European Bison

This years trip to Białowieża was in far less extreme weather conditions. Considering last year temperatures (below -20*C), this was almost a tropic with temperatures being around 0*C. I didn't have much luck with bison. We found early in the day 2 bulls feasting on the haystack, which is not very photogenic. Later that day we found two bigger herds and one of them was pretty far away and really not cooperative, started going away as we tried to approach it. The second one was more human-friendly. Most of the photos comes from the last encounter.

Still waiting for my shot of fighting bisons. Almost got one this time. ;)

New video - Białowieża 2018

I recently went (again) to Białowieża for wildlife photoshoot, few shots are already available on Facebook and here's short video. Enjoy. :)

Spring in Białowieża - Day 2

The second day was rather lazy with little activity near the hide. There was a single male Mallard, single Common Crane wandering around almost all day, single Red Fox, few Common Wood Pigeons that landed so far that none of the photos looks good enough (the same goes for Eurasian Jay). At the end of the day few Roe Deers came along with some Eurasian Bisons. So, to sum up, not so many photos from that day.

Check out day1 and day3.

When you have so lazy day the situation in hide is like this. :) One person looking, others sleeping.


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. :)