Sunday, 27 December 2009

Winter in Holland

The winter started early this year. A short overview: On December 14-th it started to freeze seriously. The cold weather continued the entire week and on December 19-th the temperature stayed even at daytime below –10ÂșC (see also my previous post). On December 20-th heavy snowfall swept the country. A soft white blanket covered everything, and as usual the whole public transport system collapsed. A few days later temperatures already went up above zero.
As usual I really got nervous and wanted to photograph everything at the same time. By now I know that especially in these situations it is important to focus and to draw up a plan (make sure that you can take a few days off!). I decided to do forest landscapes in the neighborhood directly after the snowfall, and to spend the rest of the time to bird photography. My favorites:
  • A high key exposure of an inquisitive Nuthatch (Sitta Europaea/Boomklever) at a feeding station in the forest. She behaves in worst Rambo style (fits well with its Zorro mask), chasing off all the tit species and scattering seeds in all directions.
  • A line of poplar silhouettes mirrored by the Dommel river. I like the tight maze of dead branches; 3 months from now the sound of drumming woodpeckers is all around at this place.
  • I like to capture simple things with my camera, such as this plain water-through for the cattle with a snow-covered bald corn field in the background.
  • The title of this photo “Blue Cathedral”. I showed the same forest path (which is very close to my home) also in autumn colors on October 28-th 2009 on this blog.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Partridges in white

A few days ago the first snowflakes of this winter came down in The Netherlands; in my home village this resulted in a thin broken layer. But some 30km to the west, in Tilburg, there was a snow cover of almost 10cm.
There I found a convey of 6 Grey Partridges (Perdix perdix/Patrijs), in search for food. They are amazingly hardy, and endure much snow and cold weather.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Wet embrace

This morning I witnessed the courtship play of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos/Wilde Eend). A few stages are shown in the following screenshots.
  • 3 excited ♂♂ surround a ♀. They all try to isolate her by chasing away the other ♂♂.
  • The dominant ♂, busy to make an impression. The ♀ seems not really interested.
  • But sometimes appearances are deceptive. A few seconds later: Intimate duck embrace.
  • Overview of the playground. I like this ‘bar-code’ image with just a few pixels in focus.