Great Welsh Parks Series Three

Great Welsh Parks Series Three

Great Welsh Parks Series Three started last night. Here is the link to the iPlayer page.

Great Welsh Parks Series Three – working on The Great Orme

Last night I watched the first programme of Great Welsh Parks Series Three on TV.  It’s always interesting watching something that you have worked on.  All of the memories come flooding back.  Every filming situation is challenging, especially when your time is limited. I’ve written about the stoat sequence before, which was great to do from a wildlife cameraman point of view.  For me the great spotted woodpeckers were another highlight.

Great spotted woodpeckers

While we were filming in the garden near the bottom of the Great Orme Iolo was off looking for interesting wildlife to film.  He came across a family of great spotted woodpeckers that were not long out of the nest. This was a classic example of filming something really quickly.  The chances were that it was a one time event and if we didn’t do it there and then we would never see it happen again. The adult woodpeckers were leading their chicks to a slope of rocky rough grassland.  There they were plucking invertebrates from the soil and the vegetation and passing it on to the chicks. Teaching? Yes, I imagine so.

The sequence

In the programme the sequence is effectively live, though obviously edited.  Iolo is describing what is going on.  In some shots we see the woodpeckers flying from trees to the grassy bank and back again with Iolo talking in the foreground.  John, the director, concentrated on Iolo, while I used the long lens rig to pick up closer shots of the birds.  Okay, I always moan, but we were working at speed.  The grass was very spongy, and try as I might I couldn’t get a really firm tripod position.  However, the results aren’t too bad, and the action itself of the adult woodpeckers feeding their chicks on the ground is one of the special moments in the series.