN FOR YOURSELF?

We have a couple of spaces remaining on our 2018 trip, this is an opportunity for you to undertake photography of blakistons fish owl, red crowned crane, snow monkey, stellers sea eagle, ural owl, white tailed sea eagle, whooper swan & more in the wintery landscapes of Japan for yourself; the cost for a single traveller is £5499, with single occupancy accommodation throughout, no sharing & no single supplement!

If you are a pair of travelling companions or a couple then you can share accommodation & book these two places for £5199 each instead of £5499! Quote JAPANPAIR in the referral code text box to have the discount applied to your booking – book now & hold your places with 20% deposit only!

To secure your place on this photographic tour, we require a 20% deposit – the balance will fall due on 17th November 2017 – we include all ground transportation within Japan, transport to & from shoot locations, dinners & breakfasts, accommodation, entrance fees, boat fees for six boat trips & guidance/tuition; the dates for the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Tour are February 10 – 23, 2018.

High in the air, a duo of red crowned cranes perform their dance on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

Winter Wildlife in Japan – Red Crowned Cranes

Red Crowned Cranes – the most regal aspect of Winter Wildlife in Japan

In the first of our series of blog posts on Winter Wildlife in Japan, Nicola (Billows), one of our guests on our recent Japanese Winter Wildlife tour has very kindly sent us some of her favourite images to share with you.  This first blog post showcases the regal Red Crowned Cranes.  These beautiful birds are among the largest of the crane family. They are so named because of a patch of bare, red skin on the crown, which gets brighter during the mating season.

The early morning sight at one of the red crowned crane roosting sites photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday A pair of Red Crowned Cranes in the snowy Hokkaido landscape photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

A red crowned crane having just landed on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

In Japan the Red Crowned Crane is said to live for a thousand years & a pair of them are featured in the design for the 1000 yen note. Cranes are also said to grant favors in return for acts of sacrifice. They are also known for their fairly elaborate mating dance that helps them in forming & maintaining the pair bond. This dance begins with the two cranes moving rhythmically closer until they are close enough to touch each other. They will then tilt their heads back & sound off with a fluting call together. This call will frequently trigger other such calls to start this dance, which has been beautifully captured by Nicola.

A pair of red crowned cranes perform their dance on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA dancing pair of red crowned cranes perform their courtship on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA solitary red crowned crane isolated within the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA trio of red crowned cranes perform their dance on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA duo of red crowned cranes perform their dance on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayHigh in the air, a duo of red crowned cranes perform their dance on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

DO YOU WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH WINTER WILDLIFE IN JAPAN FOR YOURSELF?

We have a couple of spaces remaining on our 2018 trip, this is an opportunity for you to undertake photography of blakistons fish owl, red crowned crane, snow monkey, stellers sea eagle, ural owl, white tailed sea eagle, whooper swan & more in the wintery landscapes of Japan for yourself; the cost for a single traveller is £5499, with single occupancy accommodation throughout, no sharing & no single supplement!

If you are a pair of travelling companions or a couple then you can share accommodation & book these two places for £5199 each instead of £5499! Quote JAPANPAIR in the referral code text box to have the discount applied to your booking – book now & hold your places with 20% deposit only!

To secure your place on this photographic tour, we require a 20% deposit – the balance will fall due on 17th November 2017 – we include all ground transportation within Japan, transport to & from shoot locations, dinners & breakfasts, accommodation, entrance fees, boat fees for six boat trips & guidance/tuition; the dates for the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Tour are February 10 – 23, 2018.

Coming in fast, a Dalmatian Pelican pushes the water ahead of it's chest photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

Some of Andy’s Kerkini Photography Tour Images

Andy was a member of group 2 of our Lake Kerkini photography tour, as you can see, much of the snow had gone, leaving behind ice & larger pockets of water, this meant Andy was able to capture classic images & some fabulous shots of these photogenic birds on thawing ice.

An adult Dalmatian Pelican lowers it's wings for landing on the freezing waters photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

When the second group found out that there was snow at Lake Kerkini, they could barely contain their excitement. As mentioned in an earlier post, Kerkini was experiencing its coldest winter in 60 years. The snow & ice promised the opportunity to capture some really unique & special images. Both groups came back with very different images, but more importantly, everyone came back very happy.

Staring at the photographer, locked stare of a pelican photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday An avocet captured in high key style photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday A group of Dalmatian Pelicans jostle to capture a thrown fish photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday What goes on behind the shot, some of the second group photographing the pelicans on Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

Andy even took time out to take a shot of the group & Dan, who lead this tour for us, in action!

As the day progressed, the lake would slowly thaw out but the cold evenings caused it to freeze over again. This meant that any hopes of a traditional boat trip were dashed. Luckily, this didn’t stop our intrepid group from venturing out on the lake by rowing boat!

When asked if he had enjoyed his trip to see the Dalmatian Pelicans, Andy replied “What a great few days at Lake Kerkini! Ably led by Dan & the local naturalist we reveled in the exceptional conditions. Both went out of their way to ensure we had the best photo opportunities.”

All in profile, one of the groups of Dalmatian Pelicans photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Several of the Dalmatian Pelicans stood on ice in front of the snowy mountain backdrop photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday A juvenile struggles for balance having just landed on a patch of ice photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Coming in fast, a Dalmatian Pelican pushes the water ahead of it's chest photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Three reflected Dalmatian Pelicans photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

DO YOU WANT TO UNDERTAKE THE KERKINI PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR FOR YOURSELF?

We have a couple of spaces remaining on the first trip of 2018, this is an opportunity for you to undertake photography of the Dalmatian Pelicans on Lake Kerkini for yourself; the photography holiday costs £1049 each participant, this price excludes air travel to Thessaloniki itself – all ground transportation from Thessaloniki & back, & to & from shoot locations, accommodation & guidance/tuition is included, the dates for the Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday are January 11 – 15, 2018.

To hold a place on the trip, we only require a 20% deposit from you, with the balance due 12 weeks prior to the trip taking place.

Events

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

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, all 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.

BOOKING FORM

Fields marked with a * are required.

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
steller's sea eagle in flight by .

Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour

This photography holiday is priced at $6999 (USD) for US guests wishing to join us.

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

No single supplement payable

Workshop Availability

4 places available.

Recommended Equipment

Available upon booking the tour & placing a deposit.

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, all 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. This Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour cost includes accommodation, breakfastentrance fees to parks, feeding stations & nature tour boat trips at Rausu, all transport to & from Japanese airports & within Japan – excluding flights. The NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour cost specifically excludes all flights, both international & domestic, alcohol & other items of a personal nature. A non-refundable deposit of £1000 is required to secure a place on this trip with the balance being due 12 weeks prior to departure (mid-November 2017).

Booking Form

Fields marked with a * are required.

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

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 26th to November 6th, 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.

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, all 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.

BOOKING FORM

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 26th to November 6th, 2020.

Ice Bears of the Yukon Proposed Itinerary

  • 20-Oct-18 – Travel to Whitehorse – overnight Whitehorse
  • 21-Oct-18 – Travel to Dawson City – overnight Dawson City
  • 22-Oct-18 – Travel to Fishing Branch River – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 24-Oct-18 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 25-Oct-18 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 26-Oct-18 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 27-Oct-18 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 28-Oct-18 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 29-Oct-18 – Ice Grizzly Photography
  • 30-Oct-18 – Travel to Dawson City
  • 31-Oct-18 – Travel to Whitehorse
  • 01-Nov-18 – Travel to UK
steller's sea eagle in flight by .

Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour

This photography holiday is priced at $6999 (USD) for US guests wishing to join us.


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. 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

No single supplement payable

Workshop Availability

SPACES AVAILABLE!

Recommended Equipment

Available upon booking the tour & placing a deposit.

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, all 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. This Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour cost includes accommodation, breakfastentrance fees to parks, feeding stations & nature tour boat trips at Rausu, all transport to & from Japanese airports & within Japan – excluding flights. The NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Tour cost specifically excludes all flights, both international & domestic, alcohol & other items of a personal nature. A non-refundable deposit of £1000 is required to secure a place on this trip with the balance being due 12 weeks prior to departure (mid-November 2016).

Booking Form

Fields marked with a * are required.

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

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini

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

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

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini

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