During December 2017, I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Wildcats, Eagles & Lynx of Spain; this was preparation for a trip that we were researching to add to our portfolio. Once again, I visited Spain in the hope of capturing some images of the elusive Iberian lynx. This wasn’t the first time that we have attempted to launch a photography trip focussed on these subjects. My initial attempt was back in January 2016, but unfortunately, it was unsuccessful for a variety of reasons, not least the lack of sightings.
I arrived in Sierra Morena hoping to be lucky as the reports I had been receiving was that lynx had been spotted in the areas on a regular basis. I arrived too late to go into the lynx hide so spent the afternoon chatting with my host about the species I hoped to photograph to see if we could turn this into a potential photography tour for the guests of NaturesLens – over the next few hours, the plan for the Wildcats, Eagles & Lynx of Spain was formed.
Our host has been working on his lynx project for some years & the area is now home to a more Iberian lynx than Doñana National Park with excellent, regular sightings.
The following morning, I rose early to visit the Imperial Spanish Eagle hide. As soon as the sun rose, to my surprise, a Golden Eagle appeared on the large rock to my right. I watched this magnificent raptor feed for a short while, to allow it to settle before I started taking images.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Following on from our Bears of Finland Photography Holiday announcement of earlier this weekend, today we are spilling the beans on a further two new bird photography holidays for 2017 that should be packed with superb opportunities to add some stunning images to your portfolio.
Eagles & Raptors of Spain Photography Holiday
NaturesLens invites wildlife photographers of amateur & semi-professional ability to join them in escaping to the wilderness of the Sierra Morena, capturing stunning images of native eagle & raptor species. Observe these magnificent birds as they soar overhead, scouting out prey across the hills below.
Based in a rustic Spanish village, you will enjoy the unspoilt scenery & emblematic species which the region has to offer. Small group sizes ensure that you have optimum use of the hides, allowing you to capture spectacular images from the best angles, with photography guidance provided by NaturesLens leaders where needed. Spaces are therefore limited, so book early to avoid disappointment!
Full details of the Eagles & Raptors of Spain Photography Holiday are available here – response has been great so far & we only have two places remaining available.
This photography holiday is being led by Sean Weekly, one of the NaturesLens guiding team since 2016.
Golden Eagles & Goshawks in Winter Photography Holiday
Join NaturesLens in the snow-covered forests & mountains of northern Norway, observing breathtaking scenes as golden eagles & goshawks soar & settle in their remote & unspoilt habitats. NaturesLens guides will assist you in taking stunning photographs of these impressive bird species, the Golden Eagles & Goshawks, as well as others, with the dramatic mountain landscape providing the perfect backdrop.
This is a wildlife photography excursion like no other, designed with photographers in mind to ensure you are given the best experience possible. Book early as places are limited.
Full details of the Golden Eagles & Goshawks In Winter Photography Holiday are available here.
This photography holiday is being led by Kevin Morgans, a veteran member of the NaturesLens guiding team since NaturesLens first started.
Earlier this year, David was part of a small group who headed to capture images of the birds of the Spanish plains with Pui Hang & myself, we spent a weekend photograph the various species that are to be found in the area.
Ordinarily, we had expected some of the species to have diminished numbers as they would have started to migrate following their successful breeding earlier in the season, however the season had been wet, many of the earlier clutches had sadly failed & so large numbers of birds remained & were trying for a second clutch – this certainly applied to the hoopoes, the bee-eaters & more.
During Mid-April 2015, NaturesLens have been offered exclusive use of some hides in Spain. Located not far from Madrid, the hides provide some great photography of some of the birds of Spain, in short, some stunning species at some awesome locations! This is a trip that offers unique wildlife photography of some of Spain’s best bird species from some of the best hides we know of.
Species you should be able to capture incredible images from the hides include the following:
Marsh Harrier & Montagu’s Harrier
Hoopoe, Bee Eater, Shrike, Roller & Magpie
Curlew & more from a Lake hide
If you’d like to see more sample photos of some of these species, these are available on the booking page – all were taken at the hides that we will be using. If you want to see any further photos, please contact us by email.
[su_promotional_box promo_link_text=”Book Now” promo_link=”https://natureslens.co.uk/event/birds-of-spain-photography-holiday/” promo_content=”Reserve a place on the NaturesLens Birds of Calera, Spain Photography Holiday, with a deposit of only £300, balance due February 2015.”]
Flights to Madrid are not included in the trip price, but are currently available for an approximate cost of £100.