I enjoy watching the young animals and birds as they grow and learn behaviours from their parents to allow them to survive in the wild.
One of the interesting birds I have seen this year is a Great-spotted woodpecker which has built a nest in an old tree. The nest is in a secluded wood near my home, well away from the footpaths in the area. This has allowed the Woodpecker family to get on with their lives without too much disturbance.
I have been going out at different times of the day to try and get some photographs of these birds, as it is quite unusual to find a nest so near a residential area. In fact, the whole area is rich in wildlife but not many people are aware of this. As a result, the wildlife is allowed to live undisturbed in the area.
Setting up Photography Equipment
Below are some photographs I took. One the day I took the photographs I arrived in the woods just after 05.00 when the area was alive with birdsong and the grass was still covered in dew. The sun had risen at 04.15 and it was still a bit chilly. I had my vacuum flask with tea and some croissants, as I expected to be there for a few hours.
I took along an SLR camera, a tripod and a small folding stool to enable me to get some images.
When I arrived at the area near the nest, I set up the tripod and camera and adjusted the height of the tripod to suit the height of my stool. I was hidden behind some bushes, out of sight of the nest.
Early Morning in the Woods
Sitting in the middle of a wooded area with all the birdsong, rustling in the bushes from the animals and birds and the lack of people in the surrounding area was a bit scary. The young Woodpeckers were making a screeching noise which got louder as the parents arrived at the nest with food.
|Male Great-spotted woodpecker feeding juvenile|
|Adult bird goes to collect more food|
|More food for the Juveniles|
|Male bird feeding juvenile|
|Adult male flies away for more food|
Danger - Mute Swans Approaching!
A short time later I heard rustling in the trees in front of me and saw the Mute swan family appear on the path in front of me. They were going to have to pass near where I was sitting, so I left my camera gear and walked into the wood to let them pass.
Mute swans can be very aggressive when looking after their young and can break a person's arm with their wing. It's best to keep well out of their way until their cygnets are more mature.
After they passed I resumed my position in front of the camera.
|Adult male with food in his beak|
|Adult male bird feeding juvenile|
|Adult male leaves the nest with some debris|
On another part of the pond two adult Coots were out on the pond with their young. The chicks had only hatched recently in contrast to the Coots in the other pond whose young are far bigger.
|Adult Coot and chicks|
|Adult Coot feeding chick|
On the other pond the Coots were out and about and were much older than the ones on the other pond.
The Mute swan family were still out and about in the pond after my near encounter with them a few hours earlier.
|Mute swan and cygnets|
|Mute swan and cygnets|
I will be keeping an eye on the progress of these families as their young develop throughout the summer and autumn.