Nature Photography Blog Trip reports, techniques and more...

Green birds!

The Little Green Bee Eater is a pretty common sight in Yala National Park. The one in the first picture was a great opportunity - it was sitting on a branch on the edge of a road in the park, and as our safari jeep came to a halt right next to it, I was almost perfectly lined up. I say' perfectly' because I was actually TOO close, and had the 2X teleconverter on a 400mm lens. Result - I had to cut off either the head or the tail, and the tail seemed more expendable to me…
If anyone's wondering why I didn't take the teleconverter off, I did. I just make sure I take a couple of 'banker' shots before changing equipment, and sure enough the little guy flew off just as I was taking the teleconverter off!

Little Green Bee Eater

Little Green Bee Eater

The Rose Ringed Parakeet's (below) habitat in Sri Lanka ranges from the lowlands to moderately hills country. Flocks of these birds often descend on agricultural crops and have a tenuous relationship with farmers there. I spent close to half an hour with this flock on the edge of a small lake, when they seemed pretty unconcerned by a couple of White Bellied Seas Eagles, a Grey Headed Fishing Eagle and numerous Brahminy Kites that were all within fifty yards of this flock. Perhaps they thought the raptors would be more interested in the plentiful fishing opportunities - and they were right!

Rose-Ringed Parakeet


Wild Pigeons & Doves from Asia

The Spotted Dove is a native of Southeast Asia, and its kukroo, kukoo, koo... call is familiar to many inhabitants of rural areas. It's a very adaptable species, and is now found as far afield as Hawaii, California and Australia. I saw several during my stay in Yala National Park in Sri Lanka earlier this year. While they weren't too shy, photographing them while they bob and scurry around looking for seeds was quite a challenge!
Spotted Dove

One of my target bird species this year was the Orange-Breasted Green Pigeon. While I saw several flocks at a distance, I was never able to get a half-decent shot until I saw a small flock on my last day. A cloudy sky and intermittent rainstorms meant the light was far from perfect, but I tried to salvage what shots I could...

Orange-Breasted Green Pigeon

The last picture here is of a Green Imperial Pigeon. These are a little more common so I was able to pick my shots until I found this one with nice side lighting and a little breeze creating a mane at the back of its head. Wish I could have gotten rid of the branch in the foreground though!

Green Imperial Pigeon