Tag Archives: winter

12 fantastic raptor reasons to visit Laguna de El Taray during the winter

One of the Bonellis Eagles flying over grassland photographed at Laguna de El Taray during the winter months

Camilo, who owns the estate which encompasses the Laguna de El Taray recently sent us a huge stock of images captured during the winter months; if you needed a reason to convince you to join the trip during the winter months to El Taray, here are twelve of them!

When I first visited Laguna de El Taray, there were no Bonelli’s Eagles present; now, due to the conservation efforts of Camilo & his team, there are several, including a mated pair.
But the estate is home to many other raptors, large & small, we have waxed lyrical about the kites & harriers previously, & during the summer about the amazing colony of Lesser Kestrel; but the estate also supports an important goshawk population, a growing number of Spanish Imperial Eagles, Little Owls & several common kestrels.
Camilo recently switched to a mirrorless system; all of the images on this page, including this beautiful common kestrel photograph, were captured on one of his Sony α9 II bodies coupled to a FE 600mm F4 GM OSS lens.
In addition to the Bonelli’s Eagles, Spanish Imperial Eagles are now found frequenting the laguna & the surrounding grasslands, making for some excellent photographic opportunities.
Our next winter trip is during January 2022, which gives people plenty of time to get vaccinated with both shots & for the world to hopefully start to get back to whatever the new normal will be.
You can guarantee 2022 will see us champing at the bit to show our guests the estate, the fantastic birds & the hides, which facilitate capturing some stunning images.
You can find more details about our offering to photograph the Winter Birds of Toledo by clicking the button below.

Six classic species from the fabulous Scottish Highlands in Winter

Close to home for those of us in the United Kingdom, & not too far for our European friends, the fabulous wildlife of the Scottish Highlands in Winter offers opportunities to capture classic images of several different species, both in portrait style, but also within the environment.

Top of the list for anyone hoping to capture evocative images of the wildlife of the Scottish Highlands has to be the Red Squirrel.
Red Squirrels are just one of the species to photograph during the NaturesLens Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Holiday
Within the Caledonian forests, you will find the Red Squirrel darting from tree to tree & scampering across the ground in search of food. There are estimated to be only 160,000 red squirrels remaining in the UK, 75% of which are in Scotland. Loss of woodland in the past has caused difficulties for red squirrels, but Scottish forests are currently expanding.
Mountain Hares are amongst the species to photograph whilst in the Scottish Highlands during Winter
Second, slightly harder to obtain images of due to the altitudes at which they live, the Mountain Hare, this species is renowned for turning white in winter to match their upland surroundings; this is just one part of how this creature has adapted to polar & mountainous habitats.
Ptarmigan are just one of the species to photograph during the NaturesLens Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Holiday
Also found at higher altitudes, & also a species that changes colour according to the season, the Ptarmigan; the ptarmigan is a medium-sized gamebird in the grouse family. In summer, it is a mixture of grey, brown & black above with white bellies & wings. In winter, it becomes white except for its tail & eye-patch, which remain black.
Impressive Red Deer are included in the species to photograph in the Scottish Highlands during Winter
The red deer is Scotland’s largest deer. Males have large, branching antlers, increasing in size as they get older. Red deer are dark russet-brown, with a paler buff rump patch & a light tail. Red deer live on moorland & mountainsides, as well as grasslands near to woodland.
The punk rock Crested Tit is one of the species to photograph during the NaturesLens Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Holiday
The Crested Tit is a species which you will only find within the Caledonian pine forest of the Scottish Highlands; they appear to be hyperactive birds, often appearing restless as they forage for food in the Scots pines & on the ground. Although they are less colourful than many of the other tit species, they have a striking crest on the top of their head which can be raised & folded back to varying lengths. Their black & white speckled forehead enhances this impressive feature. They also have a black, eyeliner style, mark through the eye & a thin black collar.
The Red Grouse is one of the species to photograph in the Scottish Highlands during Winter
The red grouse is a medium-sized bird of the grouse family which is found in heather moorland in Great Britain & Ireland. It is usually classified as a subspecies of the willow ptarmigan. The red grouse is differentiated from the willow ptarmigan & rock ptarmigan by its plumage being reddish-brown, & not having a white winter plumage. The tail is black & the legs are white. There are white stripes on the underwing & red combs over the eye.
All these species & more besides can be photographed during our new 7-night photography tour to capture images of the fabulous wildlife of the Scottish Highlands, this will take place between the dates of 7th – 14th February 2021. It is ideal for photographing crested tit, mountain hare, ptarmigan, red deer, red grouse, red squirrel & more. The Scottish Highlands in Winter tour is of 7-nights duration & costs £1749 per participant; this wildlife photography holiday takes place in the Inverness area of Scotland within the United Kingdom.

10 beautiful images showing what can be captured during our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Tours

A beautiful trio of Dalmatian Pelicans photographed during one of the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Tours

Our Dalmatian Pelican photography tours take place at Lake Kerkini, a premier location for birdwatchers & photographers. Mountain ranges protect three sides of the lake which provides a mild climate & an abundance of fish for over 300 species of birds, many of whom are migratory birds en route to the South East of Europe or Africa.

We time our holidays to coincide with their breeding season which is when these charismatic birds look their best with their bright red pouches & crazy hair-dos.
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10 images of the magnificent Golden Eagles of the Swedish Winter

One of the stunning Golden Eagles photographed during a snow storm this image was captured on the NaturesLens Golden Eagles of the Swedish Winter Photography Holiday 1

The excitement & anticipation of our trip to photograph the Golden Eagles of the Swedish Winter was unbearable for all us including our guests! The expectations of photographing the wildlife & especially getting up close & personal with wild Golden Eagles in this beautiful snow-capped Swedish pine forest was going to be epic!

It all started with a trip around the M25 towards Heathrow where I met our first guest as we started our journey’s final destination to Skellefteå Airport in Sweden. I met our other guests for this trip at the Swedish airport as they were flying in from Hong Kong!
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12 mesmerizing images of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Kerkini

Beautifully reflected in the waters of Kerkini a quartet of the Pelicans photographed by Tony Berry during one of the 2019 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Tours

Earlier this year, Tony attended our Dalmatian Pelicans of Kerkini photography holiday. 2019 saw the return of snow & ice to the region so he faced some challenging weather conditions but thanks to our resourceful boatman, Tony came back with some stunning photos. He has very kindly sent in 12 beautiful images for us to share with you.

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Photographing the Ice Grizzlies of the Yukon

A Grizzly Bear Making A Splash In The River   Captured During The Natureslens Ice Grizzlies Of The Yukon Photography Holiday

My experience of photographing the Ice Grizzlies of the Yukon could very easily read like one of those early childhood ‘what I did in my holidays’ essays. “I got up & then I got on a coach. I went to the airport & flew in a big plane to a place called Vancouver. I got into another, smaller plane & went to Whitehorse. It was snowy & cold. The next day I got in an even smaller plane & went to a place called Dawson City.  It was a Sunday; everything was closed. I stayed in a hotel & then we got in a helicopter. Then we saw bears & a wolf. Then we came home”.

That’s pretty accurate, albeit over-simplistic. It’s quite an adventure getting to Bear Cave Mountain, but boy is it worth it. Dawson City is a fascinating mix of history & modern. Many old buildings date from the Gold Rush era, in varying states of upkeep, & the trappings of modern life, but with a very Northern twist. A seasonal city that serves the tourist industry as well as still supporting commercial gold extraction. It was post-season when we were there but it was still fascinating & the people are welcoming.
The next stage of the adventure is the helicopter ride — two hours over the starkly majestic tundra & mountains of the Northern Yukon. Challenging & inhospitable doesn’t even start to describe it. The approach to the camp is ‘interesting’. There’s no sign of where the camp is & the pilot just took us down to river level & landed on a shingle ‘beach’. Only then could we see the camp through the trees. Settling in didn’t take long. There are only four buildings & a ‘room with a view’ – more on this later – the main cabin, three two-person sleeping cabins & a loo.
The message from the very point of arrival was that this is grizzly bear country & everywhere was a potential viewing site – yes, even the camp. And that, I suppose, is the key to the success of this place. Respect the grizzly bears & their environment & they will reward you. The local guides, Phil & Ross, were quick to induct us into the required behaviour – slow, deliberate movement, no talking unless necessary, & then very quietly. The philosophy is to give the bears nothing – no encouragement, no reward, & no bad experiences of humans. It works.

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New dates for the Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain

one of the grizzly bears emerges from the fishing branch river covered in ice typical of the kind of image that may be captured on the ice bears of the yukon photographic holiday

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 took 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!

An Atmospheric Image Of A Bear In The Landscape Of Fishing Branch River Typical Of The Kind Of Image That May Be Captured On The NaturesLens Ice Grizzlies of Bear Cave Mountain Photographic Holiday Continue reading

More of the Golden Eagles of the Swedish Winter

Coming In For A Landing On The Snow, One Of The Golden Eagles   Photographed During The Golden Eagles Of The Swedish Winter Photography Holiday

The Golden Eagles of the Swedish Winter was Murray’s first trip with NaturesLens & he enjoyed himself so much that he went on to book another snow-related tour; which he has just completed, he visited the Ice Grizzlies of the Yukon with both of us.

I have to say that the images which came out of the first Golden Eagles of the Swedish Winter photography tour were just stunning! Majestic eagles, little birds & even a fox!
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