Birds of Prey – Czech Republic

After missing out on last spring’s photo workshop in Bavaria due to Rupert’s accident, I’ve been crossing my fingers the last week that nothing would happen before my trip to the Czech Republic for a workshop photographing Birds of Prey, along with companions in crime, Arie and Jules.

Unfortunately, after a week of fantastic spring weather, things took a turn this week, and apart from a few lucky sunny spells we had rain and even some snow to contend with.  The snow would have been nice for photography, but unfortunately that only came when we were in transit back to Prague.

We photographed 8 species of bird (Grey Heron, Harris Hawk, African Vulture, Barn Owl, Long Eared Owl, Siberian Eagle Owl, Goshawk, Sea Eagle) as well as a surprise – an orphaned wild boar piglet.  The early bird in flight attempts were pretty lousy, but I managed to improve a bit by the end of the workshop, although I still threw away more shots than I kept.

Of course, as well as trying our hand with birds in flights, we also spent some time taking static shots of the different birds, a task which offers its own challenges in the form of trying to make an original photograph which offers more than the standard ‘bird on a branch’ pose.

It was great to see some of the Czech countryside, and the falconers were very good about finding different spots to fly the birds.  Far better than my local falconry where there are always buildings in sight.  As ever, Chris, Matt and Terezka had everything very well organized, and I’ll certainly be joining them on future workshops.