Bat photography in the French Pyrenees
Last week I spent a week photographing bats with a friend in the French pyrenees, where we visited desman biologist Alain Bertrand. He is an old friend from our desman adventures and winter counts of bats. Also, he provided us with the right paperwork to photograph bats near their colonies.
The landscape of the french Pyrenees: hills, lots of water and permanently green.
We spent many nights photographing schreibers bats (Miniopterus schreibersii) and lesser mouse-eared bats (Myotis blythii) near natural colonies in caves.
First bat photographed:
Lots and lots of gear: tripods, flashes and cameras.
Gear ready at the entrance of a colony with > 3000 Schreiber’s bats.
Lesser mouse-eared bat
Because we had several cameras, we could start playing with wide angles, as well as with lateral perspectives. Following images were taken from a lateral point of view towards the barrier.
We even shot a collision between two bats:
Mediterranean horseshoes (Rhinolophus euryale) were found in a cave with a very small exit. This made for wide angle opportunities:
In the area are many hundreds of lesser horseshoe colonies. Not in any of the 3000 caves in Ariège, but on the attics and in cellars of old houses.
PJ and I found out that in Alain his house there was a little hatch used by lesser horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros). We decided to climb the roof and attach all our gear with ropes.
Quite scary, attaching your pricey gear to on an old roof.
But the results were nice.
A big thanks to PJ and Alain, who made this trip a succes. Can’t wait to do more high speed.
Karl Van Ginderdeuren