NEWS

An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands

September 14 2015

#Binoculars #Animals #Camera

An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
  • An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
  • An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
  • An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
  • An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
  • An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
  • An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
  • An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
  • An early April morning in Sweden's peatlands
  • This is my sixth day of scrutinizing the smallest tufts and details with my binoculars in my attempt to spot the black grouse. My lurkying, makes the time go by slow and I wonder if I will finally end up spotting these birds. The morning passes as usual, without the slightest sign of life. Thus I decide to leave my small hide out.

    I make a 360 ° observation tour. One, two, three ... in total fifteen black grouse, right behind my hideout, at about 400 meters! What a joy to observe them, moreover in this peace and quiet. They parade, sing and quarrel. I start dreaming of the photographs I could make to capture these moments. The grouses seem to hold  their parade locally, so I make a good chance to see them tomorrow. Some landmarks are taken, now I have no other choice but to wait until tomorrow.

    Back in the zone, it is 16h00, installing my new hide out near feathers and droppings left by the birds. This time there’s no doubt, I am in the right place. If all goes well, I should hear the first cooing around 3, 4 o’clock in the morning. The hide out is small and once the material is installed, there’s only very little room left to sleep. But so be it. After all, the excitement and adrenaline will not let me sleep very long.

    3h30, a rustling awakens me. I hear wings flapping and loud noises. No doubt, the birds have come to land in front of my look out. I sit up very slowly to observe what is happening outside. Suddenly I hear the first cooing: they are here! What a joy to see these birds and hear their song. After so many hours without the slightest sign of life, there are now twelve in front of my hide out. The emotion takes over and for a while, I forget my photo camera and keep my eyes focused using the binocular so I do not miss out on the smallest detail of this spectacular play!

    The sun comes up and I start to photograph. A magical light, of which the North holds the secret, invades the scene, bathing this small world in an extraordinary golden glow. What a moment! I feel privileged, being alone in the middle of this wilderness. I belive this is what I'm looking for: experiencing these exceptional moments, incredible encounters and finding myself in one with nature.

    I would spend five days photographing and living to the rhythm of their songs. Tirelessly, day after day, they will return, parade and express their love for the few females present.

    About the author

    Born in 1992 in Belgium in Brabant village , Michel d'Oultremont never ceased to admire the nature that surrounded him. He made ​​his first photograph in 2007: an encounter with a crested tit in his backyard. As of that moment, whether at home or far away he wanders. He lets emotion guides his photographs. Michel shined in the biggest international competitions such as the ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ and he won the ‘Rising Star Award 2014’. Also won the Fritz Polking Jr Award the same year , today he’s the only photographer accumulated these prices. www.micheldoultremont.com

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