More Wildlife in Prague

I finally had free day after very long time and I decided it’s time to go shooting some wildlife again. And by shooting I mean, of course, taking photos. As this was quite rare photo session for me, I borrowed amazing Nikon 200-500mm lens.

In the morning, I met with my friend and we went to a very nice area in Prague. This area is known for presence of a rare bird – the common kingfisher. And that was our goal for today. Take photos of this elusive bird.

At first, there was a pond with ducks and a rodent. It was a coypu. But this animal does not belong to our nature.

Coypu (Myocastor coypu)

(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius)

(Shutter Speed: 1/125 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Yes, I had borrowed a 500mm telelens to take photo of…

… an escargot (Helix pomatia)

(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Sometime around noon, my friend heard the kingfisher and the chase began. We sit down and waited if it would appear again. Then we played a recording of its voice to lure him to us. Finally, we got lucky. The kingfisher sat down on a nearby branch.

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

(Shutter Speed: 1/200 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

(Shutter Speed: 1/250 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 480.0, ISO 800)

Great tit (Parus major)

(Shutter Speed: 1/800 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

The gulls were great objects for practising taking photos of birds in flight.

Gull

(Shutter Speed: 1/2500 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 440.0, ISO 800)

This one caught a fish but unfortunately had to fly away with it unless he wanted to share it.

(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

And there was another hungry gull that wanted his share of tasty fish.

(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)

(Shutter Speed: 1/6400 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)

(Shutter Speed: 1/400 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

European green woodpecker (Picus viridis)

(Shutter Speed: 1/400 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 380.0, ISO 800)

European green woodpecker (Picus viridis)

(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 480.0, ISO 800)

Eurasian coot (Fulica atra)

(Shutter Speed: 1/640 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 500.0, ISO 800)

Czech Switzerland – Kamenice River

The Czech Switzerland are is national park on borders with Germany (where the park continues and it is called the Saxon Switzerland). It is known for its beautiful gorges and mostly for The Pravčická brána – the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe.

I spent there three days last autumn. On the first day we hiked down the valley of Kamenice river to town Hrensko and from there we climbed up to the Pravcicka Brana and then we returned to our guest house. As the whole track was about 20km long, I had a lot of opportunities to take photos, so in this post, there are only photos from the firts half of the trip. The photos from Pravcicka brana will be in the next post (hopefully 🙂 ).

The path from Mezni Louka, where we were staying, led through forests, where fallen trees are left as they are.

DSC_3076

Probably, due to the humid climate on the bottom of the valley, there is moss covering almost every tree. There are even three-leaf clovers growing from the trunks.
DSC_3082

This is where the path met the river Krinice.
DSC_3102

DSC_3104

Some more moss on the ground…
DSC_3165

and on the trees.
DSC_3175

Then the rocks were making the bottom of the valley more and more narrow.
DSC_3187

DSC_3190

DSC_3195

And at the end, we had take a boat to get through the gorge. Actually, the boat on the photo is really old one and it is not in use any more, there are newer ones now.
DSC_3210

Two Panoramas of Dalesice Reservoir

Dalesice Reservoir lies near city Brno, the second biggest city in the Czech Republic. It serves as a water source for near nuclear power plant Dukovany. It’s dam is 100m hight and it is second highest in Europe. The reservoir was created by flooding the valley of river Jihlava.

The first panorama was made of 17 vertical photos, which were taken from Wilson’s rock (a viewpoint above the reservoir)
DSC_5617-Pano

This panorama was made of only 10 photos.
DSC_5691-Pano

Ice and Flowing Water

Last week of January was the week when I had holidays and I planned to enjoy them as much as I can, which means, that I had not only packed my skiing equipment but also all my camera gear. One late afternoon, just when I got back from skiing, I took all my stuff and headed out for some photos. There was a small river near our residence and it was perfect opportunity to take photos of ice covered stones surrounded by flowing water.

DSC_4056
(Shutter Speed: 1/1 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 80.0, ISO 100)

DSC_4060
(Shutter Speed: 1/1 seconds, Aperture: F/16.0, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 100)

DSC_4074
(Shutter Speed: 13/10 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 100)

DSC_4080
(Shutter Speed: 2/1 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 100)

DSC_4098
(Shutter Speed: 2/1 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 100)

DSC_4073
(Shutter Speed: 13/10 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 100)

DSC_4095
(Shutter Speed: 3/1 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 100)

DSC_4111
(Shutter Speed: 2/1 seconds, Aperture: F/18.0, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 100)

Holidays on Madeira (part 4)

Rabaçal valley is located within the Madeira Natural Park, on the northwest of the island, where we walked along the levadas to the waterfall Risco and the 25 Fountains. A levada is an irrigation channel or aqueduct on the island of Madeira. Hiking along these levadas was easy so I had lot of time to take some photos.

DSC_2559-2
(Shutter Speed: 1/125 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 16.0, ISO 200)

DSC_2556-2
(Shutter Speed: 1/40 seconds, Aperture: F/4.8, Focal Length: 42.0, ISO 200)

Risco Waterfall
DSC_2490
(Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds, Aperture: F/11.0, Focal Length: 42.0, ISO 200)

The Madeiran chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs maderensis) is a small passerine bird in the finch family. It is a subspecies of the common chaffinch that is endemic to Madeira.

DSC_2505-2
(Shutter Speed: 1/2000 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 85.0, ISO 200)

DSC_2481-2
(Shutter Speed: 1/125 seconds, Aperture: F/5.6, Focal Length: 16.0, ISO 200)

DSC_2565-2
(Shutter Speed: 1/320 seconds, Aperture: F/9.0, Focal Length: 16.0, ISO 200)

25 Fountains – its name lives up to the number of fountains or little waterfalls around this pool.

DSC_2541-2
(Shutter Speed: 3/1 seconds, Aperture: F/29.0, Focal Length: 26.0, ISO 100)

And this is view from Cabo Girão which is the second highest cliff face in the world. The viewpoint’s floor is made of transparent material and only standing on it is quite a breathtaking experience.

DSC_2582-2
(Shutter Speed: 1/160 seconds, Aperture: F/6.3, Focal Length: 38.0, ISO 200)

Flood in Prague

It has been raining non-stop for last two weeks and now there are floods in Bohemia, which is part of the Czech Republic. It looks like it won’t be as bad as it was almost eleven years ago, when the historical centre of the Prague was flooded, as well as the lower part of the Prague Zoo and other areas. Now the volume of water running through the Vltava River is at about two thirds of the volume in year 2002.

It was still raining heavily today but I decided to take some photos of the Vltava River and its surroundings.

Wild ducks and swans didn’t seem to mind the neverending rain.

DSC_7669

DSC_7661

Ducks and the flooded underpass.
DSC_7697 DSC_7700

Water at the doorstep at Manes Tower.
DSC_7657

A weir at Vltava river.
DSC_7674

The nearest sign says: There is a bike lane, cyclist and pedestrians, be careful!
DSC_7670

A flowerpot taken away from its original place by the stream, who knows were it stood before the floods.
DSC_7672

Detail of the Palacký Bridge (btw, that English name doesn’t sound right, although the google says it is correct… )
DSC_7686

View from Janáček Waterfront (again, this simply sounds neither good nor right)
DSC_7710-2

I hope the floods will end soon and won’t cause any more damages.