WPY 2013

Photograph Details

Commended 2013

Behaviour: Birds

Yossi Eshbol, Israel

Feeding of the five thousand

Each autumn, thousands of great white pelicans on migration from Europe to Africa rest and refuel in Israel. The fishponds at Ma'ayan Zvi in northern Israel are a favourite meal stop. The pelicans usually stay a few days at the most. But on this occasion, much to the fishery keepers' chagrin, 5,000 of them stayed a whole month. A lot of expensive fish were eaten, and the pond guards had their work cut out trying to chase the pelicans away. One day, as Yossi approached the ponds, he saw the pelicans concentrated on the bank. 'I wanted to photograph them with a depth of field and a quick shutter speed to highlight the sheer size of the flock,' says Yossi. 'But the sun was sinking fast, and I could see the guards approaching.' At the moment the birds simultaneously tensed, flashed their bills and looked in the same direction, preparing for take-off, he took this photo. Then they were gone.

Technical specification

Nikon D3 + 600mm f4 lens; 1/200 sec at f18 (-1.3 e/v); ISO 640; Gitzo tripod.

Ma'ayan Zvi, Israel: latitude 32.5685, longitude 34.9406 Ma'ayan Zvi, Israel: latitude 32.5685, longitude 34.9406

Ma'ayan Zvi, Israel

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Yossi Eshbol

Yossi Eshbol, Israel

Yossi Eshbol was born in 1950. Self-taught in photography. He started photographing wildlife in 1973 focusing on water birds in the marshes and ponds of fish, while working as a senior instructor at a Nature School of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Ma'agan Michael. Eshbol worked and taught about nature conservation and bird watching, and for years he also put rings on birds as part of his work. In 1976-1983 Eshbol spent long periods in the desert area of southern Sinai, as part of a research of the Nature Reserves Authority of Israel and also along the Sinai coastal area and their islands . He documented the breeding colonies of OSPREY and sea birds nesting on the islands and beaches of Sinai, as a personal photo project. During the years 1983-1985 focused on wildlife photography in the Negev, the desert of Judea and the Arava, in the framework of his work as a photographer of the SPNI. Since 1986 works as a freelance photographer, a writer for nature newspapers, lecturer and guide on photography in various settings: nature photography and schools of photography. His photographs are published regularly in journals and books in Israel and abroad. Involved in guided photography workshops in Africa and Northern Europe. Participated in many groups and solo Exhibitions. This past November presented an exhibition of "Wild Country" at the Photography Museum in Tel - Hai. Eshbol has won several prizes and commendations in the annual competition of the BBC WILDLIFE and the British Museum of Nature. He has also had four books published based mainly on his photographs, with a personal photo album "Wild Country", published in 1995. In 1987 along with his partner Dr. Uzi Paz the book “The birds of Israel” was published by Christopher Hlme (Publisher) Ltd.

  • Homage to stilts