WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

Urban Wildlife

Roberto González García, Spain

Bay of egrets

For two years, Roberto photographed these spectacular flocks of cattle egrets as they descended on the Bay of Santander. After visiting this spot countless times, he eventually found his perfect composition amid the industrial shipyard activity. That morning, in the magical pre-dawn hour, his photograph finally came together.

Since the 1980s, cattle egrets have spread across the north of Spain and Cantabria is now home to flocks of about 4,000. In the industrial area of the Bay of Santander, the birds descend every evening to find refuge in the tranquil reed beds. The next morning, they will take to the air in their hundreds.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 7D; 24–105mm f4 lens; 0.3 sec at f4; ISO 400; Manfrotto tripod; remote control.


El Astillero, Spain: latitude 43.399303, longitude -3.843735 El Astillero, Spain: latitude 43.399303, longitude -3.843735

El Astillero, Spain

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Roberto González García

Roberto González García, Spain

Roberto works as an environmentalist for BirdLife International's partnership in Spain. He has spent the last 10 years photographing and studying wildlife in Cantabria, northern Spain, where he lives. He is currently focusing on building awareness of the beauty of the wilderness of the Cantabrian territory.