White-cheeked Turaco

January 06, 2013  •  2 Comments

This popular escapee has been at large in my neck of the woods for what must be approaching four years. It has survived the harsh winters completely unscathed, and can most often be found a mere stone's throw from my house making a variety of very odd noises. It's a fruit-eater, and various people spoil it with grapes and nectarines, which perhaps explains it's longevity away from home. We don't know where it has come from, but the species' natural range is in Ethiopia, so to see it enjoying suburban London is always quite amusing. Today it was sat out in the open, as usual completely unphased by passers by. I tried a few shots with the 300mm at f2.8, which was very useful on yet another gloomy day - every time I use it I am blown away by quite how capable it is, God knows how good the new version is. I'm still getting used to the back-focus, but as long as I persist with it I'm sure I'll get there - hopefully before my Morocco trip in March - I'd hate to have one of the special Wheatears up close and personal and then completely mess it up. First two images using natural light, such as there was, ISO 1000 to 1600, and the final one with flash, ISO 320 at f7.1.


Comments

Tom(non-registered)
Earlier today I saw what could be this bird in Hampstead Cemetery (next to Fortune Green) in NW6. I'm not sure, partly because this is nowhere near Wanstead. Also, it was certainly a turaco of some sort because the call was distinctive and I saw the red wing tips as it flew above me, but judging by the recordings on xeno canto, I think perhaps it was Hartlaub's turaco, rather than white cheeked. The one I saw had a particularly throaty sound, in fact, my very first thought was of a crow making a funny noise, until I saw it sitting at the top of the tree! Unfortunately I can't remember exactly what it's head looked like. I didn't get to spend enough time looking at it before a couple of dog walkers came along complaining about the noise it was making and arguing about whether it was a woodpecker(!) - and then my wife joined in that she thought it was a parakeet - and of course, it decided to make haste amidst the growing commotion underneath it's tree...

I did however learn from the dog walkers that they heard two of them calling from a different tree there earlier on...
John Buniak(non-registered)
Jonathan
I saw the Turaco this morning in my garden in Leybourne Rd. My wife has been putting grapes out.
Is it OK to use one of your fabulous photos for the BARA Bush Telegraph residents association newsletter?
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