A trip to Gästrikland for Eagle Photography
Last week I travelled over 900km back and forth to Gysinge in the province of Gästrikland to do some Eagle Photography. I came upon the tour operator Eagle Photography last winter, but I didn’t have time to go there and visit the place. So this winter I felt I had to go there to check out the place for myself and on this trip I had two friends joining me, Frode Wendelbo and Arne Bivrin, so I knew I was up for a good time.
My goal with the trip was to get more pictures of the White-tailed Eagle as I don’t have so much material of this Eagle. Most photos are either of Juvenile birds or from great distances that doesn’t show how beautiful this Eagle is when they reach adulthood.
I had heard many things about this place, both good and bad, and one of them was that there could be huge numbers of Eagles, especially White-tailed Eagles and a few Golden Eagles if you were lucky. Of course one had to try the place just to have the possibility to see that huge amount of Eagles at the same time.
We spent three days in their Eagle hide, a sturdy building that kept us warm, but it does need a little tweaking to suit photographers even better. The setup worked well most of the time, but you could sadly not pan over the feeding site which meant you couldn’t work with that type of picture. Still the place brought us plenty of photo opportunities, especially the first day when we had between 20 and 30 White-tailed Eagles around the site.
There were also plenty of Common Ravens and the White-tailed Eagles needed them to come down and feed before they themselves would dare to try the smorgasbord. I think it is a huge difference between how the Golden Eagle, Imperial Eagle and the White-tailed Eagle work at a feeding site. The last of the three is the biggest Eagle, but it surely isn’t the bravest. Both the Golden Eagle and the Imperial Eagle can take over a feeding site themselves, but I have never experienced that a White-tailed Eagle would do the same.
I would say we had plenty of luck with the timing of this trip as winter almost seems over now. We had snow when we arrived on Tuesday, but it was sadly almost gone when we left on Saturday. We also had luck with both the Golden Eagle, that appeared all three days, and an adult Northern Goshawk that made a visit the last afternoon. Frode and I also made a try to capture the Siberian Jay on camera on Saturday, but the birds were sadly camera shy that morning.
Please enjoy my photo gallery from my four days in Gästrikland.