Agustin has created a virtual paradise for lovers of wildlife photography here in Southern Spain. Where else can you watch and photograph magnificent species in the wild with such certainty? I came tentatively hoping to photograph Hawfinch and Golden Eagle. I was not disappointed. I could have selected Imperial, Bonellis or Booted Eagles, Eagle Owl, Iberian Lynx or various other species. Eco tourism like this supports wildlife and encourages the local community to appreciate and protect the riches of nature around them.
The Golden Eagles came to the baited tree and rock perches on a regular basis. They flew up from the wooded valley below the hide which is located on a high point overlooking the Sierra Morena landscape. It is a truly awesome sight watching these magnificent wild birds of prey at close quarters, the perches were about 7 - 9 metres from the hide, too close to use a 500mm lens.
Here is the view through the glazed window of the Golden eagle Hide, taken with my mobile phone. It is slightly misleading as the perches are closer than they appear in this phone image.
Eagles were not the only birds attracted to the bait and I quite enjoyed photographing the Eurasian Jays that were constant visitors along with many Iberian Magpies. The jay shots were also taken with my old Canon 400mm f5.6L lens which is a superb workhorse in good light, all these images were taken through the glazed windows of the hide so I was quite pleased with the results.
Alpasin is a Wildlife experience company based in Adamuz, a small town in the Sierra Morena to the east of Cordoba. The owner/operator Agostin has created this incredible series of hides to allow photographers to get close-up views of such iconic species as Imperial, Golden, Bonellis and Booted Eagles, Eagle Owl, Egyptian and Black Vultures, Common Buzzard and perhaps most popularly the Iberian Lynx.
I had come hoping to photograph one of my nemesis species the Hawfinch, a bird I never properly captured on camera but one which I admired greatly for it's somewhat startling looks.
I was amazed that the very first bird to appear after getting settled in to the hide was the very species I came for. The Hawinch is an incredibly handsome finch, it is not a common bird in my part of Andalucia but up here in this part of the Sierra Morena it is apparently quite common.
Other species came and went, most notably Iberian Magpies and several species of Tit. I post one photo of a Crested Tit plus a rather nice shot of a Greenfinch.
The photo below is of the little passerine hide from which I photographed the shots above.
Retired seafarer living in Frigiliana, a white village in Malaga Province in southern Spain. Married to Elena. Keen bird and wildlife watchers.
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