Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Backlit Heron

Good lunchtime weather in London today so a quick trip out saw me attempting some more heron photographs. I was partly successful in getting a nice backlit shot. The rim lighting effect is not complete in the example below but I had to make do with the position available. Other amusement involved three Carrion Crows chasing a large rat in the long grass, followed by some herons, always inquisitive to the slightest of movement, joining in the chase.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More Hens

Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus) are probably one of the most widespread and abundant waterbirds in London, from a small pond around King's Cross station to the larger park lakes and canals, and the city's main reservoirs to the River Thames. Indeed, they are found on five continents with an almost worldwide distribution. However, when I was younger and just starting out, this was quite a special bird for me to see in Ayrshire. A trip to Craufurdland near Kilmarnock provided most encounters with what is a shy species in that part of Scotland. More often than not, it was the characteristic 'Kuuruuk' vocalisation that was the main indication of the bird's presence. These days it breeds around Kay Park in Kilmarnock where it is much more approachable though nothing compared with city Moorhens... visitors are literally tripping over them at the London Wetland Centre. A trip there today saw little in the way of the photographable winter species I was hoping for such as Shoveler, on the smaller ponds at least, so I concentrated on the Moorhens by lying flat on the damp grass. One area was occupied most of the day by at least a dozen grazing Moorhens, oh and masses of Moorhen crap...basically pulped grass by the look of it! Hope the stains come out in the wash!

Larger versions here:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Autumn Light Portraits

The belated summer weather continues... 20C and blue skies today in London! Harlequin Ladybirds were swarming in the warm air and Migrant Hawkers and butterflies were also prevalent. The autumn light was exceptional with some changing colours in the tree starting to reflect quite nicely in the water.

Sweet Chestnuts

This Ring-necked Parakeet allowed close approach as it gorged itself on Sweet Chestnuts in central London today.