dinsdag 21 april 2009
A day at Texel
Texel is one of the Dutch isles up north and is one of the best places to go for bird photography in spring. There are loads of migratory birds but also regular inhabitants wich nest at the isle.
Last sunday i went over to Texel to prepare next weeks "Bird Photography Workshop" and my cousin Conrad joined me on the trip. We also joined Emanuele Juza who is a very talented Italian nature photographer who was on the island for the same reason as us, to photograph birds.
When we came off the boat the first place to go was the "Mokbaai" wich has a wonderful vantage point from which to photograph Spoonbills and several species of Harriers.
Quite unexpected we also spotted a pair of Lesser Whitethroats wich are quite scarse on the mainland and a species i had been anxious to photograph for a long time.
There was also a couple of nesting Marsh Harriers around and they gave us quite a show with their aerial performances. We even saw them exchanging prey wich is one of the things i am looking forward to photograph a little closer...
Another rarity presented itself with this Montague Harrier flying by. I just love Texel for all its Harrier species. They are one of my favorite birds of prey and are very elegant to watch. We even saw a couple of Hen Harriers but the photographs i took of these where too poor in quality to show over here as they where just too far away.
Later that day we set out to photograph waders such as the Avocets for wich Texel is well known. There are several places to spot them such as Ottersaat, De Petten and De Slufter but Het Waagejot is the best place for me as it offers a very low point of view.
At the other sites we also came across many Terns, Gulls and Geese such as Brent Geese and Greylag Geese.
In the afternoon we went to the north-west side of the island to look for one of the most beautiful species of duck the Eider. I had photographed female Eiders before but the males where still high on my wishlist.We where very lucky as the males where showing their courtship activities by blowing up their neck and making really weird sounds. Besides the Eiders there where also some lovely passerines present such as Wheatear and Reed Bunting.
Later on in the afternoon we went to look for Bluethroats and Reed Warblers in the dunes and where able to get some shots of the Bluethroats. The Reed Warblers where present but did not show themselfs well..
At the end of the day we headed out to a location where i had heard that a couple of Short Eared Owls where hunting. As allways this elusive species did not show itself to me but perhaps i will have better luck next week during the workshop. Allthough the Short Eared Owls where not cooperative there where a couple of Pheasants at this location who where more then willing to pose for our camera's!
Looking back at the day i can say we have had a wonderful day with gorgeous weather and loads of photographic opportunities. I am really looking forward to hosting next weeks workshop and expect similar conditions.
Here are some more images i shot last sunday and now it's back to work again...