In mid-May, togheter with a photographer friend, I made a trip to Belarus also known as Belarus. This partly organized trip went to destination Krasny Bor, a virtually untouched Boreal forest in the far north on the border with Russia. The large tracts of forest, together with endless bogs are the two main habitats in this area. The scenery was very beautiful, a form as we do not know anymore in The Netherlands. A true wilderness. The idea, that not long for our arrival a Brown Bear has walked around in the vicinity of the guesthouse, is quite special.
We agreed that we would focus mainly on photographing birds, and the organized part was mainly pointed on that. However, those plans were quickly put aside. For various reasons, including the very hot wheater, this was a task that would take much time and would yield only slightly. Because my annual photo trip is the only way to be just busy with photography, I simply do not have the patience to spend days on a subject of which it is uncertain whether it is at all going to cooperate or not. The result is that the focus is also focused on other issues, and despite the heat I keep searching for topics. This soon resulted in days of 16-18 hours of activity, with means returning home rested is out of the question.
And then what footnotes to the various topics. The location of the Ural Owl was very welcome. The juveniles were now at an age where they do not hang around the nest any longer, but wander around. Fortunately, we managed to follow them for a day. Father owl was otherwise not willing to coöperate very well, this in contrary to what one would expect. The caterpillar of the Small Tortoiseshell, I found on a mid-afternoon and soon I had the idea that it was preparing to pupate. For sixteen hours I kept an eye on the process, but there was not really much happening in that period. When we returned after a tour of four hours, however, I was surprised that the caterpillar was completely transformed into a cocoon. To bad, a missed opportunity to capture this metamorphosis, but next time I know better.
On the Kegelmorielje (Morchella elata) I was alerted by Martin and he looked surprised to the little dance of joy I made. A beautiful fresh copy in a great setting. The species seems not very common in Belarus to because I found images in two nature books about nature in Belarus. Or maybe it is the appearance itself.
On the last day and the only day without burning sun, a well cooperative Shrike and Whinchat were found. The shrike managed, despite a slightly drooping left wing, still outwit lots of prey. Nice to see is the behavior when a potential snack is getting into attacking range. But even with this species the eye is sometimes larger than the beak and the spider used this opportunity by smack dropping himself. Stared at by a hungry bird.
The series of images taken during this trip I will show in two parts on the site.