The Raptor Foundation Photography Day 2013

As per my re-start post I have come back to re-creating a few of my old blogs. I thought it was time to come back to an old blog again as their are only 3 left (including this one) to be re-created. As with previous re-creations there might be some minor corrections to text but the photos are as used in the original blog with only some cropping.

This blog is of the photography day I had organised which I decided to have a practice session for as covered in my previous blog post. I took lots and lots of photos and I have actually reduced the number of photos in this blog from the original as there were a number that were similar – there still are I guess but not to the same extent but as explained at the end I felt there was something different to each shot included. Not a lot of words to this one again, but there was never likely to be for a photography day.

So last weekend the photography day at The Raptor Foundation finally came around. So camera in hand it was off to the foundation to meet a few fellow Fujians with some friends and get photographing. Having seen the weather reports I was expecting quite a bit of rain but it turned out to be another very hot day.

The morning was set up as a portrait session with a number of residents followed by some flying in more natural surroundings than is usually the case in the foundation itself.

The first raptor up was Shanni the African Spotted Eagle Owl.

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Tom, a friend from uni, and Martin taking their opportunities. You can find a blog that Tom did on the day here:

http://tommybblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/photoblog-raptor-foundation.html

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During the morning session a number of birds were brought out so that not everyone was crowded round the same bird. Here is Simon, a friend from the athletic club I run for (Peterborough Athletic Club) letting Star – a Saker Falcon – get used to him a relax whilst waiting for photo opportunities.

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This is Rufus, a Chaco Owl.

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Star the Saker Falcon

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Lizzie – another Fujifilm user – with Rufus the Chaco Owl.

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Shanni the African Spotted Eagle Owl again.

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Filer – long eared owl

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Playing with depth of field, focused on Rufus the Chaco Owl with Star the Saker Falcon in the background.

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Playing with depth of field, focused on Star the Saker Falcon with Rufus the Chaco Owl in the foreground.

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Tom and Star, the Saker Falcon.

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Rufus, the Chaco Owl.

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Owlbert – White Faced Scops Owl.

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JoJo – Barn Owl.

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Having a stretch.

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Gem – Harris Hawk.

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Topaz – Tawny Owl. Topaz was very young as you may have guessed born only about 4 weeks previously in the foundation.

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Owlbert again.

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Ginger – European Eagle Owl.

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Dollar – Bald Eagle.

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Dollar with Vicky and Katie who looked after us all day and were very helpful and of course knowledgeable about all the birds as well – a very great asset to the foundation indeed.

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The talons, the killing machine part of any raptor.

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Showing off for the cameras.

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Then it came to the displays – being such a hot day not all of the birds wanted to fly but Vicky and Katie (in this shot with Shanni) did the best they could without putting the birds at risk from the heat. Unfortunately my flight shots weren’t up to much this time but got a few I was happy with, most of them in the afternoon session.

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Vicky with Gem.

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Gem with Tom in the background.

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Gem took a detour into a tree, and Martin being the tallest person there was asked to tempt Gem down with a tasty morsel…

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…before handing her back to Vicky.

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Katie with Troy, a Red Tailed Hawk.

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Troy was missing two of his tail feathers as he was starting to malt.

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Topaz was the most eager to fly – just flying in front of Margaret here – though being so young and in training his flights were all short.

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Lizzie and Margaret taking the opportunity to stroke Topaz – as we all did – before breaking for lunch which was a buffet provided for us in the party room.

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hen out to the afternoon display. Quidditch – which is one I have photographed many times before – but didn’t get any of him on this day. Next up was this Red Tailed Hawk – not Troy that we saw earlier though. this was Tempest.

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Then out came Basil, a Burrowing Owl.

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Dundee the Kookaburra – the bird I sponsor (for that year) and the only non-raptor species in the foundation. Sponsored as when it came to choosing my daughter decided on Dundee because “he makes a funny noise”.

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Ginger the European Eagle Owl out again for the afternoon display.

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Bludger – a cross between a Siberian and Turkmenian Eagle Owl – coming in low over the crowd. One of Quidditch’s siblings hence another Harry Potter name (there mother was in the films). Snitch (another sibling) was also out but was refusing to fly.

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Treat time.

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You’ve still got some…on the side of your mouth – both sides in fact.

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Lunau – Lanner Falcon. Strangely I think my best flight shots were of Lunau despite how much faster she was. Not all in sharp focus but a few not far off all things considered.

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Although in this one I missed Lunau entirely.

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Not actually attacking Vicky, just got a bit close for comfort.

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Lunau was the last of the flying display, but Vicky and Katie brought out two Barn Owls for us to fly briefly and get a few shots with.

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Martin having a go.

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Tom.

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Lizzie.

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Martin again.

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The Barn Owls were the last official part of the photography day but the centre was still open so we all had a wander around to get a few more pictures and there was another brief flying display at the end of the day as well.

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Not what you were expecting perhaps. With there being lots of flowers about there are quite a lot of flying visitors of the non-feathered variety.

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Captain Scarlet, Bataleur Eagle.

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Guillermo, Chilean Blue Eagle.

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Lanner Falcon (I think).

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Kestrel.

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The fish pond in the middle of the foundation. Whenever anyone looked over the platform the fish swarmed expecting to be fed leading to this frenzied mob.

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Dollar again, having a bit of a preen and ruffle in his feathers.

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Don’t know if anyone has seen The Dark Crystal (a Jim Henson Film) or not but in this shot Dollar reminded me of one of the evil Skeksis.

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Snowy Owl

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A few from the final flying display now. Red Tailed Hawk.

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Kestrel.

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This particular Kestrel is only a matter of weeks old but is fully fledged already and in training.

This brought an end to an amazing day at The Raptor Foundation.

It was great to meet fellow photographers that I have been conversing with not only to organise the day but also on photos past and present and look forward to hopefully managing more of the same in the future. Thank you again for coming and making the day possible.

The day itself I felt was spectacular with the staff being extremely helpful and knowledgeable and able to answer any questions we had.

Should anyone get the chance to do this I would highly recommend it as the opportunities for the portrait session are very different and worth it to get the more natural settings involved.

I am sorry this has gone on so long and apologise for some of the photos being similar in some cases but felt I wanted to share them as I felt each had a different aspect or detail in it.

Thanks for viewing.

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