Wildlife Photography – Spring Workshop
Alpine and mountain birds during the most colorful and enjoyable period of Spring
TRAVEL DATES: June 6-12, 2023
(one week earlier or later is possible with the same species and options for photography).
TOUR BASED ON 8-12 GUESTS
Price per Person Double Room: $2,500.00
Single Room Supplement: $350.00
DESTINATION: A small mountain village located in the province of León in the North of Spain. Excursions to mountain areas in Montaña de Riaño (1800 m above sea level) and Picos de Europa (2100 m above sea level).
HIGHLIGHTS: wildlife photography from hides, combining hides and two mountain photography excursions for subalpine birds (Ring Ouzel, Rock Thrush and Bluethroat) and for alpine birds (Wallcreeper, Alpine chough, Alpine Accentor, Snowfinch).
The price includes – 7 Days, 6 Nights:
- 6 days of activity, photography workshop
- Cabin ticket to access the high mountain areas of Picos de Europa
- English-speaking photography guide throughout the Tour
- Transport from the accommodation place to the hides and transport for the excursion
- Mandatory activity insurance
Price does not include:
- Transfers from and to the airport. We can arrange this for you upon request.
- Accompanying guide in the transfers mentioned above
- Personal travel insurance
- Any service not specified in the section “the price includes”
This Photography Workshop in Northern Spain offers a tour that can be adapted for intermediate and advanced photographers. Contact us to arrange an Advanced Spring Bird and Wildlife Photography Tour of Northern Spain.
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP ITINERARY
Arrival at the accommodation in the morning.
Accommodation and meals:
Charming Country Inns and Small Rural Hotels, All En Suite
B, L, D at the Inns or local restaurants
(7:00AM – 12:00PM)
(17:00 – 20:30PM)
Raptors (Egyptian And Griffon Vultures)
(7:30AM – 12:00PM)
Redstart and Buntings
(17:00 – 20:30PM)
Montana de Riano
Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, Ring Ouzel, Bluethroat
Picos de Europa
Alpine Excursion for Alpine bird photography
Wallcreeper, Snowfinch, Alpine Accentor, Alpine Chough
(7:00AM – 10:00AM)
(15:30 – 10:00am)
Carrion Feeder (Black Kite, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures)
(7:00AM – 12:00PM)
Departure in the afternoon
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP PROGRAM
Our Photography Workshop in Northern Spain focuses on mountain birds of the Cantabrian range and Picos de Europa National Park (North of Spain). The village provides a permanent set of hides for mountain and forest birds which, in Spring and Summer, include the following highlights:
- Raptors are represented by Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Black Kite and Common Buzzard.
- Among the Woodpeckers, the Middle Spotted, Great Spotted, Iberian Green and Black Woodpeckers are present, along with the special Wryneck.
- The passerines around the village of Cremenes include buntings (Yellowhammer, Cirl Bunting), Summer specialties such as the Redstart, Pied Flycatcher and Red-backed Shrike, the Dipper, and common birds such as tits (the five species in the iberian península), Nuthatch, Robin, Blackbird, Blackcap, Song and Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch,…
In addition, May and early June are the beginning of the breeding season for most of the Summer visitors and resident birds in the area, and it is possibly the best moment for the species nesting in the highest areas.
During the tour we will visit two different spots in the high mountain. The first one a glacier head valley 1800 m above sea level where we will be able to take pictures of different birds trying several locations in the valley. Target birds here include attractive and difficult birds for photography such as Rock thrush, Ring Ouzel and Bluethroat in breeding quarters. No less spectacular will be the second spot in a very scenic landscape in the heart of the Picos de Europa limestone massif, at 2100 m above sea level. Here we will focus on alpine specialties: the Wallcreeper, the Snowfinch, the Alpine Accentor and the Alpine Chough, being constantly on alert about Lammergeiers passing in flight over our heads.
We will reach these locations using 4×4 vehicles or a cabin, so the experience will be easy for any person, not requiring special physical condition. Spring weather can be quite unpredictable, sometimes rather cold, even with some snow in the highest areas, but it is usually a period announcing Summer with warm temperatures and sunny weather. Blooms will be at the best moment, with plenty of orchids and daffodils, yellow bushes, and vibrant green colors in the beach forests.
Daily routine consists of an early breakfast around 7:00 am (some days a bit earlier) and morning hide sessions until 11:30 or 12:00 am. In the afternoon, a second photo session will go from 16:00 to 20:30 pm more or less. We will have time at midday for a lunch at the hotel restaurant, to comment with the others the morning experience and see some pictures. Also, during the evening after dinner there will be some time to check the photography results of the day, talk about photography, ask questions about bird identification, see pictures by the others and elaborate a list of the species shot during the day.
All the hides are wide and comfortable structures for 2 people (3 in the case of the scavengers hide). They are, in general, small wooden and well-insolated constructions provided with high-quality glass window for photography. All of them have been in operations for several years in different locations around the villages, between 950 and 1050 m of altitude.
The scenery for photography is always a feeder integrated in the environment, so you have the feeling of watching a completely natural scene. Feeders are located at 4-5 m from the hide in most of the sites, except in the raptor hide, where distance to the feeding place is a bit longer, between 8 and 14 m. It is important to note that all the hides are prepared for activity even under rain and snow, so weather will be not an important factor affecting the results of the trip.
For the mountain birds the hides and strategies are totally different. We will be using canvas hides and camouflage nets on feeding points, so you will be free to decide the distance to the bird and the background you like most. This strategy is even more relaxed in the case of the alpine areas, where we will work without any blind, learning to get close to the birds and enjoying of birds not afraid about humans.
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT
The best results are achieved with a full frame camera and a 500 mm lens or an APS-C camera and a 100-400 mm zoom. Tripod is useful for better results but also to support the camera during long stays inside the hide. During the trip there will also be opportunities for some choice landscape photography. CLOTHES; Although the hides are well isolated and the trip will take place in the last part of the Spring, a good jacket and warm clothing are advisable, mainly for the mountain experiences. Trekking boots are also important, as are a cap and sunscreen recommended for mountain excursions too.
During our Photography Workshop in Northern Spain, the hides are well isolated, in Autumn-Winter a good coat and warm clothing are necessary for a comfortable stay inside the hides. Warm socks and trekking boots are especially important, both for the hides but also for the mountain excursion for chamois photography.