Please welcome Janet Falcondale to my blog. This guest post was originally supposed to be published just after I had Rex but, somehow, it slipped through the net! Janet writes a great blog at Falcondale Life and she has some beautiful photography over there so please go and take a look. In the meantime, she writes here about the Slimbridge Wetland Centre and photographs my favourite subject – birds.
If you’ve never been before you might be surprised to find that Slimbridge Wetland Centre is the size of a small zoo, and it’s mainly about birds.
When I visit I find myself peering over the fences down onto the top of the birds’ heads. This doesn’t make for great photographs, but the park is not all laid out that way. One of the best viewing areas is a hut right opposite the flamingos. It’s a big covered wooden chalet with huge open sides facing the flamingo pond.
I’ve been lucky enough to see flamingos in the wild where they are much keener on the company of other flamingos, moving and flocking together on foot. At Slimbridge they are more relaxed. They scatter themselves around the pond.
Did you know that flamingos are only pink because of what they eat? There are actually two flamingo enclosures at Slimbridge, and the Carribean lot are much more orange than pink.
We all know that flamingos have very long legs and necks. As I watch them I imagine getting a headrush as they bend down to the ground and back up again. Rather them than me! When they are standing in the still water it’s impossible to tell where the legs end and the reflection starts. The reflections are one of the best things about taking photos of water birds.
I like the way these flamingos each strike a different pose. It’s as if they are being photographed by Annie Leibowitz or painted by Renoir; one facing this way and another that; one standing and another sitting.
Flamingos for fun
Flamingos have become fashionable recently. There are children’s t-shirts with flamingos on whereas last year it was all unicorns. A couple of friends have bought flamingo inflatables for their holidays. Flamingos are everywhere on pencil cases, biscuit tins and greetings cards. There is something about them which is light-hearted and fun. I think they deserve all their new fans and I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.
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