Sweden/Valencia and Hungary
I find it so hard to believe that I haven't updated this blog section in so long. It seems that I haven't updated since my Germany trip to see the elusive Goshawk and so much has happened since then. During the last 2 years I have had several trips abroad which I have now uploaded images in various sections of this website.
Sweden - I travelled to Northern Sweden to try and photograph the wild Golden Eagle and what a trip it turned out to be.It was a dedicated Golden Eagle trip however it offered so much more, from a lone white tailed eagle which managed to get in a full blown fight with the resident golden eagle (my highlight of the trip to see such a thing) to the small birds fighting to survive in temps as low as -20 degrees. A welcome visitor was the little grey headed woodpecker who came along most days and stayed a while all the time allowing us great views and images to remember it by. The "Goldies" were seen on average every 2nd day and could hang around from a minute to more than an hour. One thing that did cause issues was the distance to where the birds liked to hang around was around 80m all of which we could have various atmospheric conditions to play with and shoot through with our cameras - a steep learning curve of which you can see the results in the "Raptor" section.
Valencia - this was a first for me, to travel abroad with only landscapes/cityscapes in mind. Added to the pressure was that i was trying out my newly purchased Nikon D810 camera for the very first time. A short flight with extra leg room set of the trip superbly and a quick checkin into the superb hotel which was only 150m from the "City of Arts and Sciences" which was my main aim to photograph. This is a very modern area which both locals and tourists flock to - look it up to find out more info. This area really requires no wind and decent weather as most often or not it's the reflection images that people want to see however if you look hard enough there is plenty of other things to photograph in the area. I managed to get most of the images i really wanted however a large open air concert had blocked off part of the area i wanted to go to hence i now have another visit organised for the middle of Oct 2017. Again images from the trip have been uploaded to my "Landscapes" section on this site.
Hungary - my most recent photography trip and what a trip it became. I had visited Hungary a few years ago and it was a fantastic trip which led me to want to return. This time we visited another part of Hungary which allowed us to see and photograph many new and different species. My friends Chas and Rich both are experienced in these long trips abroad with me however i think we all underestimated how hard it can be with only 3-4hrs sleep per night. Great weather and great wildlife everywhere on this trip which resulted in me taking around 3000 images and I'm sure my other 2 friends had as much if not more images to download. What i liked was the vast diversity of wildlife and species and as such so far Hungary (both trips) are amongst the best trips i have done to date. A few highlights from the trip were-
1. Seeing and photographing the Marsh Harrier at a decent distance for my lens/camera combo.
2.Having a female Kestrel land only 3m from me only for it to attack a mouse in a brick pile, this resulted in 1 dead mouse and 1 happy Kestrel and an even more happy photographer (me) who watched it all unfold at such a close distance. The Kestrel then decided to go on top of the bricks and eat the mouse - all around 3m from me.
3.Watching a small pond for ducks when approx 30 Common Cranes decided to join the party and cause havoc in the pond and with the resident ducks - what a sight on such a small pond.
4.Watching and photographing a Red Footed Falcon pair do a food pass (a mouse of sorts) right in front of me. The female then flew the mouse back to its young within its nest site.
5.Last but not least by any means was watching the antics of some shrikes (Lesser Grey Shrikes and Red Backed Shrikes) both of which species are fearless. These birds often live and nest along with raptors of various description and can be seen chasing them away if they get too close, these birds are often only around 1/10th of the size of the birds they chase. One of the best birds to date that i have watched. Just a small selection of images have been uploaded to the "Raptor and Bird" sections for you to look at.
Next up is my 2nd trip to Valencia which I'm really looking forward to however just as important to me is a few trips i have planned to around the Glencoe area with my newly purchased drone (DJI Phantom 4 Pro) which thanks to Sharon who bought me this will give me something new to learn and practice with, so watch out for images from the drone and possibly a Video section being added to this website. Till the next instalment.
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