top of page

My favorites: a selection


Click on the photo's for a larger view

Bird photography can be an exciting activity. It requires patience and perseverance, but the rewards can be worth the while. Special moments in the life of birds or rare species in the environment where you are photographing make bird photography of continuing interest. On this page I show you a selection of 10-20 of my personal favorite photos, in random order. Please enjoy.

A male Eurasian sparrowhawk in front of the hide

In the past years I regularly visited forest hides to photograph birds. One species that I hoped for to show up in front of the hide was the sparrowhawk. Hoewever, during many, many days in the hides the sparrowhawk did not appear. I saw them flying by around the hides, but never in a position to make nice photo's. Until April 2021 when a male sparrowhawk visited the hide for about thirty minutes to relax and bathe. With beautiful and varying light (slight overcast or sun) I had plenty of opportunities to enjoy this species that I wished for for so long.

Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, f/4,0, 1/1250, ISO 800.

Sperwer man op stap in kniediep

The black-winged stilts after mating

After mating stilts (and avocets) walk together for a few moments with crossed beaks. A beautiful part of the courtship- and mating choreography. This photo was made in Spain in the Toledo region, from a hide with a very low point of view. The camera was mounted on a Wimberley Gimbal Head which was bolted to a flat cooking pan to get a point of view as low as possible, just a few centimeters above water level.

Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, f/4,0, 1/2500, ISO 320.

Great crested grebes with chicks

For the last years the great crested grebes are my favorite subject in early spring. Goal of my photographic trips is to register the beautiful display choreography and, later in the season, the chicks. For a point of view near water level I mount my camera and objective on a tripod which I place in the water. Dressed in a wetsuit myself, I try to resist the cold conditions for a few hours to get the results I am looking for.

Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM, f/4,0, 1/2500, ISO 320.

A northern gannet in very soft morning light

In the very, very early light of a sunny summer day on Helgoland, an island in the North Sea, this northern gannet was maintaining its feathers. For a brief moment the gannet raised its feathers and made eye contact. The fan of wing feathers completes the photo

Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, f/8.0, 1/800, ISO 500, -2/3.

The impressive Bonelli's eagle in flight
After a very wet day, in a cold and moist hide on the top of a mountain in the western part of Extremadura, I wondered whether or not the Bonelli's eagle would show up. And it did! After hours of waiting it showed up and gave me one opportunity to register its flight.
Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500 mm f/4.0L IS USM, f/8.0, 1/1600, ISO 800, -1/3.

A snowcap male in verbena flowers
A trip to Cost Rica was on my wish list for many years. In 2019 we made the trip. High on the species wish list was the male snow cap . Not an easy hummer to see, let alone tot record. On the last day of our 3-week trip I was succesful and made the photo of the male snowcap while fouraging on the small verbena flowers.
Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500 mm f/4.0L IS USM + 1.4x extender III, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 3200, -1/3.

Snowcap fouraging on verbena flowers

A little owl in flight

Plenty of opportunities for photos of a little owl family with young during this session in the south of the Netherlands. But then the challenge is to create that one special image. I think I got that with the recording below. Focus right on the eye, alert look and a nice posture.
Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500mm f/4.0L IS USM, f/4.0, 1/2000, ISO 800.

Steenuil blijft alert tijdens de vlucht

A quick grebe with pike-perch

Knowing the behavior of birds is helpful in predicting interesting moments. For example, in the years of the 'grebe project' (see the blog about this elsewhere on the site) I learned that if a grebe surfaced with a large prey, other grebes were immediately interested. Unlike smaller prey, which could be eaten undisturbed. So when this grebe surfaced with a large pike-perch, a run was to be expected. And it came. In very difficult light, the photo has become one of my favorites.
Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500mm f/4.0L IS USM + 1.4x converter, f/8.0, 1/4000, ISO 640.

Just beautiful

Just by the side of the road. I was actually waiting for the return of a pied wheatear. When I saw some movement in the corner of my eye to my right. This blue magpie perched on a beautiful lichen twig in subdued light. Sometimes things come easy.
Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500mm f/4.0L IS USM + 1.4x converter, f/8.0, 1/4000, ISO 640.

Exactly in the right place

Before I took this photo of a young grebe with what looked to be a much too large roach, I had been out all day looking for a family of grebes. I had seen this family with 3 cubs and 2 parents swimming earlier in the day, but they were backlit. At the end of the afternoon the light was excellent and one of the parents decided to feed the young just in front of where I was in the water in waders hoping for such a moment.
Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500mm f/4.0L IS USM + 1.4x converter, f/9.0, 1/500, ISO 400.


The privilege of being able to photograph on the private property of a dairy farmer with a passion for birds, in the middle of Friesland, is great. At eye level, during the season, almost all types of wetlands pass in front of the hiding place. The snipes also show themselves a little later in the season. They regularly show their well-known alert attitude when danger threatens. Not all individuals agree that there is real danger, as this photo shows.
Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500mm f/4.0L IS USM + 1.4x converter, f/6.3, 1/1000, ISO 640, +3/3.

Lucky shot?

After mating the male European bee-eater flies away over the female. In this photo this moment is recorded. I personally like the position of the wings of the male and the sharpness on the eues of the male and the female.

Exif: Canon EOS 1DXII, EF 500 mm f/4.0L IS USM, f/8.0, 1/3200, ISO 800.

bottom of page