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Posted on Dec 30, 2013 in Blog, Wildlife | 3 comments

Encounters with wolves – Mountains of Riaño

Encounters with wolves – Mountains of Riaño

  ‘Sleeping Amongst Wolves’ is a new e-Book by Andoni Canela. Earlier in the year we made a review of Andoni Canela’s iPad App – ‘AQUILA – The Spanish Imperial Eagle’.  He has since expanded this series to include the Spanish Brown Bear – ‘Urus’ with many photos taken in Asturias. Now, as part of his around the world trip, photographing some of the most emblematic wildlife from 7 continents, he has released a new e-Book ‘Sleeping Amongst Wolves – In search of the Iberian Wolf’ (Durmiendo con lobos – En busca del lobo ibérico).  Video trailer above. Description from iTunes Discover the Iberian Wolf in this spectacular 164-page multi-touch e-Book. More than 140 previously un-published photographs, with videos and audio recordings created by Andoni Canela.  Foreword by wolf specialist Juan Carlos Blanco. Nature photographer Andoni Canela publishes a new book about the Iberian wolf in the mountains of northern Spain. The stunning images, accompanied by audio and video, allow us to see at close quarters, the Iberian wolf living...

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Posted on Nov 29, 2013 in Blog, Otters | 2 comments

Young otter rock climbing

Young otter rock climbing

After a dry summer and autumn, we have experienced a period of rain.  The river has been at its highest for at least 6 months.  In the past few weeks otter sightings have been zero. This week, we resumed our walks along the Río Piloña with the water level now returning to normal.  The herons have comeback, with 3 or 4 individuals maintaining their motionless posts along the riverbank.  The kingfishers and dippers are also busy – and easier to observe with the leaves from the riverside trees having made way for winter. There have been no clues to the otters whereabouts.  We often wonder if they will they ever appear again.  But we shouldn’t have worried.  We were soon watching a family of 4 otters through our binoculars and camera.  And we saw  them at close quarters with spectacular views.  The three cubs seemed relaxed, straying quite far from the mother (though she often called to them).  Two youngsters in particular were frantically playing – too busy to...

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Posted on Nov 26, 2013 in Blog, Places | 0 comments

Autumn River Flow

Autumn River Flow

We recently took a late autumn walk between La Pesanca and la Foz de Moñacos in Piloña.  The colder temperatures provided the peaks around Vizcares with a sprinkling of snow.  Winter is coming.  I wanted to get some close water shots of the Río Infierno (Hell River) with a real autumn feel of Asturias.  This area is very damp, heavily forested and covered in deep green moss and lichens.  The autumn leaves add a magical element. One image I was happy with, after spending some time searching for a suitable areas.  There are many potential opportunities along the route, and only restricted by the need to negotiate some fairly steep drops and slippery rocks – if you want to get to the river’s edge.  f16, ISO 100,  1/6 sec at 14mm, some editing in Lightroom 5. We set camera up at 4 or 5 points along the river. Nikon D7000, Tokina 12-24, Manfrotto 322RC2. Belinda trying to dislodge an annoying branch, that literally floated into the shot as we...

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Posted on Oct 27, 2013 in Blog, Otters | 0 comments

Asturian Rivers: In search of wild otters

Asturian Rivers: In search of wild otters

Two young otters fighting over a trout. We started out just after sunrise and were lucky to spot a family of 4 otters after just 10 minutes. We watched them for over 2 hours, hunting, resting and playing.  One of the best encounters with a family group in the past 6 years. We lost them several times as they disappeared into the vegetation of the riverbank, so we decided to walk ahead and wait. As predicted (or hoped for), all 4 otters made their way up river and 2 eventually appeared just 15-20 metres away – chasing fish through small rapids and turning over rocks in the shallows in search of food. I’ve been hoping to capture an otter holding a trout for sometime. I didn’t imagine taking a photo with not one but two otters, and so close. – John Three young otters looking back to their mother calling from the riverbank. Two young otters navigating a dark corner of the river All Rights Reserved – © John...

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Posted on Oct 18, 2013 in Blog, Otters | 1 comment

City Otters – Gijón, Asturias

City Otters – Gijón, Asturias

We search for wild places in the hope of glimpsing wild creatures that live there. For the first time we took a few days holiday – to a city, with lots of people, buildings and traffic.  And more surprisingly we went to the city to watch otters. In Gijón, Asturias, the otters have passed the limits of the river and entered an inner city park with small lakes – home to ducks, geese and other exotic waterfowl.  Their arrival has caused some conflict with the parks avian inhabitants although we personally only witnessed them hunting for eels and american crayfish.  For a detailed post, visit the excellent blog from David Alvarez – Naturaleza Cantabrica- “¿Cuantas nutrias hay en el Parque de Xixón?” (in Spanish). We managed to watch 2 different otters over 4 mornings, at close quarters but with poor light.  Encountering them in the near dark, for one photo below, and without much expectation, I set the camera to ISO6400 and somehow got lucky with the focusing. Also equally...

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Posted on Sep 18, 2013 in Blog, Places | 0 comments

Asturian Seascape: Castro de las Gaviotas

Asturian Seascape: Castro de las Gaviotas

07.25am – Day 3 Last weekend we began a new longer term project – that should see us through until the end of the year.  We started at the islet of ‘Castro de las GaviotasCastro de las Gaviotas’ near Hontoria. The first morning was somewhat disappointing – a thick band of cloud on the horizon blocked out the sun until well beyond official sunrise. But it was a good experience and gave us chance to become familiar with the area in the dawn light.  We also saw a flock of 12 Egrets flying above ours heads at 7am, which was a first! Normally we make excursions on the spur of the moment, a quick check of the weather forecast, map ready and off we go.  Here planning is the key – deciding on your positioning during a daytime visit can reduce stress when arriving in the dark.  Clambering over rocks on cliff edges in the dark with the light changing fast isn’t an ideal scenario. Obviously, it’s difficult to...

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