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

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

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

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

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

On the first evening the group relaxed and settled into the homely accommodation that would be our home for the upcoming days. We sat around the log fire enjoying the warmth whilst the weather outside was hitting a very cold -14c.

A Dalmatian Pelican captured at sunrise photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday A pair of Dalmatian Pelicans tussle over a fish on the banks of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

The next morning our local guide drove us 5 minutes to the lake to photograph the Pelicans at first light. There was literally only one area of the lake that had not frozen due to a constantly flowing stream that was entering the lake. Here the Pelicans could enjoy a small area of water to take refuge in. Luckily for us, the sun was rising directly behind the birds, the warmth of the morning light was starting to slowly melt the top layer of snow on the frozen lake giving us some amazing misty conditions. We spent several hours in this location before the sun became too harsh to get any more backlit images.

A pair of swans take off & fly above the snow clad surface of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday At sun rise, the pelicans started to move & wake to their frozen environment photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Lake Kerkini is also home to the flamingos who live in the area all year round photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday One of the flamingos of the area walks through the waters of a wintery Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday One of the Pelicans catches a fish photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

DO YOU WANT TO CAPTURE IMAGES OF LAKE KERKINI FOR YOURSELF?

We have a third trip that is to be run during January 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 6 – 11, 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.

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

Johan’s images of Kerkini’s Dalmatian Pelicans

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

The snow & ice meant lots of opportunity for high key shots but Johan wanted to capture images that were different from the norm.  He used other birds to frame his shots & also produced some stunning work with slow shutter speeds. Thanks to an extremely friendly white pelican, there were also some great opportunities to break out the wide angle.

A long shot of one of the Dlamatian Pelicans photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday One of the Dalmatian Pelicans glides serenely on the icy waters of Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography HolidayOne of the young pelicans sits in the snow clad shore line of Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday One of the young white pelicans waits for fish photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

We were concerned that the group would be disappointed at the lack of boat trips due to the lake being frozen over.

Luckily, this wasn’t the case as the weather gave the group the opportunity to come up with some truly unique images.

Something we wildlife photographers are always looking for.

Frozen motion, some of Dalmatian Pelicans attempt to get some warmth into their wings photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday One of the young white pelicans photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday A trio of Dalmatian Pelicans against a snowy backdrop photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Two Dalmatian Pelicans spa over a fish photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday A group of Dalmatian Pelicans rise from their slumber on a snowy bank on Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

Thanks again to Johan for sharing his images with us.

DO YOU WANT TO CAPTURE IMAGES OF LAKE KERKINI FOR YOURSELF?

We have a third trip that is to be run during January 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 6 – 11, 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 Dalmatian Pelican lands with little drama on the ice of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

Fancy some Dalmatian Pelican Photography in 2018?

With both our originally announced Dalmatian Pelican Photography trips full, we have the opportunity for a third set of dates to head to Lake Kerkini to photograph the wonderful & charismatic Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece.

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

As usual, the rooms are all on a non-sharing basis, all food is included in the trip & believe me, there is plenty of food served on these photography holidays – plus there are easy flights into & out of Thessaloniki, with airport transfers from the airport to the hotel & back all included.

A Dalmatian Pelican lands with little drama on the ice of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

We include at least 3 shoreline feeds – if we can fit them in, this increases to 5, we also include 3 boat trips out on the lake in the early morning light – weather allowing, 2017’s trips were unique in that the lake was frozen, but this is not the norm!

You get to stay in a wonderful hotel, that is 500m from the lake, with all rooms on a non-sharing basis, & we don’t levy a single supplement either! Throughout the trip, you will have opportunities to photograph a wide selection of images; both portraits & closeup shots of perched Dalmatian Pelicans, pelicans calling, flying, fighting for fish; plus wider bird in the landscape images to show impressive backdrop to the lake with the snow covered Bulgarian mountain ranges in the distance.

Group numbers are strictly limited to allow everyone to get a great position on the boats that we use during this photography workshop to venture out onto the lake, whilst on the boat & during other activities, general advice will be given before the commencement of each element of the trip.

With a boat trip each morning & a shoreline feed each evening, we certainly hope to capture many facets of the Dalmatian Pelicans personality as they go about life on the lake – hopefully including take-off, landing & in-flight shots of these magnificent birds. The NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday is suitable for mid-level & experienced photographers.

If you would like to join this trip, please view the events page here, from which you can send us a booking enquiry – the trip is priced at £1049 for the all the elements listed above as being included & will be conducted over the dates of January 7th to 11th 2018.

A Spanish Little Owl at it's nesting site in an olive grove photographed on one of the pair of NaturesLens Wildlife Photography Holidays to capture images of the Birds of Spain

Alan’s thoughts from his second week with the Birds of Spain

This is part 2 of my blog for NaturesLens after my undertaking a pair of back-to-back Wildlife Photography Holidays to capture images of the Birds of Spain, this blog covers the Spanish Birds of Calera Photography Holiday – if you haven’t read the first part, you can read it here – it covers the Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday.

After the Raptors trip & my overnight stop in Madrid, it was time to head back to the airport to meet the group arriving from the UK for the Calera tour. Greetings exchanged, Daniel met with, we were soon on our way. Calera is about 1h 30mins to the west of Madrid in the Castilla-la-Mancha region. It would be another week of early starts & longs days in hides but I knew it would also be a week of excellent bird photography & I was looking forward to it very much.

A Spanish Little Owl at it's nesting site in an olive grove photographed on one of the pair of NaturesLens Wildlife Photography Holidays to capture images of the Birds of Spain Read more

Alan’s thoughts from his two weeks with the Birds of Spain

Two years ago I travelled to Spain with Natureslens to photograph a wide variety of the birds of Spain in Calera y Chozas, & I enjoyed it so much that I booked to go back again in 2017: but this time with a difference. The week before the Birds of Calera Photography Holiday, Natureslens also had arranged a trip to photograph Eagles & other birds in the Sierra Morena region found in the south of Spain; consequently, I rolled the two trips together, with a day of downtime, in between, in Madrid.

Part 1 of my blog for NaturesLens covers the Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday.

Week 1 – Spanish Raptors in Adamuz

The trip started with a very early flight from London to Malaga, where we were met by our local guides. A comfortable 2-hour drive took us inland to Adamuz – a small provincial town in the Sierra Morena region & our base for the week. We were soon settled into our hotel to unpack & freshen up before meeting in a restaurant just minutes from the hotel (run by the same people) where we received a warm welcome from our hosts. In the early evening our guides took us out for a recce to get a feel for the region.

A panorama of the Adamuz landscape photographed on one of the pair of NaturesLens Wildlife Photography Holidays to capture images of the Birds of Spain Read more

Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday special offer

Listen up … we have a special offer to visit Slovenia, stay with a very good friend of ours, make use of his hides & hopefully capture some awesome images of the Slovenian Bears.

One Of The Adult European Brown Bears Poses On Rocks - Photographed On The Natureslens Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday So, here’s the deal to join our Slovenian Bear Photography Holiday on the dates of September 2 – September 7 2017 – this normally costs £1249 but we are reducing the price to £1099 for the four places on this departure. It will require all four places to be filled – but that’s a bit of a bargain! Read more

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

Pelicans of Greece … continued …

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

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