During the third week of January we have organized a scouting trip to Sierra Morena (Córdoba, Andalusia) with our friend and raptor identification authority Dick Forsman. Our main target was to observe large eagles and get a first-hand experience on the performance of especially dedicated wildlife photography hides.
Working from hides is a radically different experience regarding the “raptors in flight” photography we practise while birding and guiding in our local patch, Tarifa and the Strait of Gibraltar. Pros and cons apart, observing these majestic raptors at such a close range is an unforgettable and, at times, surrealistic experience.
Nowadays, there is a growing offer of commercial wildlife photography hides in Spain and the ones we have tested, run by Alpasin, have proven to be excellent in all key aspects. We have greatly enjoyed six hide photography sessions in three effective days covering Bonelli’s, Golden and Spanish Imperial Eagle. The two first species performed remarkably well, approaching the hides in no time and beautifully posing at different perches and in different lighting conditions. In turn, the Spanish Imperial Eagle left us willing to try again. This is the point after all!
The constant presence of inquisitive Iberian Magpies, Thekla Larks, Blue Rock Thrushes and Hoopoes enlivened the waiting periods and a photography session at a reflecting pool visited by Robin, Blackbird, Hawfinch, Long-tailed Tit and Blue Tit added diversity and much fun to the experience.
Last but not least, we got the exciting chance to visit an Iberian Lynx hide. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect it to go so well…
All in all, a highly rewarding experience with like-minded colleagues which no doubt will lead to strengthen our collaborations!
PS: Visit our youtube channel to see more on this and other Birding The Strait experiences!