Thursday, 18 April 2013


If you like your birds with a bit of colour, there's nothing to beat Bee-eaters. I tried many years ago in Gambia to see Carmine Bee-eater and failed, and I need to see one before I die! These images were taken in Sri Lanka this February, where the good light enhances the fantastic colours. They are the three common ones, with European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) being the only other one as an uncommon migrant. Because they are catching insects on the wing, they usually return to the same branch, and being reasonably confiding, they are a pleasure to photograph. All the images were taken with the Canon 1D Mk IV and 500mm L IS MkII lens.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus).

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti).

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater.

Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis).

Green Bee-eater.


I can't seem to stop seeing Bitterns (Botaurus stellaris) just lately. After excellent views of two birds at RSPB Blacktoft last August, I've since seen them recently at Far Ings (just over the Humber Bridge - a Lincolnshire WT reserve), Minsmere RSPB reserve, and Hickling Broad (a Norfolk WT reserve). Today I hear there is one on Filey Brigg!

Images 1 -3 Minsmere.  Canon 7D and 100-400 L IS zoom, somewhat against the light.

Images 4 and 5 Far Ings. Canon 1D Mk IV, 500mm L IS MkII and 2x converter. Better light.

It's great to know these spectacular birds are making a bit of a comeback, and, with luck or patience, are becoming easier to see. A small triumph for Conservation.