This morning, I got the short-term opportunity to go photographing wild flamingos.
Near the Dutch border some escaped flamingos found home a few decades ago. The first birds were seen here in 1970. Today, about 40 of these birds are living here, together with some geese, seagulls and other water birds. They even grow fledglings with some success. It’s the most northern breeding spot for them. You can find 3 species: Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus / Rosaflamingo),American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber / Kubaflamingo) und Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis / Chileflamingo). A few single sights even named a forth one: Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor / Zwergflamingo)
The birds stay here for the summer months. During winter, they migrate to southern Netherlands.
Despite the huge distance of about 130 km, I was at 8 a.m. on location. But, you can’t come near to the water. In three different places they have set up observing booths. In one of the places I was lucky enough to get a good image of 5 flamingos while doing their morning routing 🙂 I guess, these are Chilean Flamingos, but I’m not completely sure. The color of their knees would be the proof for my guess.
The above image is taken by using my 80-400 lens extend by an 2x teleconverter attached to my DX camera supported by a monopod and ISO 400, f11 (because of the converter). So, the result is like I’d have used a 1200mm on my full frame camera. Using such a long focal length brings some problems: you must have an extremely high shutter speed (but how to do with f11 and a weak sensor when having to use ISO higher than 400?). The monopod helps ab bit, but it’s still like playing lotto. Thus I’m very happy with the result.