Birds of Poland
April 25, 2012 • 1 Comment
With Spring finally arriving in Poland, birds are either migrating through or coming to nest and stay for the summer. So with some really beautiful weather, we went out in search of Poland's famous white storks. These storks winter in Africa and then migrate back to Europe each Spring to nest and raise their young. Poland has one of the largest populations of nesting white storks in the world and finding them isn't too difficult. There is one nest in particular that is just outside of town that I like to photograph. When we arrived, shortly before sunset with some beautiful light, we discovered the storks were not only there but they appeared to be sitting on eggs. The male was preening while the female was evidently on the eggs. After a while, they traded places. In the image above, the female is preening and the male, not shown here, is sitting on the eggs. This was shot at 500mm from the car, bracing the lens against the car window.
Similar to storks, cranes can also be found in various parts of Europe. They are not as easy to find as storks and they tend to be more wary. These two were moving through a field near sunset. Again, this image was shot at 500mm with the lens braced against the car window. When shooting from a car, it's important to turn off the engine. The vibrations from the engine can cause a photo to be blurry even with fast shutter speeds. Engine exhaust can also cause a photo to appear blurry and it's just good to not put more exhaust into the air if you don't need to do so.
While not often considered a wild bird, pigeons are common and native to Europe. Often considered pests in US cities, in Europe, it's common to raise pigeons. This pigeon, unlike the common pigeon most people are use to seeing, is slightly larger and with a different, more distinct appearance. Wood pigeons are a native species and not as commonly seen as the rock pigeon most people are used to seeing. This one was perched on the roof of a storage shed and the background was lit with some nice early morning light.
Finally, one bird I've wanted to photograph for a few years now, since I first saw them in the wild in Poland, is the common Pheasant, called Ring-necked Pheasants in the US. A favorite species of sport hunters worldwide, these birds tend to be very wary of people. This one was on the side of the road and we were able to stop pretty close without it becoming too spooked. Late day side to backlighting created some wonderful colors and textures for a subject that is already quite colorful. Again, this was shot at 500mm with the lens braced against the car window. Swans continue to elude me, though I still have a few weeks to find some. Mammals continue to elude me too, though we will be out in the field most of next week so who knows what we might come across. Until then...
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