mandag 7. mai 2018

FLOATING HIDES WITH MRJANGEAR IN LATVIA


Rednecked grebe / Gråstrupedykker (Podiceps griseigena) in mating display
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 360, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.

In late April & early May this year I had the pleasure to be invited by MrJanGear to test floating hides in Latvian wetlands. The floating hides from MrJanGear (check www.mrjangear.com ) are basically constructed for walking the bottoms more than for swimming and consists of a lightweight inflatable tube construction with a fixed board for tripod head and a tented cover. The height of the cover may seem unnecessarily high, but when you need to cross very shallow waters walking on your knees you will understand why you sometimes need the hight. With a good plan for the day and a slow approach with lots of patience the hides performed very well with the birds, and in the end of the day as pack your gear and go home, the entire hide will fit into a medium sized softbag ! 

During 7 days I daily spent approx 5 hours in the water (making altogether 35 hours in the water), and with water temp`s between 5 and 10 degrees C you really need a good drysuit and lots of isolation.

Our photographic focus was primarily for rednecked grebes and migrating geese. 

Rednecked grebe : The beautiful "redneck" has a distinct eastern distribution, from the Baltic sea eastwards into deep Russia. The bird mostly stays in the thick reed and is not seen much in open waters, and hence : difficult to shoot. However with many attempts and lots of patience I got my shots.

Migrating geese : Every spring migrating geese come to rest in a small, shallow lake in the Orenisu Diki. It is said that there can be up to 60 000 geese resting on the lake at the same time. The migrating geese are mainly white fronted goose (tundragås) & bean goose (sædgås), and these species are extremely shy birds ! Normally you would not come closer than 500 m to them, and they will even avoid a moving floating hide with "considerable" margins. One day I hid with the hide at the edge of a reed island in the lake and sat still for 5 hours. It was an amazing experience to have theses super-shy birds close enough to shoot shoulder shots on them. I will never forget this situation !

Thanks to : MrJanGear & Jan Goddefroy for idea, invitation, gear and a great nature experience
Guesthouse "Stikani" & Ilze Vilskereste for indespenable support & super accommodation
Minna Lindroth, Markus Varesvuo, Tuomas Heinonen & Misjel deCleer for inspiration & great company,     


MrJanGear floating hide .... in action ... with Markus inside 


MrJanGear Floating Hide : inflatable floating tube with fixed board for tripod head and tented cover including balusters.


Rednecked grebe / Gråstrupedykker (Podiceps griseigena) in display
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/6,3, 1/2000, ISO 800, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Rednecked grebe / Gråstrupedykker (Podiceps griseigena) in mating display
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/6,3, 1/2000, ISO 720, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Rednecked grebe / Gråstrupedykker (Podiceps griseigena) swimming in open water
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/6,3, 1/1000, ISO 800, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Rednecked grebe / Gråstrupedykker (Podiceps griseigena)
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/5,6, 1/1000, ISO 500, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Rednecked grebe / Gråstrupedykker (Podiceps griseigena)
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/6,3, 1/1600, ISO 1000, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Rednecked grebe / Gråstrupedykker (Podiceps griseigena) closeup
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/6,3, 1/2000, ISO 1100, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Rednecked grebe / Gråstrupedykker (Podiceps griseigena) in open water
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/5,6, 1/1250, ISO 800, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


As a whitetailed eagle comes flying by 10s of thousands of geese burst out in massive flight. 
These are whitefronted geese & bean geese / tundragås & sædgås
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/11,0, 1/1250, ISO 3200, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Whitefronted goose / Tundragås (Anser albifrons)
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 360, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Whitefronted goose / Tundragås (Anser albifrons)
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/11,0, 1/2000, ISO 3200, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Whitefronted goose / Tundragås (Anser albifrons)
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/11,0, 1/2000, ISO 2800, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Whitefronted goose / Tundragås (Anser albifrons)
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/11,0, 1/2000, ISO 2500, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Bean goose / Sædgås (Anser albifrons)
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/11,0, 1/2000, ISO 2800, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Whitefronted goose / Tundragås (Anser albifrons)
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/11,0, 1/2000, ISO 2800, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Male marsh harrier / sivhauk (Circus aeruginosus)
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/6,3, 1/1600, ISO 560, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Whooper swan / sangsvane (Cygnus cygnus)
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/6,3, 1/1000, ISO 500, MrJanGear floating hide, drysuit.


Flying geese & moon
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 28800


Flying geese & moon
Nikon D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter, f/5,6, 1/1000, ISO 32000.

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