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Mandraki Harbour, Greece. 22 April 2016
EOS 7DmkII & 400mmf4DO + x1.4TC. 1/8000 sec @f5.6 ISO 800

My trip to north east Greece in April 2016 was quite successful on the photography front, with two boat trips producing several close up shots of Pelicans. However this Spoonbill shot was more difficult to achieve and is hence more satisfying. I had visited Mandraki Harbour a couple of times previously but all the birds had been too distant. However on this final early evening visit things were better with the water right up to the accessible part of the shore and the sun behind me for birds coming towards me from the east.

On arrival, the disturbance I created moved everything off but as there was nobody else around I thought I would settle in for a bit of a wait and see what happened. Sure enough the birds moved closer and after an hour or so seemed to have largely forgotten about me. This Spoonbill flew up from the marsh some distance away but then flew pretty close to me as it went past. I had previously missed some close up shots of this species at another site, so it was satisfying to be able to capture this image in the superb evening light. Shortly afterwards the sun began to set, and just as I was leaving some locals appeared which made me realise how fortunate I had been to have the place to myself for a reasonable length of time.

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