Tag Archives: little owl

Birds of Central Spain at El Taray

One of the estates fabulous raptors flies across grassland photographed during the NaturesLens Birds of Toledo photography holiday at Hides del Taray

Our photography tour to El Taray to photograph the Birds of Central Spain was a new trip for 2019 but I can see how it may well become our flagship Spanish birding tour. There is literally something for everyone whether you like raptors, pretty little birds or wading birds.

Ellen was one of our guests on our inaugural trip and she very kindly sent in these stunning images for us to share with you.

We were originally attracted to El Taray because it is home to the largest colony of lesser kestrels that we have ever encountered. However, we soon discovered that the number of species that can be photographed here is simply phenomenal! This includes wild Goshawk that is not live-baited.
But what really puts this trip a cut above all the rest, is the fact that we have permission to stay on the actual estate throughout the course of our trip. And what’s more, we have the services of an amazing cook to prepare delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of this just makes for a more relaxing trip when you are not in the hides photographing the incredible wildlife.

The hides at El Taray have all been custom-built and include ground-level, floating, water-level & sunken hides, allowing you to capture dramatic images from the best angles. Ellen’s images of the stone curlew are some of the best that I have ever seen.

With seven nights at the estate, there are plenty of opportunities to brush up on portrait and flight shots of the various raptors.

The hoopoe is always a popular bird to photograph and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

Our Birds of Central Spain photography holiday will provide you with a week packed with hide sessions, where your photography will benefit from unparalleled access to locations and the best opportunity to photograph a stunning range of bird species.

Ellen said: “I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the entire experience – the birds, the photographic opportunities, staying on the Estate with all the comfort and convenience that provided, and the leadership/organization of the trip.  I thank you both and I very much hope to repeat this trip in the future (maybe 2021).  Please note that I usually do not repeat trips!”

Thanks to Ellen for sharing her images. We hope to see you again soon!

PHOTOGRAPH THE BIRDS OF CENTRAL SPAIN FOR YOURSELF

Our first summer trip to Toledo is already fully booked but we have places available on our second trip in early July 2020.

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 David. Until the end of March, there is a special offer reducing the price from £2499 to £2249 – that is a saving of £250!
All the details of the Birds of Central Spain, Toledo photography holiday are available on the dedicated event page.

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 incredible & 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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Sean’s images from the special set-piece setups that were available at our Autumn Birds of Prey Workshop

The barn owl perched on a vintage water pump photographed during a NaturesLens Birds of Prey Workshop in Mid Wales

We have been running our Welsh Birds of Prey workshop for a number of years now, so it is important to keep things fresh, especially for guests who have attended before. On this occasion, we took along a water pump & a wooden wheel to facilitate some special setups.

The water pump has been used before but we got so many requests to bring it to the autumn workshop that we couldn’t refuse. The shot we were trying to achieve was one where you could just make out the water pump. This involved experimenting with where to position the pump to ensure that enough light fell on the Barn Owl and playing with exposure settings on the camera. The barn owl perched on a vintage water pump photographed during a NaturesLens Birds of Prey Workshop in Mid Wales Continue reading

Birds of Prey Workshop in Mid Wales – a monochrome look

Framed in a broken window, the barn owl photographed during a NaturesLens Birds of Prey Workshop in Mid Wales

We conduct our Birds of Prey workshop in Mid-Wales for many reasons, the main one being that our falconer is also a farmer who has a great photographic eye. He has also allowed some of his buildings to fall into rack & ruin to give us some fabulous settings for our photography workshop.
Framed in a broken window, the barn owl photographed during a NaturesLens Birds of Prey Workshop in Mid Wales Continue reading

Amanda shared some images taken during our Autumn Birds of Prey Workshop

The long eared owl, perched on a twisted tree, photographed on the NaturesLens Autumn Birds of Prey Workshop

Amanda joined our Autumn Birds of Prey workshop as part of her birthday treat. It was her first time attending a photography workshop, but as you can see, Amanda has a real talent!

By spot metering on the owl’s chest, she was able to achieve a studio-like image of the barn owl.
The wonderful barn owl, perched on a vintage water pump, photographed on the NaturesLens Autumn Birds of Prey Workshop
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Ian’s images from the Autumn Birds of Prey workshop

An image of one of the kestrels, perched on a gate post, captured by Ian Roberts, on the NaturesLens Autumn Birds of Prey Photography Workshop

We ran our Autumn Birds of Prey workshop a little later than usual to try & get more autumnal colours. Ian enjoyed our Spring Birds of Prey workshop so much that he decided to join us again.
An image of one of the little owls, captured by Ian Roberts, on the NaturesLens Autumn Birds of Prey Photography Workshop
The workshop started with our usual 2 hours Saturday taster session. The weather forecast didn’t look great, so we brought the workshop forward to avoid the worst of the rain.

We kept the sessions short so that the birds wouldn’t get too wet. Some, like the peregrine falcon & kestrel, didn’t seem to be bothered by the rain as you can see below. I love how Ian has captured the water on the birds’ heads.
A tight head shot of the peregrine falcon, captured by Ian Roberts, on the NaturesLens Autumn Birds of Prey Photography Workshop Continue reading

Owls from one of our Welsh Nature Photography Workshops

The Little Owl poses on a rusted milk churn in the farm yard photographed during the Natureslens Spring 2017 Birds of Prey Photography Workshop

It’s almost time for the Autumn Birds of Prey Workshopmore details of this particular nature photography workshop are available here – but here are some images from Ian, captured during our Spring Birds of Prey Workshop, which is held at the same venue in Mid-Wales.

The Little Owl poses on a mossy stump in the woodland photographed during a Nature Photography Workshop conducted by Natureslens during Spring 2017

The Long Eared Owl poses in woodland photographed during a Nature Photography Workshop conducted by Natureslens during Spring 2017

Ian is a veteran of our wildlife photography holidays & this was his first time attending a captive bird photography workshop with us. He loved the slower pace which allowed him to take his time in composing some stunning shots.

The Long Eared Owl poses on a mossy stump in the woodland photographed during a Nature Photography Workshop conducted by Natureslens during Spring 2017 The Little Owl poses on a rusted milk churn in the farm yard photographed during a Nature Photography Workshop conducted by Natureslens during Spring 2017 The Barn Owl poses on a dilapidated barn door photographed during a Nature Photography Workshop conducted by Natureslens during Spring 2017 The Barn Owl poses on a rusted milk churn photographed during a Nature Photography Workshop conducted by Natureslens during Spring 2017

Our birds are so full of character & Ian did a fantastic job of capturing their personalities. As you can see, he also perfected the peeking owl shot!

The Little Owl poses amongst some vintage storm lanterns photographed during a Nature Photography Workshop conducted by Natureslens during Spring 2017 The Barn Owl peers out from a stone barn window photographed during a Nature Photography Workshop conducted by Natureslens during Spring 2017 The Barn Owl peeks out whilst posed on a dilapidated barn door photographed during a Nature Photography Workshop conducted by Natureslens during Spring 2017 The Tawny Owl perfectly hidden within a hole in one of the old trees photographed during a Nature Photography Workshop conducted by Natureslens during Spring 2017

DO YOU WANT TO CAPTURE YOUR OWN IMAGES ON ONE OF OUR NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS?

We have second Bird of Prey Workshop scheduled for Autumn 2017, this is an opportunity for you to undertake photography of our Welsh Birds of Prey for yourself; the photography workshop costs £220, the dates for the Autumn Birds of Prey Photography Workshop are October 21 – October 22, 2017. The format of the nature photography workshop weekend will be a special late afternoon / early evening session with an owl on Saturday, followed by a full day of birds of prey photography on Sunday. Shorter days move in during autumn, giving you the chance to use the soft light in our unique late afternoon / early evening session to achieve creative imagery.