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Nature Photography

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Spring Birds of Northern Spain

A Photography Workshop
with Ron Bielefeld -Whistling Wings Photography


 

This photography workshop is focused on the spring birds of the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains.

Leader - Ron R Bielefeld of Whistling Wings Photography (click for more information on Ron) 

Springtime is an awesome time for bird photography in Spain. The migrating birds that spend the winter in Africa return to breed in Europe, and there is an extraordinary amount of activity.

Some emblematic species such as Little Bustards or Capercaillies display on the leks and Egyptian Vultures can be photographed together with Black Vultures, Griffon Vultures, and Lammergeiers.

So, we will visit the Cantabrian Mountains and Pyrenees to get the best of both worlds.  We will shoot mainly from hides/blinds as much of this area is protected and regulated as are many of the species we will be photographing.

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WHAT'S INCLUDED

  •  ALL ACCOMMODATIONS

  •  all breakfasts

  •  4X4 VEHICLES DURING PHOTOGRAPHY OUTINGS

  •  Dinners that INCLUDe-SELECTED SPANish WINES

  •  ALL IN TOUR TRANSPORTATION

  •  ALL HIDE FEES

  •  BI-LINGUAL GUIDE

  •  PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER INSTRUCTION 

  •  TRANSFER ON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE


Ask about the non-photographers parallel tour.  If you have a significant other that wants to come to Spain with you, but is not a photographer, they can enjoy this tour while you are out shooting each day!


2018 Dates

  • MAY 7-17 (SOld out!)


11 days/10 nights

A two day extension on either the front or back end of this tour is available.  Please contact us if you are interested (772-564-0330)


EXERTION LEVEL: EASY


Price : $4795.00

Arrive: Madrid
Depart: Barcelona


CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION

772 564-0330

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival to Madrid International Airport

Transfer to León.  Cathedral tour and then an awesome dinner.  Overnight in Leon at very special hotel.

Days 2, 3, 4, and 5 - Cantabrian Mountain bird photography:

Early morning transfer north to small village in Cantabrian Mountains.

During these 4 full days, the group will have exclusive use of blinds/hides set up in the area.

·         BLACK WOODPECKERS -  beech tree ant nest.

·         WHITE-THROATED DIPPER -  Hide on the bank of River

·         COMMON BUZZARDS - Hides on a rocky area over valley

·         GOLDEN EAGLES - Hides on a rocky area over valley

·         RED KITES - Hides on a rocky area over valley

·         GRIFFON VULTURES - Hides on a rocky area over valley

·         EGYPTIAN VULTRUES - Hides on a rocky area over valley

·         WRYNECK – Hide designed for Wrynecks and many other insectivorous passerines.

·         EUROPEAN PIED FLYCATCHER – Hide placed in front of a perch for the flycatchers.

·         REDSTART - Hide placed in front of a perch for Redstarts with many other insectivorous birds possible as well.

·         RED-BACKED SHRIKE - Specific hide for Red Backed Shrike.

·         BUNTINGS – hide for Cirl, Rock, and other buntings as well as Yellowhammer and as many as 10 other passerine species.

·         VARIOUS PASSERINES – Water hide designed for getting pictures with water reflections.

·         VULTURES AND OTHER RAPTORS – Carrion hides with a fantastic background of juniper and oak forests. Griffon vultures and corvids abound. Red kite, common Buzzard, Egyptian vulture are all possible. This site is especially good for trying unusual shots of these magnificent birds.  Great flight shot opportunities at this site.  

Day 6 - Transfer to Pyrenees

Early transfer to Pyrenees - Vielha.

Arrival at awesome hotel and then visit to Aiguamog Valley, famous for the fields full of narcissus poeticus and orchids. Excellent for macro photography and passerines.

Awesome Dinner and overnight at Vielha.

Day 7 and 8 – Capercaillies and Golden Eagles

Only 4 photographers per day can access the Capercaillie lek as it is regulated for the protection of this endangered bird. For this reason, we will split the group with one group spending the morning photographing golden eagles with spectacular Pyrenean backgrounds and finishing the day shooting Pyrenean passerines from various hides.  The other group will shoot from the Capercaillie hides.

The next day, the groups will flip-flop with the eagle group from the day before shooting capercaillies and the other eagles.

Day 9 and 10 - Lammergeier, Black Vulture, Egyptian vulture, and Griffon vulture hides.

After the last Capercaillie session we transfer to Baumort Reserve in Buseu Village.

The Lammergeier hides offer two different perspectives over the feeding area.  One is great for flight shots, the other for birds on the ground.

After the second day transfer to Barcelona.

Day 11 - Fly home out of Barcelona

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Winter Birds and Mammals of Northern Spain

A Photography Workshop
with Ron R Bielefeld - Whistling Wings Photography


 

This photography workshop is focused on the winter birds and mammals of Northern Spain.

LEADER - RON R BIELEFELD OF WHISTLING WINGS PHOTOGRAPHY (CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RON) 

In the forest of the Cantabrian mountains, where still survive wolves and brown bears, it is possible to photograph some of the most emblematic bird and mammal species of the European Atlantic region.

We, professional photographers, design the hides, choosing the best locations and orientations for the best images possible.

The winter is a very special time in these mountains, because thousands of birds arrive from north Europe to winter on the Iberian Peninsula. Here they rest and feed after crossing the sea.  So, we find large numbers of birds and species during the Winter season.  Mammals also are “migrating” down from the high country making them accessible for photographs.

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WHAT'S INCLUDED

  •  All Accomodations

  •  4X4 VEHICLES DURING PHOTOGRAPHY OUTINGS

  •  Breakfasts

  •  Dinners (INCLUDING HAND-SELECTED SPAIN WINES)

  •  ALL IN TOUR TRANSPORTATION

  •  ALL HIDE FEES

  •  BI-LINGUAL GUIDE

  •  PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER INSTRUCTION 

  •  TRANSFER ON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE


ASK ABOUT THE NON-PHOTOGRAPHERS PARALLEL TOUR.  IF YOU HAVE A SIGNIFICANT OTHER THAT WANTS TO COME TO SPAIN WITH YOU, BUT IS NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER, THEY CAN ENJOY THIS TOUR WHILE YOU ARE OUT SHOOTING EACH DAY!


2017 Dates

  • DECEMBER 1-10


10 days/9 nights

A two day extension is available on the front or back end of this tour.  Please contact us if you are interested (772-564-0330).
 


EXERTION LEVEL: EASY


Price : $4290.00

Arrive: Madrid
Depart: Madrid


CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION

772 564-0330


 
 
 
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Itinerary

Day 1- Arrival to Madrid International Airport

Transfer to hotel in Madrid.  Tour of Madrid, Dinner, Overnight in Madrid at very special hotel.

Day 2, 3, 4, and 5: Cantabrian Mountain bird photography.

Early transfer north to Cantabrian mountains where we will stay for a few nights. 

During these 4 full days, the group will have exclusive use of blinds/hides set up in the area.

·         WOODPECKERS – A hide specifically for Green, Great and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers. Each photographer will be able to modify the scene to customize their pictures.

·         PASSERINES AND MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER - Located at the foot of an apple tree, this site is prepared in a way to offer pictures of the smallest woodpeckers in acrobatic postures, while they climb the trunk in search of food. Beside the Middle and the Great Spotted Woodpeckers, many small birds are attracted to this orchard area including tits, nuthatches, buntings, blackcaps, robins, and finches.

·         JAYS - This is one of best hides each winter.  Although the Eurasian Jay is a common and well-known corvid, it is not an easy bird to photograph well. However, this blind area attracts many individuals during the winter, making it possible to capture very interesting behaviors such as fights, birds in flight, birds caching food, etc.  Side by side with the jays it is possible to capture tits, nuthatches, and even roe deer.

·         GRIFFON VULTURES, BUZZARDS, RED KITES, AND CORVIDS – A carrion feeder located in a pass with a fantastic background of juniper and oak forests, this feeder attracts dozens of Griffon vultures and corvids along with common buzzards and red kites.  Good flight shot opportunities from this spot.

·         THRUSHES - Located in the middle of an orchard, this is a very attractive place for several species of thrushes, including song and mistle.  Also, Redwing and Fieldfare. The scene in front of the hide is awesome with several perches that allow a variety of different compositions.

·         BULLFINCH - During the winters the meadows surrounded by fruit trees are commonly visited by dozens of bullfinches that eat the red fruits.

·         RAPTORS and BUZZARDS – Hide located a few kilometers to the South in an open and low area where small raptors congregate in winter.   A perch set in front of the hide is used by the Red Kite and the Common Buzzard as well as other raptor species.

·         GOLDEN EAGLE – Hide on a rocky area overlooking mountain valley, visited by Golden Eagles and Red Kites.

Day 6 - Alpine birds and Chamois photography. 

·         Full day excursion to higher alpine habitats in the Cantabrian mountains to get beautiful images of Chamois (Rupycapra rupycapra) and interesting birds, such as Wallcreepers, Alpine accentors, and Alpine choughs.

·         Return to the accommodation, dinner and overnight.

Day 7 -  Iberian Ibex and Red Deer photography. 

·         These two mammals are common in the area, and we can get some nice images from our vehicle or on short walks.

·         The Ibex inhabit the rocky areas and the males sport long horns.

·         Red deer is the European wapiti, they are common and  good images are possible on most outings.

·         Return to the accommodations, dinner, and overnight.

Day 8 - Wolves and wildcats. 

·         The success rate is l high for these species during winter. We will run two excursions for locating these beautiful animals in the loneliest areas of Picos de Europa.

·         Return to the accommodation, dinner, and overnight.

Day 9 - Great bustards and other steppe birds. 

·         We move to the south in the direction of León when we will stay that night.

·         We will spend a full day in the steppe areas near León photographing the magnificent Great Bustard and other birds such as Black-winged Kite (aka white-tailed kite), Little Bustard, Stone Curlew, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Montagu´s harrier, Kestrel, Red Legged partridge, Lapwing, and Spotless Starling.

·         Overnight in León and dinner.

Day 10 -  Transfer to Madrid and flight home.