Tag Archives: bird photography

Spanish Bird Photography in 2018

Nestled in the trees within the olive grove, the little owls make their nests image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

We run 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 Trips.

One of Calera's Bustards at sunrise image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

Our weekend to weekend offering, Spanish Birds of the Calera Plains, is now in the fifth year of running – this Spanish Bird photography holiday takes place between 21st – 29th April 2018 – during the 8 night duration trip, you should hopefully be able to spend time in the hides capturing images of 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. The trip is designed to allow you to take advantage of each of the various hides, multiple times; additionally there are further hides that you should be able to make use of, one for passerines & another, the lake hide, which has produced some amazing images of stilts & other lake dwellers through the years.

On the ground, a little owl attempts to out stare the camera lens grove image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

Running several weeks earlier, on 30th March – 2nd April 2018, the long weekend trip, of 3 nights duration, known as Birds of the Spanish Plains, will afford you time in the hides to capture images of black kite, black vulture, black-winged kite, cuckoo, great bustard, great grey shrike, griffon vulture, hoopoe, kestrel, lesser kestrel, little owl, red-legged partridge & more, plus hopefully, at this early point in the calendar, there will be opportunities for photography of the marsh harrier.

The afternoon sessions at the shoreline hide are often bathed in a glorious light image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

At the beginning of May, specifically 5th – 7th May 2018, a weekend visit will afford clients four hide sessions, two morning & two evening, hopefully providing opportunities to photograph bee-eater, black kite, black vulture, black-winged kite, great grey shrike, griffon vulture, hoopoe, kestrel, lesser kestrel, little owl, red-legged partridge, roller & more; we also hope to include the little bustard for this 2 night trip.

Tossing an insect, this European Bee eater demonstrates it's agility image captured during a NaturesLens Spanish Bird Photography Holiday

Our last trip for 2018, sees us visit during the weekend of 26th – 28th May 2018, this trip, will again afford clients four hide sessions, two morning & two evening, hopefully providing opportunities to photograph the following species, bee-eater, black kite, black vulture, great grey shrike, griffon vulture, little bustard, little owl, red kite, roller & more besides.

A mated pair of the little owls that live in one of the nearby olive groves photographed during the Natureslens Birds of Spain Photography Holiday

The location of the hides in the area surrounding Toledo is superb, teeming with wildlife & has never failed to impress, this is why we have used this network of hides for the last four years, & will continue to do so, it would be great to have you join NaturesLens for any of the above wildlife photography holidays, the 8 night trip is led for NaturesLens by Sean Weekly, whilst Pui Hang & myself split the guiding duties on the weekend visits – all four of the Spanish Bird Photography Trips are conducted on a full board, non-shared hotel room basis; & we include easy transfers between Madrid Airport & Calera y Chozas.

One of the Lesser Kestrels passes food to it's mate photographed on one of the pair of NaturesLens Wildlife Photography Holidays to capture images of the Birds of Spain

Showcasing Florida’s Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake

An Osprey Perched On The Very Top Of One Of Cypress Trees Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

In April 2016, I was lucky enough to lead a group of clients & friends to Florida on the NatureLens Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday, our main target – rather obviously – the ospreys, that have made the cypress trees that have grown on the banks on Blue Cypress Lake their home.
An Osprey Flies Out From Amongst The Cypress Trees Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday
This is the 1st of several posts in which I will publish images of some of the wildlife that I was lucky enough to photograph on the week-long trip.
An Osprey Perched On The Very Top Of One Of Cypress Trees Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday
During the 7 days that the trip took place over, we ventured out onto the lake every morning prior to sunrise, returning 4 hours later when the light became too harsh for photography.
An Osprey Flies Amongst The Cypress Trees Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday
It was evident that although a large number of osprey chicks had already hatched, the need for nesting material was still vast, with many birds returning to nests with large amounts of material to build or line the nest with.
An Osprey Returns With Fresh Nesting Material To It's Nest Amongst The Cypress Trees Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday
Talons Loaded With Fresh Nesting Material, An Returns To It's Nest Amongst The Cypress Trees Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday
At the beginning of the week, the osprey chicks were barely tall enough to see over the edge of the nest, within the next 7 days, after being fed each day with fish caught by both the parents, the chicks were large enough for us to clearly observe them & their behaviour.
Fiercely Protective Of The Young In The Nest, One Of The Female Ospreys Warns Off Any Intruders Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday
The sheer number of ospreys – there must be a nest in every other tree – coupled with the number of chicks demanding to be fed, lead to a constant back & forth of adult birds, heading out then returning with freshly caught fish, of a number of varieties, to feed their ravenous young.
An Osprey Returns From A Successful Dive With A Fish Grippeed In It's Claws Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday
An Osprey Returns To The Nest Clutching A Fish For The Young Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography HolidayBlue Cypress Lake, itself, is a large lake with a shoreline that has seen very little development, on the shoreline itself are  hundreds of beautiful cypress trees; it is these trees that create a perfect nesting environment for the ospreys & their chicks.
An Osprey Circles And Stares Directly Into The Camera Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday   An Osprey Lands On The Very Topmost Branches Of One Of The Cypress Trees Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday  An Osprey Perches At The Top Of One Of The Cypress Trees Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

Big thanks to Fabiola & Alfred, who were a great help with information when I was initially setting the trip up.

It is my intention to return to Florida & the Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake in April 2019, for a follow-up trip; as well as the ospreys & the birds of the rookeries, we will be seeking out opportunities with barred owls in the late afternoon – & have dedicated an additional 2 days to photography of Cape Coral’s Burrowing Owls.

Join Natureslens to Photograph the Ospreys of Blue Cypress Lake for Yourself

To hold a place on the trip, we only require an £800 deposit from you, with the balance due 12 weeks prior to the trip taking place.

Having Just Left The Nest, An Osprey Flies Out To Catch A Fish On The Lake Photographed On The NatureLens Ospreys Of Blue Cypress Lake Photography Holiday

The dreamy Dalmatian Pelicans of the Greek Lakes

Dalmatian Pelicans are by a small margin the largest of the pelican species & as a whole one of the largest living bird species.

Almost prehistoric in appearance, the dalmatian pelicans of Greece are extremely photoegenic - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

An adult pelican can measure up to 185 cm in length, weigh up to 15 kg in weight & have a wingspan of up to 350cm. A Dalmatian Pelican’s average weight is around 11.5 kg, which makes it amongst the heaviest flying bird species in the world, although the largest individuals among male bustards & swans may be heavier than one of the largest individual Dalmatian pelican.

The focal point of the pelican is often the eye, staring out from underneath the messy hairdo - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans appear to have one of the largest wingspans of any living bird, rivaling those of the great albatrosses & the great white pelican.

One of Greece's Dalamatian Pelicans drifts serenely on the surface of the lake - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

In winter, adult Dalmatian pelicans go from silvery-grey to a dingier brownish-grey cream colour, whilst the young birds are grey. During the breeding season, adult birds have an orange-red lower mandible & pouch against a yellow upper mandible, additionally their plumage reverts to the silvery-grey. In winter, the whole bill is a somewhat dull yellow.

Dalmatian Pelicans are often silent, as most pelicans tend to be, although during the mating season, it can be fairly vocal, during this period it may engage in a wide range of guttural, deep vocalisations, including barks, hisses & grunts.

In full breeding plummage & with their pouch a vibrant orange, the dalmatian pelicans make for an entrancing photographic subject - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans are generally found in lakes, rivers, deltas & estuaries, as a species, the Dalmatian Pelican is less opportunistic in breeding habitat selection than other pelicans, in general returning to a traditional breeding site year after year unless it becomes completely unsuitable.

A ripple in the water disrupts the relection of one of the Dalamatian Pelicans as it drifts serenely on the surface of the lake - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

During the season of winter, Dalmatian Pelicans usually stay on ice-free lakes in Europe or seasonal lakes in India.

A ripple in the surface of Lake Kerkini's water disrupts the relection of one of the Dalamatian Pelicans as it drifts serenely on the surface of the lake - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans have declined greatly throughout its range, more so than any other of the pelicans. Reportedly, there were once millions of Dalmatian pelicans in Romania alone. During the 20th century, the species’ numbers underwent a dramatic decline for reasons that are not entirely understood. The most likely reason was habitat loss due to human activities such as the drainage of wetlands & land development.

A Dalamatian Pelicans drifts serenely on the surface of the lake - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

Why not photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans for yourself?

Lake Kerkini is one of the most important wetlands in Europe & it is easy to see why. For photographers keen to add more birds to their wildlife portfolio, a sojourn in Lake Kerkini provides an abundance of opportunities. Our focus during our photography holiday is the striking Dalmatian Pelican, which can be seen at Lake Kerkini from mid-January through to March.

Unlike many similar wildlife photography trips, the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini photography holiday gives three days at the lake & our accommodation is convenient & comfortable, just five minutes from Lake Kerkini, which allows us to maximise photography time. There are two sessions per day, with boat trips in the morning & shoreline feeding in the afternoon.

Our photography holiday for the dates of January 12, 2017 – January 16, 2017 still has spaces available & costs £949 for the 5 day trip, lead by Dan Tim, the trip includes all food, accommodation, boat trips, shoreline feeds & airport transfers!

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