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 Valchanovwas 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.
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)
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!
My first report is from a few weeks ago. I went to this field a couple times before to shoot the Hen Harriers. But I noticed I could not get close enough to get a good shoot of them and I did not have 15 thousand euros laying around….
Oh wait! I have a tent hide. Let’s use that. Please do not let that fool you, because the photos below are five tent sessions of each at least 5 hours later.
The Hen Harriers came! They came a couple of times almost evenly distributed across the total time. Tried a couple spots, but one spot proved to be the most productive. Quick tip: observe the bird you want to photograph, learn from him and try to fool him.
The third time I noticed a Carduus bush, and I thought maybe…..if I am lucky some Goldfinches may come to eat some. That resulted into some very nice collateral damage.
Oh and the Owls are one late afternoon, when I decided to walk around after a Hen Harrier tent hide session. Obviously I could not get too close to them without my tent.