This winter I had an opportunity to photograph birds of prey at two locations, Titel and Subotica. On the third day of January, Slobodan and I visited the Institution for Nature Protection, “Titelski breg.” We agreed with the representative of this Institution to visit a nearby hide to take photos and observe eagles. The most frequent visitors, among the magpies and crows, are common buzzards and white-tailed eagles. During this first visit, we didn’t have much luck with seeing the white-tailed eagle. Only a couple of buzzards dropped by for breakfast.
Two weeks after Titel, it was the turn for Subotica. This location is well known for great bird activity and stopover for imperial and the greater spotted eagle. Pheasant, fox and jackal would often appear as well. During the visit in January, Slobodan and I were not lucky enough to see the jackal or any other eagle except the common buzzard. The white-tailed eagle would fly over from time to time. Nevertheless, we enjoyed ourselves and rested for two days, and took lots of photos and videos. Moreover, we learned a lot about birds just by observing them.
After Subotica, we returned to Titel for another visit, only this time Srdjan joined us. Despite the poor weather conditions (snow, fog, poor visibility) the white-tailed eagle surprised us even three times. Two times it landed on a nearby tree for a couple of minutes and went his way. At the end of the day, when we started packing the gear to leave the hide, the white-tailed eagle emerged from the fog and landed on the ground. It was getting dark, and there was no chance for much better photos but, frankly, for us, it was enough to see the huge bird up close.
The latest try to catch on camera something other than common buzzards, magpies, crows, and ravens was in February. As much as we hoped to have frosty and cold conditions, we had quite warm weather. On the first day, it was only Slobodan and me, while on the second day, Srdjan joined us.
This time we were much luckier because a jackal visited us in the early morning. It was very cautious and observed the area before approaching and helped itself with the food left during the winter. It visited us on the second day either, although a little earlier than anticipated, when the light conditions were poorer. Regardless, the experience we had was surreal.
Since the winter season is over and with it the photography of birds of prey, we are slowly preparing for the water and pond birds that become active with the first days of spring and warm weather. The reports about those will follow immediately after the adventure.
Till then, follow me on Instagram and 500px, and we’ll meet again soon.
Author: Dejan Zakić
Guests: Slobodan Botoški and Srđan Šolaja
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