I hate blinds. I hate being stuck at this one and only place. And I completely disagree that if I had only brought a good book to read this morning, I would feel better now.
Athough, it is a movie-scene setup, everything in place for the perfect picture. My blind is almost invisible, a bushy something on the shore of this old oxbow of the Danube. Many fresh tracks, big ones, where the sinking sun will paint the water red and orange. About 50m away. Where MY mighty stag will splash through the water in backlight. Like a god of the forest, a striking silhouette of power, a mud-covered myth. Yeehah!
Well, the only “god” that shows up the third evening now is a bloody plucked-looking great- white egret that leaves the place every time with a far too scornful shriek. So much about the idea that the best pictures are pre-visioned in your head. Well, they are, but most of them just remain there FOREVER.
Sorry, no stags
Gemenc, the large patch of forest along the Danube in Hungary and the Duna-Drava NP, two sure mouth-waterers for those who want to shoot big red deer – with a rifle or a camera. I had been here before and saw many stags then. I had even seen the perfect-picture-like scene with my own eyes!
But this year was different. The stags left the forest only after nightfall, too late even for a Nikon D3. After 35 hours in my two hides all fur-bearers I saw were a young fox and some grey cattle, housed next to my accomodation. Not a single wild boar – and that means something.
Dream and reality
I knew I would only have these two weeks in September for taking some awesome images of bugling red deer – where so ever. Three Hungarian nature photographers, five rangers and everyone at the NP headquarters had tried to find the best place for my envisioned image. But where ever I ask now, I hear that there was no real rutting so far and that the animals seemed uncommonly shy. Even the hunters and their guides had no clue what was (not) going on.
On my sixth day I decide to leave the village of Kölked and try my luck at a new location, in the North, a 16 hour drive away.
Machen Sie’s gut da draussen.
Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.