Sandgrouse and Photo Logistics

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

Displaying Stone-curlew. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

Displaying Stone-curlew. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

As a photographer I am a bit of a loner and organised hides are not usually ‘my thing’. And I have always shied away from ones that use mirrored glass. I understand the reasoning behind its use (wary birds are put off by clumsy photographers, for example) but the impact on quality has always troubled me. However, despite my misgivings I paid a recent visit to Spain and used Photo Logistics hides to photograph birds of the arid Spanish steppes. Having tried and failed to photograph Pin-tailed Sandgrouse on several occasions in the past on my own, it seemed like most sensible way to fulfil this bucket-list ambition.  

Black-bellied Sandgrouse - a water-soaked male taking flight. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

Black-bellied Sandgrouse - a water-soaked male taking flight. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

Calandra Lark. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

Calandra Lark. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

Having talked to a number of photographers, it is clear that not all commercially available mirrored-glass hides use good quality glass. I can only comment on the two sandgrouse hides that I used but I have to say I was impressed.  Unsurprising, the downside is that the mirrored glass had a significant impact on the available light. But on a positive note the image quality did not seem to be affected unduly, given a commonsense approach – keeping the lens as close to the glass as possible and as near to right angles to the plane of the glass. The hides’ ‘invisibility’ factor allowed astonishingly intimate encounters with otherwise shy birds and I seriously doubt I would have had such close views of the sandgrouse, not to mention Stone-curlews and Booted Eagles, without glass.  For more information visit https://www.photo-logistics.com/listings/sandgrouses-hides/ and https://www.facebook.com/photologistics/

A thirsty Booted Eagle. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

A thirsty Booted Eagle. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

Male Black-bellied Sandgrouse. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

Male Black-bellied Sandgrouse. ©Paul Sterry/Nature Photographers Ltd

Rob Read