Puszcza Białowieska - day 3

On the 3rd (and last) day we were sitting in another hideout. The main idea was to see, and possibly shoot birds of prey. Fortunately I was able to see White-Tailed Eagle (4 of them to be exact), but I wasn't able to make any decent photo of them, so for you to see is only Northern Goshawk and Common Buzzard. Even though I am not fully satisfied with how photos turned out, I was really happy to have the opportunity to see them up close.

We had to go to the hideout before sunrise. Still before the sun came up a few deers came out of the forest to pose. :)

It was really fun to watch Eurasian Jays fighting over food and constantly chasing themselves. Unfortunately that was a bit too fast for me and my camera, so I didn't capture anything spectacular.

Also a Red Fox have visited the site. Took a big bite of meat and went his own way.

Here's Northern Goshawk and Common Buzzard

Puszcza Białowieska - day 2

On my second day of nature photo shooting we went to "hunt" for European Bisons. Puszcza Białowieska (Białowieża Forest) is the most common place in Poland (aside from ZOOs) to go to if you want to watch them. The history of the species is the one with a happy ending. They were almost hunt to extinction, leaving no wild living animals in the early XX century. The last wild bison (of Bison bonasus) is said to be shot in 1921 in Białowieża Forest. From the small captive population in ZOOs (something around 50 animals) they were then slowly reintroduced to the wild in different countries in Europe (from 1951). According to numbers, Poland has the largest wild living population of animals - 1,212 are in free-range herds.

In the early morning we went to see 3 bulls, that were feeding just outside Białowieża village. They were very calm and I was able to get as close as dozen or so meters. I didn't try to get any closer. Later we spent a lot of time searching for bigger herds, in the end shooting two different herds of cows and calves. The weather was extreme, temperature at -22*C. And despite the sun shining it was really hard to stand and operate camera. With a light wind the perceptible temperature was around -30*C. Hands and feet were freezing instantly. Also my camera was having a tough time, sometimes refusing to work at all. It was the first time I tried to use it in such low temperature. Also my tripod mount broke the day before I arrived there so I had to make it work without it. To sum up, it was fun, despite the cold, but the photos didn't came out as good as I wanted them to. Most are blurry/soapy and I didn't set up camera correctly - I got too low aperture and with camera having problems with proper focus - it all gave up rather poor images. So here are few that look good enough to put them on the internet. :)

Puszcza Białowieska - day 1

So.. Early this year I went to Puszcza Białowieska to try my wildlife photography on more professional level with hideouts and people who takes care of them - www.wildlifephotography.pl . They offer a wide range of different trips to "shoot" different type of animals. The organization was great and I met some really nice people. I had a bit of bad luck when it comes to weather - it was absolutely freezing cold with temperatures during the day between -17*C and -22*C. If I go next year (and I plan to do so) I will definitely need better shoes.. :) It was nice on one hand - sun on the first day worked really well with small birds at the bird feeder who were there throughout the day. But on the last day, when we were trying to shoot birds of prey it was not that good.

But in general I am very happy that I went there. Of course I was a bit sad that I didn't have better photo equipment, but that's a never ending story, really. I really, really hate the noise on my APSC, but it would be so expensive to switch to FF. :(

So here are some of the best shots I was able to make during day one. Mostly Tits and Woodpeckers. :)

Eurasian Blue Tit

Eurasian Blue Tit

Eurasian Blue Tit

Eurasian Blue Tit

The Great Tit, from left female and male

The Great Tit, from left female and male

The Great Tit, male

The Great Tit, male

Great Spotted Woodpecker, male

Great Spotted Woodpecker, male

Grey-Headed Woodpecker, female

Grey-Headed Woodpecker, female

Grey-Headed Woodpecker, male

Grey-Headed Woodpecker, male

Grey-Headed Woodpecker, male

Grey-Headed Woodpecker, male

Eurasian Blue Tit

Eurasian Blue Tit

The Great Tit

The Great Tit

Middle Spotted Woodpecker

Middle Spotted Woodpecker

White-Backed Woodpecker, female

White-Backed Woodpecker, female

White-Backed Woodpecker, female

White-Backed Woodpecker, female

European Greenfinch

European Greenfinch

European Greenfinch

European Greenfinch

European Greenfinch chasing off The Great Tit from the feeder. It was fun the watch this aggressive little fella.

European Greenfinch chasing off The Great Tit from the feeder. It was fun the watch this aggressive little fella.

European Greenfinch

European Greenfinch

The Great Tit

The Great Tit

The Great Tit

The Great Tit

The Great Tit

The Great Tit

Grey-headed woodpecker, male

Grey-headed woodpecker, male

Great Spotted Woodpecker, female

Great Spotted Woodpecker, female

Marsh Tit and Great Tits

Marsh Tit and Great Tits

Eurasian Blue Tit

Eurasian Blue Tit

Eurasian Nuthatch

Eurasian Nuthatch

European Greenfinch chasing off The Great Tit from the feeder.

European Greenfinch chasing off The Great Tit from the feeder.