I just had to look at the map and measured the distance: the closest nest to my home was a mere 3,5 kilometres away! What a situation … Ok, I had seen short-eared owls in my home region during winter, but breeding, who would have expected that?
Last June, I spent two weeks in France photographing birds from the floating hide. Thanks to my friend Sylvain Hello, I was able to guide two groups in the lake-rich area Les Dombes. Sylvain arranged permission to enter the lakes with the floating hide. These artificial lakes have been used to breed carp fish since the Middle Ages, and are very rich in birdlife today. Several species of grebes, herons, ducks and waders are found, but it was mainly the great crested grebe that drew my attention. So I worked hard to capture the essence of this bird.
Of course, I didn’t only photograph great crested grebes from the floating hide in Les Dombes (see last blog post). I was quite amazed to discover so many different species. The breeding season was slowly ending and the first waders were already arriving. Ducks started to moult and herons congregated. So there were lots of subjects to shoot. Even young kingfishers were flying around and muskrats were foraging at the borders of the lakes. Thousands of frogs played an impressive concert every evening.
I just spent two weeks in one of my favourite places on the planet: Svalbard. I was privileged to guide a wonderful and brave group of photographers during the first week and showed them all the great things Svalbard has to offer. I’m sure they all returned back home with lots of lasting impressions!
Last week I spent some days with the Dalmatian pelicans in Greece, joined by a group of photographers that I was guiding. It was my third time with these great birds and I was looking forward to get wing-beaten again, every time they get up too close. Last year my glasses flew off my head and I’d had quite a headache. Yes, I wanted more of that!