Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Another morning at the hide

Once again I started off during the early hours of the morning. At 5 am I had set myself up in the hide with all my gear ready. It was still far too dark to take any pictures, but I was still late. The sun was already making the horizon lighter and therefore I was not able to get to my hide without being detected by the birds resting at the swamp. Soon I'll have to start going to the hide in the evening and sleeping over to be ready in the morning. With the advancement of spring soon there will not be many dark hours to use for covert movement.

As the sun rose, the lapwings started their morning concert, as did the curlews, swans, cranes, grouses and a number of smaller birds that I can't identify by their sound only.

Noticing that the ospreys had returned to their nesting tree brightened my morning considerably:
As usual, cranes could be seen only in the distance:
The grouses were busy with settling their mating territories, however this time they stayed further away from my hide:
The swans made several fly-by's:
Lastly, no trip to my hide can be made without a few pictures of a sunrise:

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


This morning’s phototrip started as many previous ones, my alarm clock rang at three a.m. For a moment I thought of staying in bed, my blanket felt so lovely and warm. In the end I decided to get going. After all, I was all packed and ready to head off. I had even made sandwiches to take along and it would have been a shame to waste them. (As everyone knows, sandwiches taste much better out in the wild than at home.) The weather looked good also, -6 degrees and a clear sky were promising a good morning to come.

The dirt road was a little soft at some places, but I managed to get thru without problems. A full moon lighted my way as I walked along the trail towards my photography hide. At the hide I took my gear from my backpack, set up my cameras and sat down to wait. The sun rose in due course and the weather was pretty close to what I had hoped for:

I sat in the hide and munched my sandwiches, drank some tea and listened to the sounds of the morning. Lapwings were making sounds as the first rays of the sun started to shine and a swan was sounding from the other side of the swamp also. Grouse were not to be seen or heard. As the light increased, I noticed two swans resting at the opposite side of the swamp from me. I wondered if they were the same couple that I had been following last summer. I kept an eye on the swans, but didn’t take too much notice of them.

I had just poured myself another cup of tea and started on a sandwich, when I heard the sound of the swans change. I looked to see what was happening, maybe I could get a picture of the swans in flight if they decided to move on. I almost choked on my sandwich as I realized what was happening. I am sorry for the poor quality of the pictures, the distance was so long that I’ve had to “crop” the pictures with a heavy hand to be able to show even this much:

A lynx tried to get a swan for breakfast. It’s a pity I was situated so far away, but that’s how it goes at times. I don’t think I will be seeing a similar situation anytime soon, so who cares if the pictures weren’t top quality? Nature gave me a thrill I will not forget anytime soon.

Oh, yes, the grouse? A short moment after the episode with the lynx and swans, a flock of about 20 birds appeared in the middle of the swamp. I really don’t know where they came from, all of a sudden they just were there. The birds seemed to be feeding, slowly walking towards my hide. I watched the grouses and snapped pictures. Apparently my hide worked well, since the birds walked right past it, some as close as 10 meters. The grouses didn’t seem to be interested in settling their mating territories which I had expected to be happening. On second thought, this is rather understandable, why have turffights when one can be enjoying breakfast with the guys?

Monday, 6 April 2009

Here we go

I've been writing my blog on nature and wildlife photography in finnish for half a year now. Now I decided to start writing my entries in english also, just to keep my language skills up and maybe to get an "international" view on things. So, from now on I will keep my original blog going as before, but for each posting I will also do a translation.

At the moment I'm looking to get pictures of Black Grouses, especialy their mating rituals. My photography hide is at the swamp / wetland area, at a location where I've seen grouse flocks last year. All thru winter I've been skiing at and around the swamp area, looking at animal tracks, droppings and other telltale marks to find a good location for my hide. Here are a few pictures of what I am talking about:
This is what the area in question looks like in the fall:
This picture was taken a week ago:
This is my photography hide being erected:
Here are a couple of pictures from last spring / summer: