Another White Tailed Eagle

Another picture of a white tailed eagle

taken on the island of Smøla, Norway

taken on the island of Smøla, Norway

White tailed sea eagle trip

So I just came home today from another safari for the white tailed sea eagles, but only for a one day trip this time. This time the destination was Smøla which is an island situated on the west coast of Norway. The trip was really great and we had several eagles that were willing to fly close in exchange for some fish. I expect the chicks will be flying soon as we saw some little heads popping up here and there to check us out so if you have the chance this would be the time to go.

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The weather was ok even though it was a bit windy at times, but hey what can you do?

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As always on these trips the seagulls are never far away and they have a nasty habit of getting in the way of that perfect shot you were taking of the eagle…

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A bonus was that quite unexpectedly I got my first picture of an arctic skua which for some reason has always eluded me.

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For this trip I travelled with the company Smøla Naturopplevelser who specialize in white tailed sea eagle safaris. They are rebuilding their eagle hide that unfourtunately ble down in a hurricane last winter , but it won’t be operational until the winter. I’ll post pictures from there when the hide is done and going by the plans they have it looks like it’ll be a good one. They’re also building a floating hide for seabirds, but I’m not sure when it’ll be ready.

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If you want to take pictures like these you can join me on my eagle and goshawk trip to Flatanger in November, just look under the tab for workshops. I can also arrange a tour in Smøla for you if you’d rather go to this destination.

Golden eagle

Here’s another picture of a golden eagle that I took on a recent workshopGolden eagle

Beware the terns

During my trip to the Farne Islands I quickly found out that I had forgotten maybe one of the most important things to bring, a hat. To people who haven’t had a close encounter with a nesting tern this might sound a bit strange, but people who have experienced this will most likely sympathise. Terns are quite small birds, but during breeding season they become extremely protective of their nests and will attack anything that comes even close to it.IMG_6931

There are three species of terns that breed on the island; common tern, arctic tern and sandwich tern. The first two are found as you come on to the main island while the sandwich terns have made a little colony for themselves further up on the island.IMG_7820

What I didn’t expect was how close to the walkways these birds actually build their nest. All the walkways are marked with blue rope so visitors know where they can and can’t go. Unfourtunately for the visitors the terns, especially the arctic terns doesn’t seem to care about these markers and they sometime build thei nests even on the walkways. The picture of the egg you see under came at the price of two bites to the ear.

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The walkways are therefore bombarded with terns swiping at the head of the tourists. Therefore to anybody going to the Farne Islands take my bleeding ear as a warning, bring a hat😉

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My fantastic trip here was organized by photographers on safari

Puffin madness

I recently came home from a trip to the Farne Islands in the UK which is known for hosting great amounts of puffin, gullemots, terns and other seabirds. The main attraction is of course the puffins which always draws people to the locations where they breed. THe cool part about the Farnes is that you can get both flying and static shots with a lot of different backgrounds. Because of the people who visit the Farnes every day the birds are very familiar with people and you can get very close to them without worrying about disturbing them or bring huge telelenses. IMG_5180

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At one point I was standing at a good point for flight paths, but it quickly turned out the spot was too good as a puffin grazed my head on his way to his burrow. Amazingly good practice for flying shots since puffins are really small and really fast it makes for a good challenge. Already the next day I saw how much my technique had improved.IMG_7943

The most difficult picture to get is the iconic picture of a puffin with its beak full of sandeel, the reason for this being the black-headed gulls that try to take the sandeels from the puffins as they land. I was lucky and the gulls overlooked one puffin so I got some pictures of it before it disappeared.IMG_7275

The trip was amazing and I’d definetly go again some day. There are many more stories from this trip that I’ll post about later.

Update on eagle trip in November

Hey guys

There is still room for more people on the eagle workshop in November. This will be a great trip that’ll ensure great photos that not many others have. Look under the tab Workshops for more information. Here’s a picture of a golden eagle to entice you🙂

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Peace in the mud

During a recen trip to a workshop in the UK the other participants looked puzzeled as I get really excited over seeing a peace dove in the mud next to our vehicle. Unlike most people on these workshop I tend to photograph whatever wildlife I see, captive or not doesn’t matter as long as I can get a good shot. I only got two shots of this particular dove as it was startled by our vehicle and flew off. The picture resonates for me also because it’s a peace dove flying out of the mud it was in which can be an inspiration to many countries stuck in the “mud” of war.IMG_9307

New technique

So this weekend I’ve been to a workshop at Nordens Ark in Sweden photographing a wide array of animals. Nordens Ark is a zoo and breeding facility which houses most of the threatened species of the northern parts of the world. The enclosures are big and very natural, and the staff are really helpful and knowledgable. The trip was done with the norwegian nature photography magazine “Natur&Foto” and we were accompanied by the legend himself Tom Svensson who is the resident photographer and one of the worlds best nature photographers.

It was Tom that thought the group a technique he’s quite known for which can create a mystical effect in pictures. I thought I would share the knowledge with you guys in the best way I can and show my end results.

The technique uses the first morning light coming through either clouds, forests or similar lighting conditions, so it’s crucil to be ready when this light start coming through. The entire point is to create an image where the animals face is lit up by the sun and the background becomes dark & eerie. To acheive this the only thing you need to do is reduce your exposure to -2 or -3 and wait for the animal to step into that little pool of light you want it too. I found that when looking at the cameras LCD-screen I thought it was too dark, but once it came on the computer it was too bright and I needed to reduce it more. In editing what you do is raise the highlights so that the animal will pop a bit more in the picture. I love this effect and I promise I’ll try using it alot more in my photos (if I can get up that early :P)

I tried this technique on two animals; a stationary lynx and a moving amur leopard. Here are the results and as always let me know what you think🙂

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PS. If you use this technique I would love to see your work as I love it myself🙂

Black & White

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Juvenile Whooper Swan

So I took this picture of a juvenile whooper swan recently and I hought it looked really generic in color and the harsh sunlight didn’t help much either. I decided I’d try making it into a black & white picture instead and it went from ordinary to full of emotions. Its funny how great of a diference a picture can have when you turn it into black & white.

Tiny birds

I’m not especially inerested in small birds, but due to an online challenge I decided to give photographing them a try. I was lucky and found 5 different species all in the same day, but they didn’t seem to want me too close and it was a challenge approaching them.

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IMG_2160 IMG_2419 IMG_2387IMG_2198It was a good experience and I was really lucky too see as many birds as I did. I’m not however as excited by these bird as I am by eagles and other predatory birds. Maybe I’ll be convinced one day?

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