Thursday, October 16, 2008

Capital Birds - Seeing Green

One aspect I really enjoy of my occasional visits to London are seeing and photographing the ever increasing numbers of ring necked parakeets. We do not see them much in the north west whereas the captial is overrun with them. I did not realise how numerous they have become, until packing the camera gear back into the car at Bushy Park, in the fading light, flocks of 50-150 birds continuely sped past every couple of minutes as they headed to their night time roost. They are noisey and probably competitive with native birds, especially for nest holes, but they are so colourful and show some interesting behaviour that makes for a great photographic subject. However, they can be quite difficult to photograph as they seem to prefer to perch high in trees but with a bit of patience you usually find some lurking down lower.
Checking out nest holes seems to keep them preoccupied. I assume they nest at a similar time to our birds but then again that is something I must look up.
I thought that would be it for green birds but while at the wetland centre during my visit, a rare opportunity arose to photograph a green woodpecker. These birds really are many UK bird photographers' nemesis as they are normally very, very difficult to approach. Given that fact, I was pleased to get the brief oppotunity for a couple of photographs.
As the bird hopped to the lake edge for a quick drink before lifting off and away in its undulating flight.


kjpweb said...

It's a bit weird to see parakeets in the UK, isn't it? The Green Woodpecker also is highly interesting!
Cheers, Klaus

T and S said...

WOW...lovely images and the first one where just the parakeet is lit by the light is a stunning composition

Snowbabies said...

Lovely shots of the green woodpecker.


Anonymous said...

Excellents images of the woodpecker! Was there a lot of cloning involved in the last image?

Rich Steel said...

Many thanks for your comments. There was not a lot of cloning involved in the last woodpecker image, Jeff. It was actually shot through a glass window of a hide at a slight angle which is why the background may look a bit odd in places. It was frustrating to get close to one of these elusive birds only to find the hide window nailed shut!!. They came out better than expected given the circumstances. I guess all that time spent photographing in zoos had to come in useful at some point.




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