animals, bird, insect, photography, wildlife

Throwback Thursday: purple heron

purple heron (Ardea purpurea) / Purpurreiher

This was really a challenge. According to Google maps and my EXIF data, the nest was about 74m away from my camera. I knew this would be a difficult job, but I expected it to be a bit easier.

A few couples of these very rare herons (at least in Germany – and they are listed in the red part of the IUCN list; meaning they are currently not endangered, but the numbers are decreasing) set up their nests at the edge of a small lake, right in the front row of the reed. The nests are visible from a hiking path and the plants have enough natural gaps of several meters each to easily set up your camera and have a quite good sight. So far, so good. I was also told, to bring a binocular.

After a hike of approximately 45 minutes, we reached the lake. Whan a scene: I saw the lake, the water, hundreds of nests of black-headed gulls in the water, and the ocean of reed as a background of the scene. Did you notice a hint of the purple herons? Me, neither! A friend of mine, a local and being our guide on this trip, pointed to the other side of the lake. Over there, they are! I didn’t notice one. There are a few nests, one beside another. I still was staring at the scene without seeing them. “Take your binocular.” Still no success. “OK, set up your camera and I’m pointing it to one of the nests”. Hey, there they were!!!!!

They are smaller than grey herons (only 70-90 cm long and with 107-143 cm wingspan instead of 90-98 cm length and 175-195 cm wingspan) and despite their intense coloring, they are melting into the surroundings. Not visible, when you not know, they were there and where they are standing or sitting. After I got the first nest in sight, it was quite easy to see the other, too. In my opinion, there were about 10 nests. The nests seem to be founded on some buckled reeds between 20 and 70 cm above the waterline. Surprisingly, some were still building the nests, while others already had quite big nestlings, as you can see in the image above.

The above image is already a crop in post-processing. It is taken with an 800mm lens attached to a camera with an APS-C sensor resulting in 1200mm as their 35mm equivalent. The camera was attached to my tripod by a gimbal. The other guy accompanying me also bought an APS-C camera, but only a 150-600mm lens. With that combo, he only got stamp-like herons. Fortunately, his camera matched my lens too, so I loaned it to him.

Take care!

 

animals, bird, insect, photography, wildlife

Throwback Thursday: European Bee-Eater

APS-C 600mm (= 900mm 35mm-equivalent), monopod, ISO 140, f8, 1/640s

 

One of the most beautiful and colorful birds we have natively in Germany. They are quite rare, but coming further north each year. They benefit from global warming. They hunt big insects like butterflies, hornets, dragonflies, bumblebees, and so on in-flight to make their living. They start quite late in their breeding season and leave quite early in mid-August. End of May they were still mating and not yet breeding.

Take care!

 

photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Monday 8-05

This weekend, I was reminded of my visit to Zingst 4 years ago. I was there to visit the Photo Festival “Horizonte”. During that week, I attended one workshop (photographing trees in the famous forest of Zingst). We had a guide to find some of the centuries-old trees in the National Park. In the evening we had to select our images and present 10, as a result, the next morning. 2 out of these 10 were selected to be presented in a slideshow that evening at the beach to a huge auditorium. Both of my selected images for the daily slideshow were in monochrome. You can find the other image here

This image was even selected for the final slideshow containing the best 15 images of the festival.

Btw. I’m currently running a raffle. You can win a license of Excire Foto. Check it out!

Take care!

photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Monday 8-04

Who can tell where the border between land and sky is.

Another image taken last summer in Iceland. It’s a view from the side to Vestrahorn Mountain, Stokksnes.

As usual, click on the image to enlarge it.

 

Btw. I’m currently running a raffle. You can win a license of Excire Foto. Check it out!

Take care!