Sunday, August 07, 2011

Green Nemesis

The Green Woodpecker must rate amongst the more trickier bird species to photograph in the UK. The local population is relatively small, compared to the south, and it has not been a bird I have actively pursued but one that I have come across through occasional encounters. I supposed I should really put in some work to make a more concerted effort to photograph them but have not quite formulate the best strategy for them yet.
They are an extremely difficult bird to approach and unlike many other birds, always quickly depart even with a careful approach in the mobile hide (car). You are lucky if you can get within a 50 metres and even then the bird will often disappear around the back of a tree trunk out of sight, before rapidly flying away in characteristic undulating flight.
They seem at their most approachable when preoccupied with feeding on the preferred ant prey. Please note this image below is quite a heavy crop but I have included it for interest it to show the ants on the beak.
Of course their ground feeding habit amongst grass combined with their colouration also adds to the difficulty in spotting the bird in the first place.
Its is a shame they are so difficult locally as they are such a beautiful bird and I have the image in my mind that I am trying to achieved but that has yest to appear on my camera..
My last view of the male bird that day was when it flew up to a tree trunk and I managed to get a couple of frames taken before it disappeared from sight and took off into the distance.
No doubt one day my luck will improve with my nemesis or maybe its time to take some positive steps to improve my chances!


Robin said...

Rich, great shots of a difficult subject! It's a very pretty bird!

holdingmoments said...

A very difficult bird to capture indeed Rich.
You've got some excellent shots here.

It's strange, I had an excellent encounter with a young bird this morning, at my local lake.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

What an interesting looking woodie. It's behavior reminds me of the Yellow-Shafter Flickers that I just posted earlier. Your close up images are superior quality and I am really pleased that you were able to get these wonderful close-up images, for as difficult a species they evidently are to photograph~

Marc Heath said...

Some very nice shots there.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm glad photographers of your calibre also struggle with Green Woodies Rich! :) They're also one of my favourite birds and one I've been trying to photograph without any success. As you say we do have a healthy population here 'down sarf' but that makes it even more frustrating - seeing so many of them flying away when you get within 200 yards of them!?



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