Sunday, 24 February 2013

Keep your body heat

It is dangerous for a vole (Arvicolinae spec/woelmuis spec) to be out on top of the snow in ‘Lapinpöllö’ hunting territory. However in case you do, a spherical shape (minimal surface) is optimal to maintain your body heat.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/640s; +1.3 stop; hand held.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Kajaani, Finland

Forest with birch trees, guarded by two larch pillars.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100mm/f2.8; ISO-100, f20, 1/6s; +0.7 stop; tripod.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Silent hunter

It was a dream for me to see and photograph this silent hunter of incredible beauty. Great Grey Owls (Strix nebulosa/Laplanduil), Lapinpöllö in Finnish, are specialists of the boreal taiga forest. Here you see the natural hunting behavior of these magnificent birds; the disk-shaped head scans the ground to localize voles by detecting their sounds under a snow cover of about 50 cm! Amazing! Place of action: Kajaani, Finland.
Many thanks to Antti Vierimaa, our expert guide from Finnature. Also thanks to Philip Marazzi and Mickael Kuijl for your company and all the good stories.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 500mm/f4.0; ISO-800, f4, 1/3200s; -0.7 stop; tripod.
* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 500mm/f4.0; ISO-800, f4, 1/1600s; -0.7 stop; tripod.

Old owl vole hole

How to find a Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa/Laplanduil)? 1) Scan tree lines at perching height (typically 6 – 8 m). 2) Look in the snow for fresh ‘old owl vole holes’ (say that again :-).

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 31mm; ISO-400, f16, 1/100s; +1 stop; hand held.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Yes my first GGO!

One hour later or so, just a few km from this coast. Yes my first Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa/ Laplanduil), the most sexiest bird on Earth. And I discovered it myself!

* Canon EOS 7D, 500mm/f4.0; ISO-400, f5.6, 1/500s; tripod


This photo is taken from the north-eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, near Oulu, Finland. “White-out”, “Space-scape”, or “50 Shades of Gray”; pick the title that suits you.
I have never been in such an empty, extreme simple landscape. I enjoyed it very much (clears-out your head, makes all your worries small and insignificant). The 2 tiny speckles (barely visible) just right from the middle, close to the horizon, are cars on an ice road.

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17-40mm/f4 @ 17mm; ISO-400, f16, 1/160s; +0.7 stop; 2 stop ND soft gradient filter; hand held.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Beach killer

Amazing moments on the beach of Terschelling. This 2nd winter ♀ Feregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus/Slechtvalk), the fastest species on Earth, was not shy and very approachable by car (you must have a special permit to drive on the beach!). She specializes on Common Gulls (Larus canus/Stormmeeuw). We witnessed 3 attacks, the last one was successful. After the catch, we were invited at her dinner table, on the condition that we would scare off the Carrion Crows (Corvus corone/Zwarte Kraai) and Great Black-backed Gulls (Larus marinus/Grote Mantelmeeuw). It turned out to be a kind of mix between vulgar binge and an anatomy lesson.
Arie Ouwerkerk many thanks for your hospitality, Jaap Vink many thanks for the driving!

* Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 500mm/f4.0; ISO-400, f6.3, 1/400s; +0.3 stop; beanbag.