LAMMERGEIER IMAGES CAN BE STRIKING AS TINY SUBJECTS AGAINST A VAST LANDSCAPE. I was hide testing for our partners in Catalonia, La Sabina, and even though I was not lucky to have a bird land at their new feeding station (as they had been doing regularly the previous week) I still managed a nice composition. A wonderful partly snowy Pyrennean background dominates the scene in front of their hide but the only Lammergeier(s) I saw were in the valley below and bored with no sign of any other worthwhile opportunities I tracked a distant bird as it passed across the mountainside, firing when it crossed a dark pine forest. I always shoot fully manual and was happily correctly exposed for the bird, therefore darkening the forest below it and giving an almost night-time effect. Just a lucky outcome but now one of my favourite Lammer images and another lesson that birds do not need to be big in the frame and tightly-cropped like a postage stamp. See how the Lammergeier's massive tail make it look like it has a third wing!
Viewing entries tagged
EGYPTIAN VULTURES ARE SADLY ON THE WAY OUT. Currently listed as 'endangered' by BirdLife International owing to a rapidly declining population they are definitely birds to watch while we still can. We were lucky to be able to visit the state-of-the-art raptor flight photo hide at Lleras near Tremp again this year and as well as some very close birds there were lots of opportunities to shoot these attractive little vultures in the air as well as on the ground. I remember the skies around the Taj Mahal being filled by them 20 years ago and now you are lucky to see one or two there. The decline has also been seen across Africa and although there are some pockets where their numbers are stable (presumably where they are not blighted by the veterinary drug diclofenac), like Oman and Socotra, the prospects for their long term survival look very bleak. Unbelievably the same horrible drug has recently been authorised for use in Spain, which will probably mean the end for this and most other vultures there. Judging from their actions most present governments absolutely do not care about wildlife. I wonder when the backlash from those that do will come?