SKÅNNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // but you can show it off!
I have already told about the spirits of the forest,those white fallow deer that populate the forests of Scania making them even more fairytale and mysterious.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // August has just passed and with the arrival of September summer is coming to an end, unfortunately… From my point of view, however, autumn represents a season with many photographic possibilities, not only because it is already slowly starting to paint forests with amazing colours or because the migration of birds towards the south has also begun, but also because it will give me the possibility of offering another unforgettable experience.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // Autumn on the doorstep has made the air electrifying, not only because the skies are more and more busy (the migration to the south has begun), but also because it seems that all the animals are busy trying to snatch the last precious moments of the summer.
So many things happen, every day, to be overloaded with memories, emotions and, in the end, hundreds of photos to work on.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // I had already photographed this buzzard from afar, and many other times I had seen and admired it. Knowing where animals live is also this, returning to the usual places and see what’s gonna happen. Who knows, maybe she recognised me as I learned to recognise her.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // The summer heat has given up and even if the temperatures sometimes reach 24-25 degrees, a cooler wind is already announcing the change of the season. The milder temperatures, now, not only bring relief to those like me who do not like the sultry heat, but, obviously, also to the ungulates: if, in fact, when temperatures reached and exceeded even 30 degrees it was much more difficult to sight them during the day because hidden in the shade of the forests, now they are back to being more active.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // Among all the birds of prey present on Swedish territory, one of the smallest is the common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) and is certainly also one of the most characteristic and easy to spot. Of small dimensions (up to 36 cm long, 78 cm of wingspan and a weight up to 220 grams which can become 300 for the females before the laying of the eggs) the kestrel differs from all the other raptors for its special technique of hunting: instead of circling in the sky like buzzards, kites, eagles and other hawks, for example, the kestrel manages to remain suspended in a single point, quickly flapping its wings and opening its fanned tail to exploit the wind and keep the stability.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // Another bird of prey very present on almost all the Swedish territory (with the exception of the more northern mountainous areas) is certainly the buzzard (Buteo buteo): medium-sized bird of prey with wide wings and regular body structure, short neck and medium-length tail, the buzzard measures 45-58 cm with a wingspan of 110-140 cm and can reach a weight of about 1 kg for the male and 1.3 kg for the female.
CKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN //Spring and summer are not the best times to see large birds of prey, it’s much better in the late fall or winter. Yet the meetings are not entirely impossible and, as in this case, sometimes completely unexpected.
I was in an area I know, but this time I was driving along a new small road between cultivated fields and forests; I had just photographed a male roe deer from the cockpit of the car, when I saw something big and dark moving over the trees. I drove toward it, I crossed a small strip of forest and, on the other side, I saw a Red Kite flying.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // It is true, lately I have “specialised myself”, or at least I am putting more effort, into the birds of prey photography,perhaps because they are more difficult, both to sight and to photograph, or perhaps for that sense of infinity freedom that they manage to evoke with the their flights. The fact is that I’m devoting myself to that kind of photography with so much passion now… and quite good results.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // As promised, here is how Mother Nature decided to surprise and amaze me last week. After admiring and photographing my first osprey, I continued my tour to reach strategic places for the sighting of large birds of prey, especially to try out the Nikon D500 borrowed from a photographer friend of mine.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // What I love most about Nature is its ability to give wonderful surprises over and over again, and a few days ago She managed to make me wonder with two wonderful gifts. I went out mainly to try a new camera body, a Nikon D500 that I received on loan from a friend and that seems to be very good for birds photography.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // Thanks to the Storkprojektet (Stork Project) which in 1989 released a couple of these beautiful birds, after their disappearing since 1954, it is not difficult nowadays to see them in the Skåne County countryside. I already had the chance once to watch a wonderful show offered to me by a stork while it was looking for food.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // Today I show you another migratory bird that has been returning to Sweden for some time already: the Northern Lapwing(Vanellus vanellus). Medium size (High: from 28 to 31 cm; Wingspan: from 70 to 76 cm; Weight: 150 to 300 g) in English is so called because ofthe “lapping” sounds its wings make in flight, while in Italian is called Pavoncella (little Peacock) because of the green colours of its plumage on the back.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN //Through other photographers I got to know about the permanent presence of the Eurasian eagle-owl (bubo bubo) in a place a few minutes drive from Malmö. Since I have never seen any kind of owl in Nature, I could not miss this opportunityand so last week I went to watch it.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // I had already mentioned how patience often repays the hours spent waiting.
But, apart from the final prize, which in my case was seeing the sea eagle again, there is another magical thing that happens when you remain, still and in silence, in Nature: you completely become part of the surrounding.
Between the end of the winter when the vegetation is still bare and before the sparkling green covers everything again, there is another sudden color that breaks the monotony of the Swedish landscape: they are the rapeseed fields (Brassica Napus) , endless and fragrant expanses of a bright yellow.
SOUTH SWEDEN, SWEDEN // One of the reasons why in 2010 I decided to move to Sweden from Denmark, it was certainly the need and desire to discover a wild and boundless Nature.
Tired of Copenhagen and its nightlife, and tired of the monotony of the Danish landscape, I chose to have the opportunity to live where I can get in the car and drive endlessly through an immaculate nature, even if just a few kilometres from towns and villages.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // Usually, when you think about photographing the forest, you imagine the warm autumn colors that set the forest on fire and warm the soul.
Yet there is another particular moment, in my opinion, that has almost the same beauty and magic: the explosion of spring.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // A couple of days ago I went to “hunt” eagles, I reached the area where both sea eagles and imperial eagles are present, I stopped by a small lake and I stayed about an hour waiting for something to happen.
I admit it, I was starting to get bored and other photographers, who in the meantime had given up and if they had gone, had almost convinced me to give up. Then, just as I was getting into the car, a group of geese started to squawk and flee, flying like crazy: something was happening!
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // This is the feeling I had when the sky filled with thousands of Barnacle goose in flight: a sense of infinity and freedom at the same time, Mother Nature that, with its immensity, still knows how to surprise.
And I felt so little, under such a sky…
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // Yesterday, while with other photographers and birdwatchers we were waiting to see if the ospreys would come back, a South African Shelduck (Tadorna Cana) made its appearance. To tell the truth, nobody knew this species and was not even present on a Swedish bird book, but a lady, after some research on the web, identified the species.
What’s it doing in Sweden?
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // During one of my last “spring” walks, even though the weather was still cold and sunny days seemed to be pure utopia, I was lucky enough to make my first encounter with a specimen of Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius).
He was at the edge of the forest road that I was following, and for a while he just fluttered from tree to tree, and then in the undergrowth, thus giving me a way to be able to get some good shots.
After a good 5 minutes of “posing” it decided it had enough and flew to more secluded places.
And I continued my walk smiling …
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // Every year, in the period between the last two weeks of March and the end of April, hundreds of thousands of Eurasian (or grey) cranes (Grus Grus) return to Sweden and gather into large groups before splitting again when they hatch the eggs in May.
This year I decided that I could not miss the opportunity and, taking advantage of a sunny day, I went to a nature reserve about a hundred km from Malmö: here, the farmers of the area are feeding
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // The period of great migrations has finally begun even in Sweden and, already, thousands of birds are in transit towards the North.
Last week, with great patience despite the bitter cold, I was lucky enough to witness the enchanting ritual of courtship, also know as “nuptial parade”, of the Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus).
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // After about ten days of clouds, grey and rain, seeing a “luminous sphere” in a blue sky left me somewhat amazed and puzzled. And so, overcoming the fear of the unusual atmospheric phenomenon, I went out for a photo tour.
As usual so many animals, now more than ever excited in a Nature that finally wakes up, still stealthily after the long winter, almost ready to explode soon: the mere fact of hearing the chirping of birds that breaks the winter silence, made me hope, and believe, that it will not rain forever.
Morale rised, like the rebirth of a smile.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SVEZIA // The first time I spotted one I thought it was an albino. I was completely surprised, fascinated and bewitched. I was taking a walk into the deep of a wild and intriguing forest, even if just few miles outside Malmö: the silence, interrupted only by the chirping of the birds which, after the long Scandinavian winter, came back to settle again in this part of the country; the air around smelled good, of resin and moss; my being alone, in the benevolent embrace of birches, larches and firs, rose to an important moment. I stopped to fully enjoy that peaceful moment.
INTO THE WILD, SWEDEN// Usually, and mostly for those whom loves Nature, talking about Scandinavia one can only think about uncontaminated environments, endless open landscapes, fjords and wild forests.
And talking about the animals living there, one think straight away to reindeer, bear, moose and so on.
And the moose, knows as the king of the forest, is maybe the more mysterious and legendary of all, for its size and prominence, and still its elusive way to avoid human closeness.
SKÅNE COUNTY, SWEDEN // The Skåne region, the southernmost of Sweden, is a real paradise for bird-watchers, both because here you can find 192 of the 250 bird species that breed in the country, and because it’s a very important point – probably the most important in Europe – of the European migration route and 359 different bird species have been spotted here during their passage.
APENNINES, ITALIA // During the second stage of my retracing Wandering Italia, something incredible happened: a special encounter, an everlasting moment, a lifetime experience…
I’m slowly driving down towards Castelluccio flat land, stopping time to time to take pictures of the snowy landscape. While I’m searching the best spot to shoot the village perched on the hill in front of me, I see something running in the valley; because of all the cars and tourists around, I think it’s probably just a dog. What else could it be?