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.
Last month saw me heading off to the mountains of the Sierra Morena in Spain leading the NaturesLens Spanish Raptors Photography Holiday.
I knew from the itinerary that had been planned that it was going to be an amazing week of photography with some great sightings & photo opportunities. After a very early flight, the group & I arrived in Spain meeting up with the local guides. After a couple of hours on the road we arrived in the local town of Adamuz, which would be our base & home for the duration of the trip. The town is situated in beautiful natural surroundings & is a very picturesque location. Due to the time we arrived, we decided we were going to explore a few wildlife locations that we would be working on over the coming days. It was a great afternoon exploring our surroundings & getting some ideas for the images to come.
The next day we split into two groups to keep noise etc to a minimum whilst working from the hides. A couple of us spent the day in the Golden Eagle hide.
My first visit to India was in April 2016, also with NaturesLens, & I absolutely fell in love with the place, we had some awesome tiger sightings in Tadoba, but let’s just say I came away with some ‘unfinished business’ so it didn’t take much persuading to book myself onto the Indian Wildlife Photography Holidays that NaturesLens had arranged for May 2017.
In the weeks prior to our trip there had been many posts on social media showing some amazing tiger sightings so the anticipation grew, & Bandhavgarh didn’t disappoint. It has to be said, however, that nothing is guaranteed – we heard of a few people who had seen very little but NaturesLens put everything in place to give their clients the absolute best opportunity, securing top class drivers & guides, who, over our time in Bandhavgarh, became part of our ‘Team Tiger’ group.
When I refer to ‘sightings’ I really mean ‘photographic opportunities’ not a shadow in the bush which is hardly distinguishable or a bum shot! When I say ‘photographic opportunity’, I mean time to capture an image of quality that meets my own personal standards & that I would be happy for others to see. In total, over the week the group encountered 17 different tigers, some shared moments with numerous other folk & some very special exclusive moments with no one else around other than one Gypsy vehicle – just you & the tiger – those really are moments to treasure.
This image is very much one shared with practically everyone else on safari. For several days Kankatti & her cubs visited the waterhole at pretty much the same time each day so naturally, everybody gathered to witness this special event. We sat & we waited for over an hour in the blazing heat – about 45˚ – & then suddenly the sound of camera shutters. I couldn’t see anything to start with thanks to a beautiful growth of bamboo but then the family appeared, walking around the waterhole & bathing in just the perfect spot.
What an absolute treat! Continue reading
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!
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.
Stellers & White Tailed Sea Eagles – more aspects of Winter Wildlife in Japan
The fourth & last instalment of Nicola’s images is dedicated to the magnificent Steller’s & White Tailed Sea Eagles. Our winter wildlife in Japan tour includes six 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 lakes in the area is always included in our tour, & this year yielded some great images of the Eagles ‘striding’ across the ice.
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 inevitable, Snow Monkeys, followed closely by Steller’s 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.
Some of the NaturesLens Wildlife Photography Holidays for 2018 are now running close to being full or have limited capacity remaining, if you would like to join any of the photography tours & trips noted below, then it may be wise to get a booking in sooner rather than later.
Greece’s Dalmatian Pelicans – the 2nd trip is full, & just two places remain available on the 1st wildlife photography holiday to join Sean in January 2018 to capture images of the awesome Dalmatian Pelicans on Lake Kerkini – we now only have one place remaining on this trip.
Yellowstone’s Winter Wildlife – 2 places only remain available to join both Pui Hang & myself in January & February 2018 for some wonderful winter wildlife photography in Utah & Yellowstone.
Japan’s Winter Wildlife – there’s just 1 place available to join me during February 2018 in Tokyo & from there to travel around this most-enchanting of countries to photograph the awesome Winter Wildlife of Japan – this photography tour has now had all places reserved with a deposit, however, we have opened a page for bookings for a 2019 tour which will follow the same format.
British Columbian Bears – 2 places only remain available to join both Pui Hang & myself in the heart of British Columbia & to photograph the bears & other wildlife of the Taku river, during July 2018.
– we now only have one place remaining on this trip.
Camargue’s Horses – 2 places available to join Pui Hang in Montpellier during September 2018 & to spend 5 days capturing images of the wild white horses of the Camargue.
Washington’s Bald Eagles – 2 places only remain available to join me in December 2018 for some winter wildlife photography of the Bald Eagles that make the rivers of Washington State their home during the colder months.
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 beautiful images were sent to us by Nicola (Billows) who was one of the participants of our 2017 trip to Japan.
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.