Thursday, 30 July 2009
While shooting Pine Martens this weekend, I was also surrounded by several squirrels, curiously running around. The funny thing was that the squirrels were very tolerant towards the Martin sometimes sitting no more than a couple of meters away.
The Martens were fed with honey, but I was hoping to get one of them to go for a roadkill blackbird we found on the way to the hide. Birds are often killed by Martens and I wanted to get a picture of the predator with its potential prey. However, the squirrels were more curious towards the dead bird and came over several times to sniff it. This one animal seemed almost as it was giving the bird a last kiss goodbye as I took the shoot.
Interestingly Red Squirrels are known to take quit a few birds, especially young ones like this one, perhaps even as many as the Pine Marten during the summer months. On this feeding site however, the squirrels settled with the hassle nuts :-)
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Day two in Syltes Marten hide was not as rewarding as the first. But keep in mind we were extremely lucky the first day. A fox visited in the morning, probably keeping the Pine Marten away. In the evening however, it showed again. The female came out several times to collect food for the young ones in the nearby den.
We had put the food out a bit further away and went for the shots with more environment included this time. I was quit happy with some of these shots.
In the evening we went to work with a tolerant fox cub nearby. The light was extremely poor, but we managed to get it to follow us into the beach, were we could shot some reflections with slow shutter speed. Great day!
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Another of my dream species have been successfully captured on file. After only two previous encounters with the Pine Marten (Martes martes) in the wild I have now been lucky to visit the feeding site of Terje Sylte. After months of hard work Terje now has a female Marten visiting with three of her youngsters on a daily basis.
Of course getting decent images of the mustelids is never guarantied. However, after only one day I have over 800 Pine Marten images on file!! The whole experience has been absolutely crazy.
Todays weather has been grey and wet, but tomorrow is suppose to a lot better so I cant' wait.
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Nature photographers have a tendency to show the most beautiful parts of our natural world. However, the world is a tough place, and revealing this part is so much harder.
Working with the Eagle Owl I have spent several nights in a hide hoping to get the correct light and additional action to go with it. This one night it was suppose to be a full moon, and I knew it would set behind the bird if it was there. But Mother Earth wanted it otherwise.
The bird came in nicely, started hooting and then "killed" the duck in the usual way, ripping of the head first. The moon was up, but still quit high. After a while the bird came back for more, but just as it sat down it started raining. Just a few drops at first, but after a while the sky opened and it was pouring down more then ever before this summer. The owl was immediately soaked and was just sitting there, as paralyzed. Owls have very soft feathers and are not very well protected against wet weather, and this bird was really getting it. It was pouring for over half an hour before it stopped, during that time my off camera flashes was as soaked as the bird and had stopped working.
During the night the clouds cleared and the moon came back out. However, the bird was long gone. It stayed for a while, before taking the whole duck to a better place to enjoy the meal and dry up.
Sunday, 5 July 2009
My last night with the Eagle owl, Bubo bubo, was not very rewarding with only one visit in the darkest hours of the night. I got some more silhouettes, but I promised I would share one of my flight shots with you.
This shot is from a previous visit and was taken with a SB900 on a off shoe cord outside the hide in addition to another SB900 next to the bird. I new the owl would land in this area and therefore placed the flash close to the site on 14mm spread. I wanted to include the background even though this meant longer exposures. The flashed were set to -2EV and -3EV. The D3 gives relatively noise free images on high exposures. The camera was set to ISO 1250 giving me a shutter speed of 1/60 at f/2,8. The lens used was the 70-200mm.
The technique is constantly being improved.