Eagles and Lynxes with Dick Forsman in Sierra Morena

During the third week of January we 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. Also, to get a first-hand experience on the performance of especially dedicated wildlife photography hides.

Adult male Golden Eagle, Sierra Morena, January 2018 - by Javi Elorriaga
Adult male Golden Eagle, Sierra Morena, January 2018

Photographing from hides in Sierra Morena

Working from hides is a radically different experience regarding the “raptors in flight” photography we practice. We normally take pictures while birding and guiding in Tarifa and the Strait of Gibraltar. Pros and cons apart, observing these majestic raptors at such a close range is an unforgettable experience. Also, at times, it is quite surrealistic.

Adult male Bonelli´s Eagle, Sierra Morena, January 2018 - by Javi Elorriaga
Adult male Bonelli´s Eagle, Sierra Morena, January 2018

Nowadays, there is a growing offer of commercial wildlife photography hides in Spain. We have tested Alpasin, in Sierra Morena, and they are 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.

Long-tailed Tit, Sierra Morena, January 2018 - by Javi Elorriaga
Long-tailed Tit, Sierra Morena, January 2018
Eurasian Hoopoe, Sierra Morena, January 2018 - by Javi Elorriaga
Eurasian Hoopoe, Sierra Morena, January 2018

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…

Female Iberian Lynx, Sierra Morena, January 2018 - by Javi Elorriaga
Female Iberian Lynx, Sierra Morena, January 2018

All in all, a highly rewarding experience with like-minded colleagues which no doubt will lead to strengthen our collaborations!

With Agustín Pérez (left), managing director of Alpasin and Dick Forsman (right), after a Golden Eagle session
With Agustín Pérez (left), managing director of Alpasin and Dick Forsman (right), after a Golden Eagle session

PS: Visit our youtube channel to see more on this and other Birding The Strait experiences!