Monday, 6 April 2015

Spring - birds and flowers in the woods

Early spring is usually the best time to photograph birds in the woods - the light is better than winter, the leaves aren't yet obscuring the view, and the birds are hungry as they head into the nesting season. We were over at some friends' woodland today, and I was pleased to get this photo of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in flight, as it came past us to raid a bird feeder filled with nuts!

Greater spotted woodpecker in flight

Here's the feeder itself, with a couple of Blue Tits taking a meal:

Back over at our woods, I heard a woodpecker knocking loudly a few days ago, and tracked the sound over to our neighbour's wood, where I just about managed to get a photo of it, at the extreme end of the zoom range of my camera lens:

There's lots of birds near the feeder in our own wood too, such as this male Chaffinch, which perched in the oaks and then came down to feed on the ground, preferring to eat seed fallen there rather than go to the feeder itself:


There was a female Chaffinch around as well, though I wasn't sure what kind of bird she was at first:


Robins are still around of course, though not interested in the seeds in our feeder. Maybe we should get some nuts too...

Great Tits are in abundance as usual, and I got a nice sequence of this one. First it was perching near the feeder to check I wasn't a threat:


Then it flew over, and I got a photo as it was coming in to land:

A quick nibble...

... and then off again, seed in beak:

There's Coal Tits there too:


Meanwhile, any seed I spill while topping up the feeder is quickly hoovered up by the Pheasants:



Meanwhile, in another part of the woods, the wild boar have been creating some more 'bomb craters' with their digging...

Moving on to spring flowers, the Primroses are putting on a good show:

And the Wood Anemones are back as well:


The trees are waking up, with Hornbeam leaves just forming:

Sweet Chestnut is a bit slower, but the buds are beginning to green up and swell:

Sycamore, in the few places it grows, is well ahead though, with most buds showing some leaves emerging:

and others starting to cast some shade!

Looking forward to Bluebells before too much longer...



Grayhen Tor said...

Great photos, especially those woodpeckers !

Mike Pepler said...

Thanks! An element of chance involved in them of course - I was trying to photograph the flying woodpecker while it was perched, but it took off just as I pressed the shutter...

Kathy Korpe said...

Lovely photos of feathered friends! Do you ever catch the wild boar with your lens? Kathy

Mike Pepler said...

Hi Kathy. I don't often see the boar - they like to stay away from humans. But a few years ago I got some video from a motion-triggered camera:

Anonymous said...

Mike, your "marsh or willow tit" is neither. Unless I'm much mistaken, it's a coal tit. Good photos though!

Mike Pepler said...

Thanks, I get them confused sometimes - I was looking at the black marks on the face, but they weren't very clear. But I can see the white on the wings is a better clue!