A couple of weeks ago I went to Brisbane for a week (yes I am not sane) to shoot some wildlife. The first few days I stayed in Brisbane to see what wildlife was hiding in the parks and botanic gardens. These are the results of the first 3 days, visiting the Botanical Gardens, Mt. Coo-tha Botanic Gardens and Roma Street Parkland Park. Of course there are also a couple of photos of very ordinary species (for Australians), but photographed (hopefully) in an interesting way…. Enjoy!
My top pic(k)s of 2017
2018 Is here and the best nine 2017 generator has chosen many top nine pics on Instagram as many of you have seen. But what are my own favourites?
2017 Was a good year with a lot of new species and a few countries visited. 2018 will come with a big surprise to all of you…..later more.
But first, here they are, my own top # pic(k)s of 2017:
#1 – Little Bittern – This is actually one of my first pictures of the Little Bittern. In the early mornings at first light walking in stinking rotten waterplants hip deep in water. One of the first Little Bitterns I have ever seen, popped out of the reed completely exposed, sitting on a reed stalk, in that oh so wonderful golden light, catching the tiniest fish.
#2 – Marpissa Muscosa – I have always loved these tiny jumping spiders. But getting a female doing something extraordinary tack sharp with my super macro lens took some practise.
#3 – Hawfinch – I brought my own tiny piece of tree with freshly sprouting leafs to the hide and imagined a Hawfinch to sit on this branch. And he did, and he did it as perfect as possible: with his back towards me, showing his beautiful coloured and beautifully formed wingfeathers, while looking directly into the camera.
#4 – European Rollers – Being the fairytale coloured birds they are, this Rollerpair only kissed once during the few hours I waited for them.
#5 – Common Kingfisher – Shot a lot of Kingfishers but never underwater. This is a shot of my second day of attempts (approx. 16h) and it brought me a(n Almost) Perfect symmetric, award winning diving Kingfisher
#6 – European Bee-eater – Getting a Bee-eater in flight is quite difficult, because they are incredibly fast. This male arrived prefectly symmetric with a, how characteristic, a bee!
#7 – Little Bittern – The females arrived later than the men. Completely exposed, mirrored, action shot.
#8 – Nothern Goshawk – 2016 Was my Sparrowhawk year and I did not succeed to shoot a Goshawk up close. But 2017 was different. I have not made a good picture of a Sparrowhawk this year, but the Goshawks were a different story.
#9 – European Goldfinch – My entire life I have loved these tiny birds. But make a picture of one of them while sitting on Cardus with a watercoloured background was golden for me.
#10 – Barnowl – Never ever thought I could shoot a Barnowl. But this year I learned that opportunities can be created by experience.
Rain and Elusivity
Monday I went looking for the Hooded Merganser, because there was a single observation in the east of Holland. This particular duck is a very rare vagrant in Holland. Did not see him and decided to go, because even if I would see him the picture was not going to be pretty. Maybe except if he would fly onto my face, but that was probably not going to happen in a million years.
Okay, next up: the Oostvaarders Plassen. One of Hollands biggest nature reserves. Rain, rain, rain and rain and rain*. But that is Holland in autumn. But whatever, that does not stop me. Driven up there and when I drove into the reserve there was a big bird sitting on a branch next to the road. So there is my first picture. She did not try to fly away, thank you Big Bad Buzzard!
Walked to an observation hide and after a while the most elusive bird of Holland appeared: The Bittern.
(* very happy with my new Canon 5D mark IV’s noise performance)
Dear Ms. Jumping Spider
Dear Ms. Jumping Spider could you please try not to be so incredibly cute?
Summer is almost over (maybe it didn’t even start..), so one of the last chances to do some (insect) macro photography.
My favourite Dutch spider was really cooperative today. Due to this I managed to make some great photographs. ENJOY! (Don’t be scared)
Schier and Texelllll
It has been a while since my last post, but here it is.
I went to two “wadden” Islands in the north of Holland and photographed some subjects…
Of course some birds, but I also tried some night photography. Here are the results. Hope you will like them!
As some people have probably noticed (mostly social media followers/likers), I have been away on a phototrip to Bulgaria last week.
Bulgaria is not densily populated, hence it is quite wild. Nature has not been affected by people on a scale like we have in Holland. That is why it is a great country to photograph or enjoy nature. And so I did.
Iliyan Valchanov was our guide. And although his English was not very good, we could surely rely on his many years of experience in Bulgarian wilderness. One thing he had no problem with was knowing every English bird’s name by heart.
One of the big surprises was that the rarely seen visitor in Holland: the Bee-eater, was probably one of the most common birds in Bulgaria. Besides these, there were loads of other species not to be found or hard to be found in Holland. Definitely one of the high lights of the trip for me was using a floating hide. I had an absolute blast!
Here are some pictures of the trip. I will post more the following days on my social media and website.
A bunch of Whatevers
I am not particularly a birdphotographer. But birds are just easier to see (read: Not approach). I am a wildlife photographer. Insects happen to be also part of the wildlife. And I love moths or how we call them in Dutch: Nightbutterflies.
My ranger friend lend me a moth trap. Which is nothing more than a box with a big light on it. And this is the result of three nights and 3 days work. Determination is not key for me, a pretty picture is! And because I gave up on naming these fellows, these are just the pretty pictures with no names…..(sorry about that)
Oh all pictures are taken with the Canon MP-E 65mm supermacro (I love this lens)
01/05/2017 – Eared Ones
Eared Grebes that would be the objective today. So ,award winning wildlife photographer, Lars Bezemer (Wiebs Wildlife) and I went to a lake in the south of Holland to have some luck.
Of course we wanted to photograph these waterbirds as close as possible, so we thought it would be a good idea to set up a small hide. And we did. Set the tent up, at a suitable spot and waited….
There were some gulls and sometimes the Eared Grebes were starting to get closer, but everytime, a Great Crested Grebe would scare them away. Sat at that particular spot for 3 hours…no luck.
So Lars decided to scout another location. He came back with fries and snacks.
But he also found out the Eared Grebes were hanging out just a couple of metres from our spot just around the corner.
Set up the hide in a field of Nettles and insects (still itchy a day after), but got some good shots. However, we wanted better shots. Decided to move the hide but it got whacked (againnnn). This was the time we realized the Grebes were not scared of us at all. They let us come as close as we would with the hide……The light was not really cooperative, but still had a great day!
25/04/2017 – Early Ugly Fledglings
Time to look for Owls. Checked the Dutch website of bird observations, and the website said look for Tawny Owls somewhere in a forest in Den Haag. So stepped in the car, drove only 20 minutes and there was the little stretch of forest. I have no idea how to search for these buggers, but hey let´s just give it a go.
Walked around for more than two hours and I didn’t see a single Owl. I thought let’s stay for a half hour and if I didn’t find them by then, I will have my defeat and go home. Of course I should have said that to myself way earlier, because after a few minutes I saw two people photographing something up in the trees. And there they were the most ugly fledlings I have ever seen. 3 Tawny Owl youngsters, but how awesome!
Woehoe I got second place in a big Dutch photo competition. Really thrilled on that!
Here is the photo that got me second.