Category Archives: spain

21 fabulous images of the wildlife of Laguna del Taray

Locked in the stare of a harrier an example of the wildlife of Laguna del Taray that may be photographed during our Spanish Wildlife Birdlife of Toledo Photography Holiday

This was my first visit to the hide network that David had spent a year raving about; this hide network facilitates photography of the wildlife of Laguna del Taray & I was blown away by the accommodation, the setting & the wildlife.

Once you come to the end of the 4km dirt track from the main road you pull through some gates & the sweeping walls of the ex-hunting estate welcome you as tens of swallow explode out of the old stable block that is now used for car storage. The inside is very traditional & combined with the excellent home cooking, wine & sangria really sets the scene for a beautiful week in rural Spain.
The estate is now turned back fully to nature with no hunting & as a consequence the wildlife of Laguna del Taray has really bounced back with several raptor species doing well & some super mammals even cropping up on trial cams!
The raptor hides provide loads of opportunities for marsh harriers & common buzzards, if you’re lucky something even more special can turn up too!
There are some great European pin-ups on offer too with several reliable roller hides & hoopoes popping up in front of just about every hide! In fact, I’d never seen so many, hoopoes were extremely common on the estate.
One of my favourite hides was, of course, the lesser kestrels. These tiny birds are incredibly entertaining as they bring prey back for their semi-fledged young lined up on the roof. The constant activity is enough to keep even the most conservative shooter firing multiple frames a second!
This year was unusually dry which meant a lot of the water hides couldn’t be used, however the water holes are kept filled to the brim & these proved to be fantastic with loads of visitors throughout all the sessions. These were the hides that left photographers a bit worn out because of the endless opportunities to capture. A week with the wildlife of Laguna del Taray can only be described as a brilliant experience & the images shown both above & below are just a small selection to give an idea of the variety!
I’ll be returning in January 2020, for the Winter Raptors & can’t wait to see the changes & variation over the seasons!

PHOTOGRAPH THE SPANISH WILDLIFE & BIRDLIFE OF TOLEDO YOURSELF

To photograph the Spanish Wildlife & Birdlife of Toledo during the Winter, join Dan, in Spain during January 2020 for a trip lasting 5 nights. Over 4 ½ days of photography, you will have the use of a collection of brilliant hides to capture images of a range of birds, including the raptors of the estate, that call Laguna del Taray their home during the winter months.

This winter photography holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared basis. Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 5 participants & a maximum of 7, plus Dan. Until September 13th 2019, there is a special offer of £1699 available.
All the details of the Winter Raptors of Toledo photography holiday are available on the dedicated event page.
However, should you wish to visit this magnificent hide network during the summer, then you can join Alan, in Spain during June & July 2020 for a trip lasting 7 nights. This photography holiday is ideal for photographing a vast variety of Spanish Birds, including common buzzard, common reed warbler, common sandpiper, crested lark, hoopoe, Iberian hare, lesser kestrel, little owl, harriers of varying type, spotless starling, starling, stone curlew, wild rabbit & more besides!
The summer photography holiday is also offered on a full board, non-shared basis. Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 5 participants & a maximum of 7, plus Alan. Until September 13th 2019, there is a special offer reducing the price to £2249 available.
All the details of the Spanish Birdlife of Toledo photography holiday are available on the dedicated event page.

21 images of the captivating Wildlife & Birdlife of Toledo

A lesser kestrel perched on a tree photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Wildlife Birdlife of Toledo Photography Holiday

Graham was one of the group of guests that joined myself & Dan in Spain during July 2019, to photograph the fabulous Wildlife & Birdlife of Toledo – we had a superb group of guests join us, who were a lot of fun, totally engaged & there to make the most of the week of photographic opportunities; along with the superb organisation skills of our hosts, this made for a most enjoyable time.

Graham was lucky in that he captured a few species & behaviours that others didn’t have the chance to experience including crows mobbing the larger raptors at the the various raptor & harrier hides in El Taray …
… & the bee-eaters; sadly the bee-eater nesting had all failed earlier in the summer, the birds tried for a second nesting, but this too failed; the end result of this was that the population of the colony had begun to migrate & disperse earlier than normal. This meant that opportunities with the bee-eaters were to be cherished & made the most of – & Graham did so.
As noted elsewhere, on previous blog posts, the rollers were increasing in activity through the week, with some hides working well earlier in the week, & others becoming highly active in the latter part of the stay; this meant that many of the guests were able to experience the birds in all their glory, & for Graham to capture the quintessential image of a roller tossing an insect into the air to catch in it’s mouth!
When I left, leaving the group with Dan & Luis, the hoopoes were increasing in activity, Graham took advantage of this with a number of visits to the hoopoe photography hides, resulting in some really beautiful images as shown above.
We had timed the trip perfectly for the action on the roofs which the Lesser Kestrel colony have made their nests within, & Graham capitalised upon this, with perched & in flight shots being added to his portfolio.
One of my favourite behavioural moments with Lesser Kestrels is food retrieval, the adults bringing insects back to their young or during the incubation period, the males to the females – the activity on the rooftops was frenetic, with the young demanding food, & the adults making content forays for insects, which they gently passed to the young.
As with each of the other guests, the Stone Curlews at the ware holes were a firm favourite, the drinking shots below, I think capture the pbehaviour of this bird throughout the week perfectly.
As a wrap-up, a few images of the smaller birds & passerines of the estate put on a good show, enabling our guests to capture some great images of them, whilst on a larger scale, the raptors, both harriers & buzzards made their presence known at the hides whilst Graham was ready with him camera.

PHOTOGRAPH THE SPANISH WILDLIFE & BIRDLIFE OF TOLEDO YOURSELF

To photograph the Spanish Wildlife & Birdlife of Toledo yourself, join Alan, in Spain during June & July 2020 for a trip lasting 7 nights. This photography holiday is ideal for photographing a vast variety of Spanish Birds, including common buzzard, common reed warbler, common sandpiper, crested lark, hoopoe, Iberian hare, lesser kestrel, little owl, harriers of varying type, spotless starling, starling, stone curlew, wild rabbit & more besides!

The photography holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared basis. Group size for this photography holiday is a minimum of 5 participants & a maximum of 7, plus Alan. Until September 13th 2019, there is a special offer reducing the price to £2249 available.
All the details of the Spanish Birdlife of Toledo photography holiday are available on the dedicated event page.

20 images of the fabulous Spanish Wildlife & Birdlife of Toledo

A European hare stands on the ground glances at the camera photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Wildlife Birdlife of Toledo Photography Holiday

Like John & George, whose images we published recently, Tim was another of the guests that joined me & Dan for the Spanish Wildlife & Birdlife of Toledo Photography Holiday during July of Summer 2019 – as you will see further down, Tim has a bit more of a ‘raptor thing’ going on, with the harriers, he’s my sort of chap! He did, however, capture some images of some rather splendid other species, including the hare at the top of this blog posting!

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12 images of the fabulous Spanish Birdlife & other Wildlife of El Taray

A crouched Hoopoe photographed during the Spanish Birdlife of Toledo Photography Holiday 1

John’s images of the Spanish birdlife & wildlife shows the enormous variety of species to be seen & images to be captured.  For sure, favourite species do get photographed by the group as a whole, such as the hoopoe. But as a group, our guests found enough variety on this trip to add to their portfolio without overlapping with one & other, thanks to the widespread network of hides across the estate.

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17 images of the fantastic Wildlife & Birdlife of Toledo

One of the estate hares stands alert photographed during the NaturesLens Spanish Birdlife of Toledo photography holiday

When I first visited the estate that we would use for our Spanish Birdlife of Toledo Photography Holiday during the summer of 2018, I knew that this was going to be something extraordinary indeed. The estate owner, an ex-hunter, had dedicated himself, along with his collaborative partner, entirely to the project & were already a long way to establishing what looked to be one of, if not the best-equipped hide network that I had seen in Spain, if not worldwide! The attention to detail was meticulous. Camilo, having swapped his gun for a camera, wanted every shot to be perfect. In this task, the pair have primarily achieved their aim, with only nature set to thwart them once or twice!

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Our photography holidays for Spanish bird photography during 2019

As with previous years, for 2019, we will be running a number of wildlife photography holidays to the Spanish Plains, each is designed to allow you to photograph the wide variety of Spanish bird species that live in, on & above these expansive vistas; you may wonder what species are likely to be photographable during each of the various Spanish bird photography tours that we have within our portfolio of offerings for Spanish Bird Photography .

One of Calera's Bustards at sunrise image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday
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My 2018 return to the Golden Eagles & Raptors of Spain

A Bonelli's Eagle Of The Sierra Morena Region Of Spain   Image Captured During The NaturesLens Golden Eagles & Raptors Of Spain Photography Holiday

I travelled back to the mountains of the Sierra Morena in Spain in mid-April to lead the NaturesLens Golden Eagles & Raptors of Spain Photography Holiday for the second time.

Last year’s trip had been amazing & the whole group came back with some phenomenal images, including some from the now famous red fox versus golden eagle encounter. I couldn’t wait to go back & see what 2018 had to offer & I was not disappointed.
We took the first flight out of Gatwick to Malaga & then transferred to Adamuz which was our base & home for the duration of the trip. This provincial town is situated in beautiful natural surroundings & its picturesque location made it the perfect place to sit around for a beer or two after the photography sessions.
When we arrived, we dropped our bags at the hotel & headed straight out to the Golden Eagle hide. The location of the hide is about 20km from the hotel driving through some of the most scenic landscape. In case you are wondering, there is no long walk to the hide as we are dropped off right outside!
The Eagles decided that they did not want to play ball that afternoon. But that was ok, because the 50 Griffon Vultures that arrived kept us very busy! I love these scavenging raptors, so for me, this was vulture heaven!

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A 2018 visit to the fantastic Spanish Birds of Calera

A Lesser Kestrel Having A Scratch On The Rooftop Of A Derelict Farm Building   Image Captured During The 2018 Spanish Bird Photography Holiday In Calera

Spring of 2018 saw me spending two weeks in Spain. The first week was for the Eagles & Raptors photography holiday in the Sierra Morena Mountains. The second week saw me travelling to Madrid to collect the next group of clients & then on to Calera y Chozas for the NaturesLens Spanish bird photography holiday.

The Natureslens photography tour to Calera has been running for a few years now & always offers a wide variety of birds to photograph on the plains & the mountains close to the area.  2018 was my first visit here after taking over guiding from the incredibly talented Dan Trim. Having seen his images from the previous trips he led for NaturesLens, I couldn’t wait to see them for myself.
Calera y Chozas is just two hours drive from Madrid & is an area with many locations for photographic opportunities. In previous years, when David, Pui Hang & Dan have led trips there, the bar had been set high with images of Azure-winged Magpie, bee-eater, black kite, black vulture, black-winged kite, cuckoo, great bustard, great grey shrike, griffon vulture, hoopoe, kestrel, lesser kestrel, little owl, red kite & red-legged partridge & more all being captured. Continue reading