Friday, 15 February 2013

Snowy Garden Birds - 20th Jan

So if you read my last blog you'll gather that I didn't really have much luck with the whole Garden Birds in the snow scenario, I had dreamt of loads of picture perfect images to adorn the fronts of christmas cards throughout the 2013 festive season, and after fridays dismal showing it was clear that wasn't going to be too easy.

So come Sunday, with plenty of snow still on the ground I thought I would give it another bash, I placed my props, a wooden handle fork - primed with mealworms and seed, and a branch from the now forlorn Christmas tree placed strategically near my feeders.

As you can see from the shots below I had some minor success, 6 Hours spent out in the cold, with some pretty indifferent light, but not one shot did I take of a bird on the props placed!  However less of the studio set up and more about the wildlife.

The Blackbirds and the Robins where the main visitors during the snow storm on friday, and it didn't take them long to appear to feed on the extra grub I had supplied, the Blackbirds particularly enjoying a few apples I had cut up and put out in the hope of drawing down a hungry Fieldfare. Plenty of Fieldfare flew over and even a couple landed in the trees at the bottom of the garden but none brave or hungry enough to venture down for a feed.

Cock Blackbird
Female Blackbird
As the occasional flurry of snow decided to fall, the feeders started to hot up with 6 or 7 ravenous Blue Tits visited on a constant cycle, occasionally joined by 2 or 3 bullying Great Tits. This as always causes the smaller birds to scatter and there I was primed finger on shutter ready for a shot on my spruce! Not to be although I do quite like a few shots I got of a patiently waiting Blue Tit sat on some of mothers garden trellis.

Blue Tit
The smallest of the visitors was the Marsh Tit, they seem to adopt the grab and run technique, getting some seed before zooming off into the trees with their morsel, this made photographing them pretty tricky, luckily one had to wait its turn on the feeder so paused momentarily on the frame of the dog kennel.
Marsh Tit
If ever a garden bird arrived Mob handed its the Long-tailed Tit, one appears then within seconds the feeders are teeming with 7-8 noisy birds. I would say they were probably the most numerous and frequent visitor, and a little more willing to pause for pictures, again none landing on the props.

Long-tailed Tit

So the main purpose of my photography session in the garden was to try and get some nice natural looking wintery Robin pictures, I finally managed to get the conditions I wanted just no willing subjects, well not on a natural perch anyways.


With all the action going on above on the feeders, it was pretty inevitable that some birds would be benefitting from the falling seed, the Pied Wagtail is an occasional visitor to the garden, but on this occasion present all day long zooming in to grab a few morsels before vanishing then re appearing 2 or 3 minutes later. The local Chaffinches also used this ploy although they didn't stick around long enough for a photo.

Pied Wagtail

Spending that much time in the garden you tend to pay attention to everything flying by, flying over or passing through. Jay, Woodpigeon, Buzzard, Red Kite, Kestrel, Pheasant, Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher & Little Egret all seen at some point during the day from the garden seat.

So not a completely dead loss, Im quite happy with a few shots considering the light was pretty poor for the entire weekend. 

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