Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bird Photography Serrania de Ronda

Ever sat inside a spyglass photography hide? I hadn’t until recently, that was until I had a couple of sessions in a purpose built bird photography hide, situated in the midst of an old and yet typical Mediterranean Oak Woodland. The site, Algaba in the Serrania de Ronda, just changed my perspective on these types of outings. I was totally spellbound by the constant flow of birds, several species and all so enchanting I almost forgot to take photos. It was such a privilege to see so many special birds so close, totally at ease with their surroundings, blissfully unaware of my presence, bathing, feeding and interacting with each other. It was all too easy to while away so much time watching this spectacle and forget the purpose of my visits.

The normally shy and elusive Jay, blissfully unaware of my presence
Of course, in the hotter regions of southern Spain, the greatest attraction you can give to encourage avian visitors is water. Putting various seeds and food items will work too, but water is definitely the key for the gaining a diverse selection of species. My normal forays with the camera entails field trips and very much relying on a little luck to capture some diary shots of targeted species. So hide photography, and specifically this hide, is certainly my newfound luxury, a lazy man’s approach to getting reasonable photos of some pretty difficult subjects i.e. Nightingale, Bonelli’s, Melodious and Subalpine Warbler to name just a few. Add a few raptors and 3 regular woodpecker species, including Wryneck and you get the idea on how much I was enjoying my visits here.

Wryneck juvenile accompanied adults to drink and bathe
Right now I am planning a few more sorties to the hide and must admit to not a little excitement on what autumn migration might bring along to view through the spyglass. The water feature is a natural looking pool and we currently have Booted Eagle coming to drink and bathe, but with so many birds toing and froing from the surrounding vegetation to drink, it is sure to attract migrants to the pool. Bee eaters certainly have been attracted to the clearing by the volume of other birds and of course insects buzzing over the water. Although I haven’t totted up the total number of species visiting the site, it must be pretty impressive already and will only get better as it becomes more established. Anyways, enough of my ramblings, I think you get the picture, which leads me on nicely to introduce you to some recent and selected photographs from the hide, I hope you like them and perhaps they may encourage you to visit?

Booted Eagle landing..
Subalpine Warbler
Great-spotted Woodpecker juvenile
Green Woodpecker
Bonelli's Warbler
Long-tailed Tit
Griffon Vulture
Common Buzzard
Melodious Warbler

Well just a taster, but lots of other very attractive species await me and perhaps you? If you need more information, please do contact me

Black Wheatear female - Day Tour in the Serrania de Ronda
Of course you could always combine a day in the hide and another with a day tour to grab those elusive mountain birds in the surrounding mountains here!