Hungary Birds of Prey trip report 2 of 3
This is the second report of the Hungary Birds of Prey tour 2015. The first of these two days were spent outside, in the sunny weather, trying to take photos of the blue jewel, the Common Kingfisher, and the roosting colony of Long-eared Owls. The second day, for me and Peter, was spent in the Hawfinch hide with hope of capturing photos of the elusive Eurasian Sparrowhawk. The same mission had Frode and Kenny, but they tried the Garden hide instead. We had to split the group like this as neither Hawfinch hide nor Garden hide could fit the complete group of four people.
We were really fortunate during the Kingfisher session as we had at least three different birds, two males and one female, visiting the two different perching stick. We witnessed several successful dives for fish and one incident when a female Kingfisher chased another bird, not sure of the sex of the chased bird. We also saw an interesting behavior when one bird plunged into the water a couple of times to take a bath before preening itself.
All in all we had a couple of hours with really good photo opportunities of the Common Kingfisher before we moved on to the Long-eared Owls that roost in the cities during winter. Now it was more the case of finding photogenic birds that were possible to work with.
To my surprise we found Owls that sat openly in direct sunlight. We started to work with them, but I actually found them to be hard to photo because of the hard sunlight. It was easier to bring life to the owls that sat in the shade or just partly in the sunlight and those are the pictures I show in the gallery here.
It was a good and productive day and the last in which we had a good amount of sun.
The day in the Hawfinch hide was productive even if the light conditions now were harder. We had a day of heavy overcast which meant we had to more or less settle for perching shots of the birds coming in to feed or drink at the pool. We really couldn’t push the shutter speed, as we wanted to have a low ISO reading, to more than 1/640s at times giving us no opportunity to catch any flight shots. I think it is great to be out in these conditions because you then have to push the camera and yourself to get the desired pictures. I feel that you many times overcome the light condition and actually produces pictures that look great when you not have optimal light. It pushes your boundaries as photographer and if you are in a hide, then you really can work with the camera and the light at hand. Hopefully you’ll get out of the hide later in the evening with a better understanding of your camera’s capability and of course a couple of nice pictures that you didn’t think you would be able to capture a day like that.
Please enjoy the photo gallery.