Matthew Maran Photography
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Early Spring 2015

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Action Green woodpecker Hampstead Heath Kestrel London Photography Urban Wildlife

Spring seems to have come around quickly – I’m no longer dragging myself through mud and soggy grasslands searching for kestrels and green woodpeckers, wearing multiple layers and finger-less gloves. The warm sun provides promise for lots of animal activity and despite the discomfort I already miss the cold days, there’s something fulfilling about being out in the cold that helps me to appreciate the struggles that the wildlife endures. My struggle is made that little bit easier with the luxury of a flask of coffee.

Ok so it doesn't have a weasel on it's back but I worked hard crawling 'commando' style to get close enough to this woodpecker to capture this portrait
Wildlife watching people.

Kestrels are a regular sighting for me these days. This one landed on a low branch giving me the opportunity to frame it in context with it’s environment. Many people who visit the heath often miss these beautiful birds by simply not looking up. Keep your eyes peeled, they’re there!

This kestrel is fearless and allowed me to approach very close with my telephoto lens
Mandarin ducks are native to South East Asia but small feral populations exist in Great Britain and can be seen on the Heath every year
Two mallards swam past as I was shooting a sunset over Hampstead 2 pond. I used a little fill flash to highlight their beautiful plumage