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

  • Homage to stilts