Scottisch Highlander - Bos Taurus ss. You don't get to see these gentle giants fighting a lot. most of the time they are grazing heads down and don't make great subjects to photograph because it's heard to get eye contact. So I was very fortunate to find these two quarreling right in the middle of the path. :-) More photos on my blog: http://serveewijsen.blogspot.nl/2013/07/gevechtfight.html
Roe Deer love this field of Wild Radish flowers, as do dragonflies. You can spot one in the distance... More photos and stories on my blog: http://serveewijsen.blogspot.nl/2013/07/walhalla.html
This Roe Deer got quite curious when it saw the Hare in the foreground in this field of flowering Wild Radish. The Hare's defense is to lay it's ears flat and sit absolutely still, even though it has nothing to fear from the Roe Deer... More photos and stories on my blog: http://serveewijsen.blogspot.nl/2013/07/walhalla.html
And yes, it really did come out crossed the road after stopping for a moment to stare at the strange creature, being me, sitting on the path... More photos: http://serveewijsen.blogspot.nl/2013/07/grazersgrazers.html
In our densely populated country, nature is crossed by many roads, paths and trails. Convenient for us people to get around, but animals also like to use their own favorite 'roads'. These paths arise from walking the same route every day to get to food sources and from marking their territory. If you know where these path are and which route animals frequently walk, you can anticipate on this. In this case I had followed the Roebuck for a while and I could easily guess where it would cross the (human made) road. It peeked first from behind the bush to make sure the coast was clear and then crossed the road in the beautiful evening light, not bothered by me sitting nearby on my knees to take some shots...
This buck is king of the flower field, and steps into the spotlight of the last sun-rays that reach the field through the trees on the left outside the frame. Roe Deer gather here to eat from the Wild Radish flowers....
Hopefully this little bunny is just as clever and aware of danger as its cartoon counterpart. A lot of danger is lurking in the shadows and above. Foxes, Buzzards, and Goshawks all like to take a bite of this cuteness...
...at least on this bush. In the month of june Roe Deer like to feast on the Yellow flowers of Broom brushes, which are flowering abundantly here in heathlands. You just have to find the right spots with nice background and lighting and get your timing right.
Roe Deer just love the flowers of the yellow Broom brushes which provide a great picture frame. The animals are quite familiar with me because I frequently walk around here with my camera. As long as I move slowly and don't make to much noise, some of them allow me to get quite close :-)
Ree - Roe Deer just love the yellow flowers of the Broom bushes. So you can be sure to find them here :-)
It's always exciting to wait until after sunset to see how the light changes. This time the cloudless sky turns a subtle pink and all I needed was the Roe Deer as a subject in front of the Oak tree. It looked up and stood still just long enough to get it sharp...:-)
Another one of the Roe Deer after sunset. Some more contrast in the sky here and a little movement, which I actually like.
Once in a while you get lucky if you're prepared to go out often, get to know the animals and their habitat, be patient and be there at odd times. I envisioned this photo in my head a long time ago. This is a place frequented by Roe Deer. But they never seemed to be there at the right time. The photo was taken 40 minutes after sunset probably the only small hill in the area that obscures the horizon. Just enough light from the sun was left to color the sky red. Perfect for a silhouette :-) Hi ISO and slow shutter speeds were needed, but that's why you drag your heavy tripod with you all day :-)
It's fun enough to shoot nice pictures but the challenge is in finding special moments. The low evening sun can be a great help and makes you see things differently and ads some tension to the shot. The red spot in the foreground is caused by the sun flaring in the lens. The last rays of the sun light up the contours of this Roe Deer buck.
I'll bore you with yet another Roe Deer Portrait. A different animal but also very close in nice soft evening light :-)
Another portrait of the same Roe Deer taken one day later. As the sun was just about to set I was sitting on the ground by the fence watching birds on the field as I caught some movement int he corner of my eye. This fellow sneaked up un me from behind and was standing about 6 meters beside me checking out a spot to step through the barbed wire. I slowly turned my camera and it looked straight into the lens. Then it slowly walked along the fence completely at ease to fiend the right spot to cross several meters away. :-)
Same Roe Deer was kind enough to let me shoot this portrait :-)
Roe Deer posing.. They seem to be occupied with eating, grooming and recuperating from the long cold winter so much that they don't even mind me being so close :-) This one is so skinny I could count it's ribs...
Male Roe Deer staring at me to check if I don't get to close. It doesn't seem to mind much and I can get to about 10 meters before it slowly retreats. It seems to have some kind of eye disease which I've seen before with Roe Deer. Roe Deer don't have a well developed eyesight, they only recognize large objects, but can detect movement very well. And it sure knows I'm there. It cannot see me if I keep absolutely still, but it can smell me from 400 meters away and he can hear the camera clicking just fine. So I'm just lucky here to be tolerated :-)
Fallow Deer resting under a tree in the snow.
Winter is quite persistent this year, even now in March we still have snow, which is rare over here. So another winter shot before Spring kicks in. These Fallow deer live in the dunes by the North Sea in a protected area where there is no hunting. This makes them very approachable. Great for photographers and Wildlife lovers but also a topic of discussion as some people think there are too many, and they are smart enough to jump over the fences and ruin gardens of rich folk who live in the area and get run over by traffic...
These Roe Deer are easy to find under 'normal' weather conditions. Today with temperatures well below zero, strong winds and snowfall, I had to search a little harder. Lucky I knew were to look. They stay closer to the edge of the forest out of the wind where it's less cold and easier to find food. What a nice day :-)
Roe Deer covered in fresh snow...
These Roe Deer [Capreolus capreolus] are looking up because they are disturbed by some screaming kids. Although they're used to a lot of human activity here, they are always on guard because people bring dogs, which should be on a leash, but they are not always. Dogs like to chase deer, deer don't like to be chased. This time it was just kids...
This Magpie [Pica pica] is about to land on the Fallow Deer [Dama dama] like African Oxpeckers they like to feed on parasites in the fur of the animal.
UPDATE: This photo was published in an article about the European Bison of the january 2013 edition of Landschap magazine (in dutch) http://www.landschapvzw.be/landschap-magazine Fighting European Bison [Bison bonasus] @ Sunrise. Last saturday we went back for a closer look at the European Bison and were very lucky to find them in the nicest place @ sunrise! Beautiful backdrops and great light :-)
European Bison [Bison bonasus] @ sunrise grazing in a beautiful sunlit landscape. It was supposed to be a grey overcast day, but surprisingly it turned out to be a beautiful morning well worth getting out early :-)
European Bison [Bison bonasus] looks like he's making fun of this little tree :-) The light was so unreal @ sunrise that I even had to desaturate some of my photos to look more 'natural'.
Male Wisent - European Bison - Bison Bonasus. 900 Kg and almost 2m tall you don't want to disturb this fella.. Especially since it can easily outrun you at 65 Km/h...
Female Wisent - European Bison - Bison Bonasus. Their ancestors roamed the continent ages ago with Mammoths, a hundred years ago the last survivors went extinct in the wild by loss of habitat and hunting and poaching. Breeding programs brought them back to about 4200 now living in Zoo's and Wildlife parks across Europe. Nearly as rare as the Tiger!! This one lives in Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland in the Netherlands, which is the only place in the world were they don't get additional food from humans. 6 were released in the park in 2007 & 2008 as part of a scientific research project. 9 calf were born since, only one didn't survive. The aim of the project is conservation of the species, study of feeding behavior, use of habitat and interaction with animals and people of which little is known. Results are positive. They are much less dangerous and more shy of people than they were thought to be according to 'legend'.
"Wild" Konik Horses [Equus caballus caballus] are as wild as Horses get in Europe. These are descendants from the "original" european wild horse, the Tarpan, which was sadly wiped out in the late 19th century by excessive hunting. The last mare in the wild died when it crashed in to a ravine in the Ukraine while it was chased by men trying to catch it in 1879. These Konik were bred back from half wild horses in Poland in the 1930's to resemble these Tarpans. In the 1980's they were released in the wild in the Netherlands...
As the Roe Deer calf within close range it started to 'flap' it's ears when it heard the shutter click :-)
The same Roe Deer calf as in the previous picture as it approached me curiously...
This curious Roe Deer calf is just a couple of month old and is straying further away from it's protective mother. It came straight at me and posed for me at close distance for several minutes wondering what the strange 'creature' blocking it's way and all the clicking noise was all about...
European Hare in the 'purple haze' of the blooming heather. It let me get close enough to shoot this portrait :-)
Roe Deer calf [Capreolus capreolus] running after it's mother...
As I was concentrating on taking pictures of juvenile Kestrels, suddenly this beautiful fox stood there staring right at me in late evening light... What a nice way to finish my day :-)
Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) calf running at full speed in the late evening sun...
Roe Deer love to eat these Wild Radish flowers.
This field of wild Radish is like a magnet for Roe Deer.
I knew they were gonna come through the fence sooner or later, so I just lied down and waited..
A baby Roe Deer was playing in a field of flowers. I just had to wait for it to jump high enough to get a shot. And to do me a favor it was doing it's very best to do so in the very last stroke of sunlight to hit the field :-)
A Roe Deer coming out of the forest in late evening light.
Wild Konik Horses @ Lauwersmeer
This female Roe Deer showed up in front of me out of nowhere as I was silently enjoying the beautiful light @ sunrise over the lake. She was very relaxed and wasn't bothered by me being there. :-)
While sitting in the hide waiting for birds of prey like Kites and Eagles I didn't expect this 'strange bird' to show up. It's rare to see a Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in daylight, even though it was early morning. I was still setting up my camera and there it was already. As I found out later it was two years ago since someone had last seen one in this area!
Just as I was putting my camera away, these two Galloway bulls started a fierce fight in the water @ Blauwe Kamer, Netherlands
Curious Red deer hinds searching for apples...
Hare in flowerfield
Male Red Deer making clear he rules around here.
Portait of a Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)
Portrait of a Roe deer
Common Seal chillin' on the beach