Diary of a nature photographer
Study, monitoring, research and photography about the Nature

Simply owls - part 4


And this year a new season begins to observe and photograph owls, and I can't wait!! 

How always I weak up very early to be in the place when is already night. I put everything: tripod, camera, light and finally I can seat and wait the owls arrive. In the distance I ear some noise and the sing of some stone curlew, someone very near of me, but in the dark it's impossible to see them. I'd like to see them and take some photos, but I thinks that I'll work a lot for succed, even because I don't know where they are exactly. Maybe using a hunt camera... 

The weather is bad: rain, wind and low temperatures, but there isn't problem, also when start to rain... and what a rain!!! Then it stops raining and the owls arrive. They are two, the couple that I follow for sometimes, I think about two years, and also this year they're ready for nesting, infact it seems that they're going to use the same group of stone as a nest.

This time I want to try a different method to photograph them, using a led light when the Sun hasn't yet risen . Aftern some attempt I found the right amount of illumination and I can take this photo with a lot of luck:

Infact the shoot time was 1.6 seconds and the owls was firm enoght to take the photo.
Subsequently start to rain again and the Owl lock for a place sheltered from the rain, but without luck, it moves over some stone and wait, wait under the rain and the wind:

Until when arrive a crow that scared the Owl that escape. 

Mistras's pond and Sinis's peninsula

The Sinis's peninsula is a big area in the middle-west of Sardinia, rich of cultivated lands and rich of water: pond, rivers, streams and, of course, the sea.

Indeed Mistras's pond is really near the sea and it mades , with some others ponds, a big ecosystem with a wide variety of animals, mostly birds. It's possible to find many different species of birds in Cabras's pond, like seagulls, ducks, flamingos, hawks, cormorants, but also owls and barn owls during the night. Surely the king of the pond is the osprey, known as with its scientific name of Pandion haliaetus, a big hawk belonging to pandionidae family, that descends from the accipitriformes order, the same order of the Golden Eagle, for example. The osprey of Mistrass  isn't native of here, but they come from the nord Europe, probably from Germany, and every year they come in Sardinia to pass the winter, then in summer they get back to their lands in order to reproduce theirself.

I took many pictures of the osprey, but I've never taken ones taking off from a perch:


 In this sequence we can value the wings dimensions and the powerful of this Wonderful raptor. A mention goes to the camera, a Sony A99II with the Sony 300mm f/2.8 lens, a perfect couple for Wildlife photography, but that they aren't often consider from the nature photographers. In reality with this camera is possible to get beautiful sport or naturalistic photos, having at least 12 FPS wiht you in order to don't lose any shoot. The only problem, for me, is the shooting sound that often scare animals, like the buzzard that in general is very shy and wary, but if the Sony A99II had a softer shooting sound, it would be better, in fact for this reason I hope to buy very soon a camera with an electronic shooter, that is really silent, like the Sony A9 that it would be perfect for me.

In the following picture the osprey was eating a fish that it's catched before.

 But how I said above, in Mistras's pond there isn't only the osprey, but others birds too, like the following: a Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) and a Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)


In a place located more at North of the Mistras's pond, there's a little village, Putzu Idu, where it's possible di see this very nice double arc of rock. The rock itself is not good and quite Dangerous, indeed in some point has fallen down in the sea, so if you want go there is better to be careful. The photo is a long exposure took with some filters: a CPL, a soft GND and a ND1000 filter in order to get 30 seconds of shoot (fot this kind of photo I use a Nisi V5 system, that I find really useful). How you can see, the day was quite windy and the sea was really rough with the waves that came near us (indeed I got back home wet), so be careful, really.

Sardinia offers a lot of beautiful places where find the nature, but I remember you to respect Always the ambient and the animals, because we've already been making  many damages, throwing rubbish everywhere and killing animals without a reason, often only for fun, and I'd like that our sons can see these nature stuff in the future.

Italian version

Nowadays drones are very popular, and everywhere you go it's easy to found someone playing with a drone.

I have to confess that I thinking over about its in order to study animals in general, and birds of prey in particular. In fact I was looking for a small drone to carry everywhere I go, like, for example, the Wingsland S6 sold with a camouflage color too:

very cool for me.

After this I've started to watch videos about that model in order to understand how it works, its accessories and so on. I was really interested on it, almost that I was taking the patent for using drones in general. But... yes, there's a but.

After I've seen some videos and heard the sound coming from a drone I thought about a drone following a bird... a very dangerous situation, for the bird of course!! Now, try to think a more sensitive situation like the breeding season of a bird, where they have to stay in the nest to hatch eggs, or during the hunt for the food, what coould it happens to birds with an object flying around the nest with an annoying noise?? Nothing good, I'm sure, and for what? A picture? No, I prefer to don't take any photo and leave birds quiet, because their safety is the best thing that I could think. This aspect, the ethic photography, is often forgotten in the name of "a picture of the year", where in reality it'll be one of the thousands pictures of the Net, about the same subject. And we don't speak only for birds, but for every animals. In fact on the Net there're a lot of pictures taken by a drone of various animals in their natural ambient, and with those small cameras it's easy that the pilot will be gone with his drone very close to the animal, without thinking over the possible consequences, despite some studies tell that observe birds, and animals in general, with a drone is not so problematic (Niras study).

Now I don't want say that everyone who use a drone is dangerous, beacause I think, and I hope, that they are carefull, but this could do some emulation phenomenon by other people that aren't so introduced in nature problems.

So at the end I won't buy a drone for studing animals, and if I'll do will be only for fun and I'll use it in appropriate area destinated for that porpouse. In fact we have to be careful with drones because laws tell us that we can't use it everywhere, mostly in town, pehaps over people or near an airport  

Walking on Mountain Ferru


Mountain Ferru is not so high mountain, but it's very interesting for its fauna and beautiful landscapes. Walking on Mountain Ferru can be a wonderful experience if you like the silence and stay in the Nature, with the wind that caress your face and birds-voice all around you. Walking through into his little Woods or in rough ills can be the occasion to see the moufflon, these fantastic mammals that live in Sardinia in small group. Here, if you're lucky, you can find them mostly in the early morning during the dawn, moment where is easier to see moufflons, maybe on a rock or near a wood. Today we've been very lucky beacause we've seen immediately in or path, but I can't take any pictures, but following the path we've found them one more time a little bit far, but not enough for taking a quite good picture like this:

where there were a Young male and some female, pehaps  his harem.

But how I was talking about before of landscapes, in Mountain Ferru there are some Amazing place where to take some nice picture, as this little waterfall, Bia Joss. I already knew it, but this time I've been more lucky beacause there was more water in the river, creating a secondary waterfall like this:

with a lovely light.

This Sardinia area is quite big and I'd need more time to see everything, like the others waterfall and the many birds that lives here, but how Always I don't have so many time, so I hope to see something next time.


I've updated the gallery adding some new species, like the Asio otus ... Read More
A short Review of the Photoseiki TB-101 gimbal head ... Read More

Haliaeetus albicilla

Haliaeetus albicilla
Haliaeetus albicilla
A couple of white-tailed sea eagles. Lofoten, Norway. July 2018