Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Woodland Wonders

I took a trip out to some local woodland last weekend. Deciduous woods can be great places to photograph in the winter with the leaves off the trees to let the soft end of year light through. The main target species for this session were Stock Dove, a species which are undeservedly overlooked, although this is probably due to their resemblance to feral pigeons. It was a freezing morning as I waited quietly for the Stock Doves to appear with even the nearby squirrels looking cold.

As I continued to wait a few other birds caught me eye. A passing magpie foraging through the carpet of fallen oak and beech leaves.

On the fallen tree which I was laying alongside a familiar bird appeared, which I had encountered earlier in the year, a Nuthatch with an extra long upper bill.

It was good to see the bird was still doing well and thought I would give its energy reserves a small helping hand in the bitter cold by scattering a few peanuts on the tree. These were eagerly received and taken away to be hidden in various bark crevices in the surrounding trees.

Finally the first Stock Dove appeared and within seconds there were suddenly twenty of the birds in front of me foraging through the leaf litter.


These normally shy birds came in very close and it was great to watch them busy feeding.


In a similar way to pigeons the metallic patch on their neck changes colour depending on the viewing angle.

The birds came closer to the point that all I could fit in frame was a head portrait photo.

An enjoyable winter woodland visit despite some freezing conditions.


Bob Bushell said...

A very nice set of nature.

Ray said...

Great pics and great story. I really like the nuthatch pics, great light and clarity

Kerri said...

Stunning images! WOW!

holdingmoments said...

Cracking shots Richard.
For me, the Nuthatch with the nut is a stunner. Beautiful birds.

Anonymous said...


Lynmiranda said...

I love the Stock Dove pictures:-) I have never seen one.

Ricki Coughlan said...

Beautiful pigeon and great shots too!

Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

A Big thumbs up from me and Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

biologion said...

beautiful shots! especially the squirrel!

Rich Steel said...

Many thanks for the replies and glad some of you enjoyed the stock dove which is a highly underrated bird.




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