Continuing the 2021 drone photographs of the year awards, winners pasted last week. Here are the runners up and commended in the Wildlife category, with the photographers' captions.
Note: the title is misleading in that the competition is open to aerial photography and videos taken from fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites, and parachutes.
Back to Adventure
Green turtle heading back to water after laying down eggs in her peaceful nest at Oman coastline between Ras Al Jinz and Rashad turtle reserve.
This photo was taken in Zambia. Two male lion brothers killed a buffalo, and after eating for a day they left the remains to the others.
Hippopotamus group from above
Hippopotamus group from above creating an amazing pattern. All hippos are adults except one baby who is in the center.
Zebra herd in the Namib Rand Nature Reserve in Namibia. The thin grasses here have a rare speckled pattern known as "fairy circles", a phenomena that is poorly understood. Grasses seem to grow higher on the inner rim of the circles due to less competition for water on the inside of the ring.
Polar Bear Hunting
Polar bear hunting seal from an iceberg in Svalbard during the summer while the sea ice is gone all the way north to 83°N.
Giving Back to the Ocean
An adult male sperm whale died stranded in the shallow waters of Bahía de la Paz, Baja California Sur, on November 2020. The local marine mammals conservation team could not determine the death cause, but its skeleton was later retrieved to do more research and became part of the Museo de la Ballena osteological collection in La Paz.
The Yamuna Ghat in Delhi is the site of a majestic gathering of thousands of seagulls flocking to feed. One day early in the morning we visited Yamuna Ghat with my drone to capture this beauty of seagulls from above.
Working closely with the bears and getting them used to our behaviour meant that by day 5 we were well underway to documenting some truly unique behaviour. By this point we have gotten to know in detail the personalities of 27 different bears, and they in return welcomed us into their lives and let us film around the clock. Utilizing drones, remote cameras, and custom made gear in order to capture the most intimate footage.
Emus of the Salt Lake
Emus running in shallow water on Lake Gairdner, a salt lake in central Australia. The birds were foraging though they were many km from the shore of a 7000 sq km lake. There were no plants and the water too saline to drink. The normal diet of emus is seeds and fruit, but also insects. Strong winds had blown many insects over the lake and, exhausted, they fell into the water. This is probably what the emus were feeding on.
Whether the Zebra is black with white strips or if it is white with black strips it definitely stands out in the wild. I was on a photoshoot for some other species and that is when I spotted this beauty running in haste.
Lake Rudolf Sprinkle
During the rainy season, the beautiful flamingos adorn the Rift Valley with their long-legs, long-neck, black beak, and pink feathery coats. It is indeed feasting to our eyes. I was fortunate enough to spend some quality time observing them and clicking as many pictures as I could because to me every frame out there was unique. In this picture, you can see a flock of flamingos flying over a pattern, which is very similar to the pattern they are flying.
(Does anyone understand the above caption comment?? - Otto)
Baby flamingos said hello to life. Salt lake is a good home for them. Their mother is feeding nearby. They will grow and migrate. The minerals in the salt lake are their food source. The weather is very hot this year but they are used to it. It is necessary to go to the salt lake very early in order to photograph flamingos. As the weather warms, they go to deeper waters.
Some nocturnal animals, like this pair of Golden Jackal, have taken shelter in the wheat field because their home has been destroyed. Golden jackals are locally common in Bangladesh despite intensive cultivation and high human densities. It's quite difficult to find jackal in day time so I had to use my drone to capture this image without making them feel intimidated.
A Still Point in Time
At a still point in time, a flock of greater flamingo wades through the obsidian brine pans south of Walvis Bay with the dainty grace of ballerinas. This image was taken hand held from the fixed wing aircraft. Flamingo are incredibly noise and vibration sensitive and normally take to flight when disturbed. Our aircraft is so quiet these flamingo were unaware of us photographing them from above.
If you look at the top right corner, you will see one flamingo with wings outstretched, the only one that looks different. It reminds me of Brian in Life of Brian telling the gathered crowd "You're all individuals." They all repeat in one voice "We're all individuals", except for one plaintive voice which says "I'm not."
Point of No Return
A 13-metre whale entered, disoriented, in the estuary of river Vouga in Aveiro, and got stuck in a sand bank. The efforts of the fishermen and of the authorities to keep it alive were not enough and ended up dying. The reason that led the whale to make such a journey is still unknown, but the lack of food due to intensive fishing and the noise of the boats may have contributed to this outcome.
Shark Seeking the Salmon
Capturing this was delight, as the light was beautiful, and the shark was in a great position, while in the hunt for the many hundreds of salmon.
A flock of Greater Flamingos enjoys the food-rich salterns of Vankali Bird Sanctuary in Sri Lanka. They travel thousands of miles every year to reach Sri Lanka, which is their ideal residence during winters.
Sheep in Congress
In the north of Israel, I documented during summer and winter a herd of 1500 sheep which became more than 1900 heads. I followed them when they moved from one location to another mainly for searching for fresh grass but also for preparing to give birth and cut their wool.
More to come.