Third time lucky at the European Bee-eater site
I asked Zoltan for a last visit to the Bee-eater site but this time I would like to see the Hoopoe at first light. My thoughts were that I had seen the most interaction later on the last two times I had been at the Bee-eater site.
This was just some wild speculations on my part but at least I could hope that the Bee-eaters in fact were more active later on in the morning. What I wanted was to see more of the birds interact like the first time when I actually took photos of one Bee-eater giving a bee as a gift to the other. This was something I would like to have more photos off and then I would like to take some videos and action photos of when they start the hunt.
Unfortunately for me we came to the site much later than I would have hoped for but fortunately it was because of the good Hoopoe session we have had in the early morning. This meant I would only get an hour and a half to try to nail the shots I´d like to have. Of course this could be done but the Bee-eaters then needed to cooperate with me.
Can´t really say that they did this at first but the last 30 minutes was a little gold mine.
I had seen them hunt up in the air for a long period before they came down to where the branches were. I had hoped the action would be just there and now many things unfolded in a short period. I had at least one Bee-eater that started to use the branch for takeoff during the hunt. I tried to freeze this moment and some of the photos turned out nicely just like this.
Others were just a blur and I had to try many different aperture setting and shutter speeds to get a result like this one. The ISO was of secondary nature for me as my first priority was to get sharpness over most of the bird. A little less noise in the photos would have been nice but the light was sadly not optimal.
I also got to witness two males that I think fought for a female and then the courtship just before the mating. At that time I didn´t know what I saw because there was just a blur of claws and feathers but now when I look at my pictures I understand what happened.
I was at the Bee-eater site three times and I must admit that I really like these birds. They not just colorful but also vocal and have wonderful sounds that I really would like you all to hear so click the links below.
At this site you can find many recorings of how the European Bee-eaters sound so please enjoy them together with my pictures.
And then the small question of going back. Yes I most definitively would like to spend some more time taking photos of these birds so a revisit next year would be really nice.