Welcome to my website!
My name is Mark Eising and I live in Hilversum, The Netherlands. One of my passions in life is wildlife and more specifically: birds. I have created this website for my family, friends and anyone who is interested in my travels around the world and love having a look at my photographs of all kinds of wonderful animals in the wild, especially birds.
If I have any time off work, I go out birding, both in The Netherlands and abroad. In addition, as an international corporate law attorney, my job takes me to all kind of countries on a regular basis. If I can, I take every opportunity to explore the local wildlife in those countries. I take a lot of pleasure in birding in The Netherlands with friends, including Saskia who created this website and my twin brother Rick and my sister Hester, and abroad with my buddies Jan from Amsterdam en Erik who lives in Houston, Texas. In the spring and fall, I organize and guide bird trips in both The Netherlands and abroad.
In summer, when the birding gets usually quite slow, I have found myself, only recently, admiring and photographing other flying creatures, such as butterflies, dragonflies and other insects. The warmer months give me also opportunity to try catching, solely for photo opportunity purposes, all kinds of reptiles and amphibians, such as snakes, lizards and frogs.
Species of animals
You will find many species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, spiders, butterflies and all kinds of other insects and even 1232 different species of birds (excluding subspecies) on my website, making it one of the biggest animal photo websites in the world if you consider that each and every animal is photographed by just one person: me.
All animals are photographed by me in the wild, not in captivity.
Use of this website
The menu on the left of each page shows the different regions in the world and some other sections of the website. When you move (not click) your cursor on one of them, a pull down menu with all of the related categories of animals will be shown. When you click on one of these content sections, the relevant related pages with the photo's will be shown.
Each photo includes the English, Dutch and sometimes the scientific name of the animal showed together with the place and date it was taken. Sometimes I have added specific information about the animal.
Due to the huge number of different species, I have choosen to include just one photo of each animal per region.
The number of photographs increases regularly and if I can, I replace photos by better ones. I have listed my most recent photographs under: Latest Photographs.
I have included lists of all animals, divided by family and sub-family or otherwise conveniently categorized. These indices include links to the photo's for easy reference. Please check: Index of Animals.
And there is nothing better to see the animals in action: For my video's please check: My Video's.
Below is an chronological overview of the various international (birding) trips I made over the last few years and during which I took photo's of the animals shown on my website.
What better way to start the year 2016 with a 10-day self-organized birding trip to Cuba from 6-16 January! Together with my birding buddy Jan we visited some of the best birding spots on the island: we started in Soroa where we explored the area, including La Guïra NP. Thereafter, Zapata NP near Playa Larga, thé top birding destination where most of Cuba 28 endemic species can be found. And finally to Caya Coco, an island at the north coast of Cuba that is home to another few endemics. Out of the 28 endemics on Cuba we managed to see the amazing number of 24, most of them all by our selves and far more than expected. And 22 on photo, albeit some of them a little blurry. Have a look at this wonderful Bee Hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world and only existing on Cuba! The whole trip we stayed at casa particulares, privately operated B&B's where you can enjoy the real Cuban life in the house of a Cuban family. We really had an unforgetable trip and we enjoyed great wildlife, very kind people and excellent food. With the recent lift of the American tourism ban however, it will only be a matter of time that the expected flood of Americans will hurt Cuba's unique culture and Starbucks and McDonald's will change the street view of Havana for ever.
Coto Doñana, Spain
In October 2015, I organized a 5-day birding trip for my mother, sister and brother to this exceptional part of southern Spain. They have been bird lovers all of their lives but somehow never took it to the level of going on specially designed birding trips. For my brother Rick it was actually his first "hard core" birding trip ever abroad after I took my mother and sister on their first birding trip to the Extremadura in May 2012. And they all loved it! 99 different species, and even 16 lifers for my brother. We stayed in the lovely town of El Rocio and used this as our base camp to explore the region. I sincerely hope we all can do this again in the near future so I can share my passion for birds with the people I love most. Check out some of my photo's at: Latest Photographs.
In July/August 2015, my wife and I went to our beloved Portland, Maine for 10 days. Main reason to visit was my wife's high school reunion after 30 years. We were warmly welcomed by her former class mates and we had a wonderful time along memory lane. It was also great to meet our hostparents in Falmouth with whom Marinka lived during her high school year and with whom I then lived for 3 months in 1993 while working as an intern with their law firm in Portland. We included a loveli 3-day bike trip along the coast from Portland to Boothbay Harbour where I had some time to look out for birds. And I couldn't resist to go on another whale watch boat trip during which I saw my first Finback Whale and Common Minke Whale! Check out all my Maine animal photo's at: Latest Photographs.
From 21 - 30 June 2015, I returned to Colombia after visiting in October 2014. But this time I travelled to the town of Manizales, near the vulcano Nevado del Ruiz, in the central mountain range of the Andes. Using a friends house in Manizales the first week as a home base, it was easy to visit the best birding spots in the area, including Rio Blanco Nature Reserve, Recinto del Pensamiento, El Zancudo Reserve, the paramo habitat of Los Nevados National Park, the gardens of hotel Termales del Ruiz and the agricultural lowlands west of Manizales. The last two days were spent in the wonderful Tatama National Park. And what an incredible birding trip it was! Over 250 different species of birds, including 41 different species of hummingbirds! Enough reason to create a page for hummingbirds only: Check it out: Hummers.
In June 2015, I attended a legal conference in Edinburgh for a few days and found some time to visit the wonderful Isle of May which is famous for its huge numbers of seabirds, including the largest puffin colony on the east coast of Britain. Check out my photo's at: Latest Photographs.
Coto Doñana, Spain
In May 2015, my wife and I visited the Coto Doñana in Southern Spain. Not the best time of year to go after birds because of the annual pilgrimage to the pretty wild-west-style town of El Rocio where each year close to a million catholic Spanish people gather in traditional Andalucian clothes and flamenco costumes to celibrate in homage to the Virgin of El Rocio. Quite a spectacle! Since the best birding sites around El Rocio were virtually not accessible and all visitor centers were closed during the festivities, most of my birding took place around the town of Huelva, the town of El Portil and the nearby Odiel marshes. Fortunately, I will be back in October with my mother, brother and sister to explore the actual Coto Doñana area when El Rocio once again has turned into a quiet little town. Check out my photo's at: Latest Photographs.
In December 2014, my wife and I visited my wife's sister and her French husband and 3 daughters in Evian who have been living there since 1992. Since it was a short family visit, the birding was limited to whatever was flying around the house. No photo opportunities of birds but I found this Mottled Shield Bug in the kitchen.
From 23 October - 2 November 2014, I went on a 12-day self-organized bird trip to the Santa Marta region in North Colombia. This was clearly one of the most adventurous trips I have ever made. Unlike other birders visiting this region, my aim was not to go to all the hot spots in the region in order to see as much birds as possible, including all of the endemics, but I merely wanted to fully enjoy the El Dorado Lodge area and follow my own pace. That's why I went here off season in order to avoid crowds and spent as much as 7 nights at the wonderfull El Dorado Lodge, which I practically had for my own since there were no other guests for most of the time. Hiking up the mountain from Minca to the lodge (with a heavy backpack) was tough (20 km, 11 hours, including birding on the way up) but so much nicer than the usual extremely uncomfortable 4-wheel car drive up which most people do. Walking back down from the lodge after spending a tremendous week at the lodge made it all a very satisfactory and challenging adventure. I spent the last two days in the comfortable Casa Lina Ecolodge at the coast in Palomino, an hour drive east of Santa Marta. I was very lucky to have met co-birder Sebastian, one of the owners of the beautifull Guest House Faunal in Pozo Azul (near Minca), who was kind enough to show me his yard birds and to bring me to Los Flamencos at the Guajira Peninsula. Check out my many photo's of birds, butterflies etc. at Latest Photographs.
In August 2014, my wife and I went on a 7-day cruise to the Norwegian fjords. On the North Sea, we found many Northern Fulmars and Northern Gannets flying around the ship which I photographed from our balcony. When we arrived in Bergen, Norway, I was picked up by local resident and Dutch birder Bert de Bruin who took me out to the nature reserve on Herdla, a scenic island just a 45-minute drive North-West from Bergen. Besides the regular waders, we found two beautiful juvenile Little Stints and many European Golden Plovers. Near the bird look out, we saw a glimpse of a American Mink, of which I somehow managed to get a decent photograph.
In June 2014, I attended a legal conference in London for a few days. Unfortunately, I only had about an hour to go after birds and so I went to Hyde Park. Just a Common Wood-pigeon and a Common Moorhen made it to my website and a, I must say, beautiful Harlequin Ladybird.
New York, USA
In May 2014, I attended a legal conference in New York City and added a few days to do some birding in and around the city. One of the best and easiest birding places remains Central Park, particularly the Ramble, but the Bronx Botanical Garden and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge are my favourites too. I was lucky because I visited during migration so I saw quite a lot of migrating birds, including a wide variety of warblers. And I was happy to add one lifer to my worldlist: Black-throated Blue Warbler.
The year 2014 started off very well with another 10-day self-organized "hard-core" birding and wildlife trip in Madagascar from 10-19 January! A true adventurous trip to one of the most exciting and biodiversity hotspots on the face of the earth. About 75 percent of the species found in Madagascar live nowhere else on the planet. I found myself very lucky taking photo's of many of the endemic birds, lemurs, chameleons etc, some of which I also captured on video. Have a look at: Video's of Lemurs and Video's of Chameleons.
I photographed a Voltor sylphis, a rare antlion species according to Dr. David Lees (Department of Zoology of the University of Cambridge, UK) and Dr. Roland Dobosz (Natural History Department, Bytom, Poland). It seems that my photo of this extraordinary creature is the only photo ever taken of this animal alive.
In October/November 2013, my wife and I booked a flight to the island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean, some 650 km off the coast of Marocco. We spent 8 days in the wonderful hotel Albatroz at the east coast of the island and enjoyed our vacation very much. Of course, I planned some visits to some birding hot spots and was not disappointed. Madeira has two endemics, Trocaz Pigeon and Madeira Firecrest and some endemic subspecies of Berthelot's Pipit, Rock Sparrow, Kestrel and European Robin and of course its famous endemic Madeira Chaffinch. I was very lucky to manage to take photo's of all of them. In addition, I found some interesting reptiles, amphibians, spiders, butterflies and some other insects. And a glance of a Bottlenose Dolphin!
In July 2013, my wife and I went on a 7-day biking trip to the Bodensee in South Germany, near the Austrian border. Besides enjoying the beautiful scenery along the borders of this beautiful lake and its ancient cities, castles, very kind and hospitable people and delicious local food and wine, I spent some time in photographing all kinds of animals, especially birds and quite a few insects. I was extremely lucky to find three Eurasian Eagle Owls in the beautiful old town of Überlingen, on the north side of the lake. I spent hours admiring the three young owls who were sometimes quite playful but always stayed in the vicinity of the nearby nest. The adults never showed themselves.
In February 2013, I went with a group of friends on a skiying trip to Combloux, France, like last year. Again, the weather was sunny and all we had were clear skies. Near our chalet, I spotted numerous Mistle Thrushes that were also present last year. This year I found a Hawfinch in a tree and of course the usual Great, Blue and Marsh Tits. A new bird for the Rest of Europe page of this website is the Crested Tit, that was attracted by the food that I had put outside of our chalet.
In January/February 2013, my wife and I spent 2,5 weeks in the South of Thailand. We spent most of our time in the Krabi area but also had 4 lovely days near and in Khao Sok National Park. Krabi ranks as one of the most difficult provinces for birding in the south. Much of the former forest cover has been decimated and replaced with millions of hectares of rubber and oil palm plantations. However, among the many plantations there are many area's of (rain)forest, mangroves and beaches which are incredibly rich in birdlife.
Please check my Thailand animal photo's under Asia. Also, enjoy some of the amazing video clips I took of various birds, monkeys, dragonflies and a beautiful snake under My Video's.
In November 2012, I went to Florida on a self-organized 7-days, as I like to call it, "hard-core" birding trip. That means every day starting at 5 a.m. and the entire day looking for birds (and other wildlife!) until well after dark. Long exhausting days, but filled with great and thrilling experiences. Call me nuts, but I just love it! Being all alone on this trip this time meant that I could fully check out the wildlife at my own pace, taking all the time and patience with photographing and filming the - sometimes not so patient - animals. I was very lucky to come face to face with the rare Bobcat and the Florida Snapping Turtle in the Everglades! Besides a huge number of birds, including the threatened White-crowned Pigeon, I photographed a Southern Black Racer after having it caught and put into the grass for easier handling. Please check all my Florida photo's under North America. Also, I took quite a few amazing video clips of Aligators, a Florida Snapping Turtle, Vultures, Hawks and some other birds. Check them out at My Video's.
Istanbul, Turkey and Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea
In September 2012, my wife and I spent 4 days in Istanbul, Turkey, followed by a 7-day trip on a cruise ship on the Aegean Sea visiting 5 Greek Islands on the way. Besides enjoying the beautiful city of Istanbul, including a lovely boat trip over the Bosphorus river, we enjoyed the characteristic Greek islands Pathmos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete and Santorini. I only had limited time to do some birding at the islands but still I found some nice animals out there. On board of the cruise ship looking over the beautiful Aegean Sea, I managed to take photo's of Scopoli's Shearwater and Long-legged Buzzard. In addition, I found some really interesting creatures, including an Egyptian Grasshopper and a Mediterranean Field Cricket. Please check my photo's under Rest of Europe.
Germany & Poland
In August 2012, I visited a friend near Münster, Germany and spent an afternoon birding in the Rieselfelder European Nature Reserve in Münster, which especially in spring is a great birding place. After that, I decided to drive to the North-Western part of Poland, just across the German border and visit the Ujscie Warta National Park for a day and further north, the Swinoujscie area (Wolin NP + Karsiborska Kepa Reserve), near the Baltic Sea and the German border. Both beautiful areas with lots of birds, like White-tailed Eagle, and other wild life. Please check my photo's under Rest of Europe.
In May 2012, I returned to the Extremadura in Spain, this time with my mom and my sister who I took on their first real bird trip. Although I had anticipated not to be able to have their devotion to birds all the time, they both surprised me by enjoying them selves intensively all day. They loved it! Our main target birds were Spanish Imperial Eagle, Cinereous Vulture, Great and Little Bustard and Eurasian Eagle Owl. We were very lucky to see them all, and I was even luckier to take photo's of (almost all of) them. Please see them and my other photo's under Rest of Europe.
In March 2012, I went with a group of friends on a 5-day skiying trip to Combloux, France. Although birding was definately not something on my friends' mind, even they could not ignore the Common Ravens that were everywhere on the slopes. One nice sunny afternoon gaves us two gliding Golden Eagles. Near our chalet, I found some Ring Ouzels and Mistle Thrushes around the slopes. Please see their photos under Rest of Europe.
In October 2011, my wife and I spent 2,5 weeks on Bali. Besides enjoying the beautiful scenery, including the lovely rice fields and nice beaches, the very kind and friendly people and the delicious local food, I visited some excellent birding places. One of the main target birds in Bali is of course the Bali Myna, probably the most endangered bird in the world with only around 80 re-introduced species in the wild. I was extremely lucky to find four different Bali Myna's, including one juvenile without a ring on its feet, making it a "real wild" bird! And I even managed to get a great picture and a videoclip of the Bali Myna! You will find them and all my Bali animal photo's under Asia.
In August 2011, I went with my buddy Jan on a self-organized 4-day birding trip to Trujillo and Monfragüe National Park in the Extremadura, Spain. Of course, August isn't the best time of year to visit, but we managed to see quite a lot of different birds after all, including some great local rarities like Great Bustard, Cinereous Vulture, Blue Rock Thrush and Dartfort Warbler. Please check my wildlife photo's under Rest of Europe.
In April 2011, I went on a 10 day birding trip lead by Mark Pretti to Chiapas, Mexico, including 7 days of camping in the magical El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve. El Triunfo hosts quite a few very range restricted birds (Horned Guan, Azure-rumped Tanager, Blue-throated Motmot, Black-capped Swallow, Rufous Sabrewing, and Blue-tailed Hummingbird) and generally rare birds (Resplendent Quetzal and Prevost's Ground Sparrow). Please check my wildlife photo's under Central America.
New York, USA
In November 2010, I spent a few days birding in Central Park, New York, after completing the New York City Marathon. My first marathon ever. What a mind blowing event! Hundreds of thousands of encouraging spectators and the live musical performances along the course all warmed my heart and kept a big smile on my face during the whole course. My photo's of the birds in Central Park you will find under North America.
In August/September 2010, I took a birding trip with Ashanti African Tours to Ghana dedicating most of the time to rainforest birding. We got an impressive quality bird tally including many sought after secretive species (including the remarkable and very rare Yellow-headed Picathartes). Some of them together with other animals I captured with my camera. Please check my photo's under Africa and read my trip report.
In April 2010, Jan and I went to Lesvos, Greece for two weeks to watch the spring migration of birds moving back to their nesting grounds in Europe. Not only did I see almost every bird on or passing through the island, I captured quite a lot with my camera. Please check my photo's under Rest of Europe.
In February 2010, I visited friends in Mali, and did some limited birding around Bamako, Mali's capital city. I managed to see some 70 different birds after all, 19 of which I took pictures. Please check my photo's under Africa.
In December 2009, my wife and I visited friends in Bangkok, Thailand, and travelled mostly around the northern part of the country for a month. Please check my photo's under Asia.
In September 2009, my wife and I attended a friend's wedding in Massachusetts and spent a few days birding in Massachusetts and Maine. Please check my photo's under North America.
In August 2009, I visted a friend who is the warden of Dorset Wildlife Trust which manages the nature reserve in the northern part of Brownsea Island at the south coast of England. One night we set up a moth trap and the next early morning we spent hours identifying all kinds of different moths. My photo's of about 20 moths, including the first ever sighting of a Jersey Tiger on the island, and other animals you may check under Rest of Europe.
In June 2009, I spent a month in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru where I worked as a volunteer in a nature conservation project. It was an extraordinary amazing and wonderful experience! You will find my animal photo’s under South America.
In March 2009, Jan, Erik and I took a birding trip organized by Mark Pretti to Belize. Please check my photo's under Central America and read my trip report.
In March 2009, before going to Belize, Jan, Erik and I spent some time birding in Brazos Bend State Park in the Houston area. Brazos Bend State Park is one of the best places in the vicinity of Houston to bird. I have been here about 5 times and it was never a disappointment. Entrance is free, but be aware of the many aligators in the park. Please check my photo's under North America.
On 15 February 2009, I went with some friends on a boat trip on the North Sea near Oostende, Belgium. It was very cold but we managed to see quite some sea birds.
In November 2008, I visited friends in Boulder, Colorado, and did some birding in the Boulder area. Please check my photo's under North America.
In October 2008, my friend Jan and I went with some friends for a few days to Stralsund at the island of Rügen in the North of Germany. This place is famous during autumn migration for its large population of Common Cranes which can reach easily 40,000 individuals. Basically all of the Scandinavian crane population cross the Baltic Sea from Southern Sweden into this part of Germany to stay here for a few weeks to feed and prepare for their journey to the wintering areas in Spain and Morocco. They even have a Crane Information Center where you can closely watch the cranes feeding in the stubblefields and get all kinds of information about cranes and their protection projects.
In August 2008, I went to The Gambia for 10 days on an organized bus tour to explore the country. Of course I did some birding. Please check my photo's under Africa.
In April 2008, Jan, Erik and I went on a birding trip organized by Mark Pretti to Arizona. Please check my photo's under North America and read my trip report.
In January 2008, Jan and I went on a safari trip to Tanzania and Kenya. Please check my photo's under Africa.
In September 2007, I attended a legal conference in San Francisco and added a few days to spend in the Monterey area and in Yosemite National Park. Please check my photo's under North America.
In July 2007, I visited a friend of mine in Copenhagen. Not a birding trip, but I found a nice Tufted Duck and a Hooded Crow in the area.
In April 2007, Jan, Erik and I went on a self-organized birding trip to Big Bend National Park in the western part of Texas. We brought our own tents and camped in the park. What a wonderful place! Please check my photo's under North America.
In February 2007, I went on a business trip to London. I had time to visit one of the parks and found this loveli Grey Squirrel.
In December 2006, I returned to Aruba and did some limited birding on the island. Please check my photo's under Central America.
In November 2006, I visited my friend Erik in Houston for the first time and did some birding in the Houston area and in the hill country. Please check my photo's under North America.
In August 2006, I went on a business trip to Shanghai and Beijing but squeezed in a day or two to do some birding. Please check my photo's under Asia.
In August 2006, I visited my brother, his wife and 3 boys in Bordeaux where they spent their summer holiday. During my short stay of only 3 days, we did a little bit of birding which produced some nice photo's of Little Egret and Yellow Wagtail.
In March 2006, my wife and I visited Aruba for 10 days. I did quite some birding on the island. Please check my photo's under Central America and read my trip report.
In November 2005, my wife and I visited South Africa for the second time and spent 5 great safari days in Madikwe. Please check my photo's under Africa.
In September 2005, I went to Falsterbo on a 7-day birding trip organized by our local Birding Club. With a group of 12 people, we enjoyed the autumn migration of many birds, especially raptors, at the famous look out at Nabben at the very southern tip of the Swedish mainland, and some other places nearby. Please check my photo's under Rest of Europe.
In June 2005, my wife and I visited my wife's sister and her French husband and 3 daughters in Evian. They have been living there since 1992 and we visit them regularly. Evian is located at the border of Lake Geneva where you aways can find interesting birds, like this funny Eurasian Coot.
In May 2005, I attended a legal conference in Cairo. Unfortunately, there was no time for birding but I managed to take a photo of this Squacco Heron sitting in the middle of the river in down town Cairo.
In February 2004, my wife and I explored Sri Lanka and travelled around the country for 14 days. Of course there was time to do some birding. I did not yet have a digital camera then and used a analogue camera. In order to include the photo's on my website I had to scan and digitize the analogue photo's but because of the resulting loss of quality I only have included a limited number of them. Please check my photo's under Asia.
In March 2003, my friend Jan and I went on a self-organized birding trip to Costa Rica. Due to the aforementioned reason of not having a digital camera back then, the number of photo's is very limited. Please check my photo's under Central America.
Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe
In November 2001, my friend Jan and I went on a 3-week safari organized by Karibu Safari Tours. With a group of 8 people, including a camp cook and a safari guide, we started the trip at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and drove through Zambia and a large part of Botswana, ending in Gabarone. We stayed in tents at designated camp sites and had a truly phenomenal close-to-nature wild life experience. I only have included a few of my photo's on my website because after scanning and digitizing the quality was poor. Please have a look at: Red Lechwe, Bushbuck, Mole Snake and Long-toed Lapwing.
In September 1997, my wife and I had our honeymoon in South Africa. We travelled for 3.5 weeks through this magnificient country and spent 5 days in Kruger National Park. I only had one of my analogue photo's digitized because on later trips to South Africa I managed to take better photo's of the animals. However, a Nile Crocodile in Lake St. Lucia made it to this website!
Enjoy my website and thanks for visiting!
photo top: Madikwe, South Africa
photo top left: Mombasa, Kenya
photo bottom left: Big Bend NP, Texas, USA