Not at all bothered

It’s always satisfying when you patiently stalk a subject for that elusive photograph. When the creature gets close you take as many photos as you can before it notices you, or flies off. But sometimes they just don’t care. This batch is from the River Ness in Inverness. This heron (Ardea cinerea) got closer, and … Continue reading “Not at all bothered”

It’s always satisfying when you patiently stalk a subject for that elusive photograph. When the creature gets close you take as many photos as you can before it notices you, or flies off. But sometimes they just don’t care.

This batch is from the River Ness in Inverness. This heron (Ardea cinerea) got closer, and closer, and I was thrilled to get some photos, even if they poor evening light makes them it a bit grainy. Then it got so close I could have reached out and touched it. It knew I was there. It just didn’t seem to care. I was miffed.

new kids on the (fat) blocks

As well as the occasional woodpecker, bullfinch and jackdaw, the bird feeders are buzzing with birds, old and new. A closer look shows the gape of the young blue tits amongst the grown-ups.

As well as the occasional woodpecker, bullfinch and jackdaw, the bird feeders are buzzing with birds, old and new. A closer look shows the gape of the young blue tits amongst the grown-ups.

Suppertime
a mixture of birds, old and new

new kids on the (fat) blocks

As well as the occasional woodpecker, bullfinch and jackdaw, the bird feeders are buzzing with birds, old and new. A closer look shows the gape of the young blue tits amongst the grown-ups.

As well as the occasional woodpecker, bullfinch and jackdaw, the bird feeders are buzzing with birds, old and new. A closer look shows the gape of the young blue tits amongst the grown-ups.

Suppertime
a mixture of birds, old and new

I can feed myself

After last night’s observation of an adult male Greater Spotted feeding a juvenile I decided to set up the Big Camera on the tripod with the remote cable release and wait, hopeful to see the same behaviour again. It’s easy to forget the importance of depth-of-field with a fast shutter speed, and I got literally … Continue reading “I can feed myself”

After last night’s observation of an adult male Greater Spotted feeding a juvenile I decided to set up the Big Camera on the tripod with the remote cable release and wait, hopeful to see the same behaviour again. It’s easy to forget the importance of depth-of-field with a fast shutter speed, and I got literally hundreds of photos of a crystal-sharp-focussed bird feeder, and an ever-so-slightly fuzzy woodpecker.

But amongst the fuzzyness there were a couple of nice sharp shots. Of junior. It looks like he (or she) is quite capable of looking after himself.

father and son (or daughter)

There’s nothing like getting a clear, sharp, vibrant photograph of a dazzling bird like the woodpecker to make your day. Sure enough, this is nothing like it. Lots of my favourite photos, however, lack technical merit. So when I glanced out the kitchen window yesterday and saw an adult male greater spotted woodpecker at the … Continue reading “father and son (or daughter)”

There’s nothing like getting a clear, sharp, vibrant photograph of a dazzling bird like the woodpecker to make your day. Sure enough, this is nothing like it. Lots of my favourite photos, however, lack technical merit.

father and son
father and son (or daughter) at the feeder

So when I glanced out the kitchen window yesterday and saw an adult male greater spotted woodpecker at the fat feeder along with its youngster my heart skipped a beat. It’s a great sight and I crept to the window with the compact camera and shot a couple of photos through the grime.

Here you can see the juvenile woodpecker sitting on the top of the feeder, identifiable by the red crown. This redtop will fade away in the months ahead but for the moment it makes the juvenile birds stand out clearly. The adult, with the red spot on the nape of his neck is an adult male. The female doesn’t have this mark. The presence or absence of these red splodges make the sex of greater spotted woodpecker pretty easy to identify.

Just before they flew of I managed to capture a grainy moment where the adult was feeding the youngster a blob of fat from the feeder. It won’t win any photo competitions but I love it!

Adult male woodpecker feeding youngster
An adult male Greater Spotted Woodpecker feeds a youngster

 

Leaving Home

Perhaps, perhaps not. After a bit of fun with some parcel tape and a stick I was hopeful that the motion detection software might only detect motion, and not leaves, wind, sunlight or clouds. No such luck. 10,050 images this evening to browse through. That’s a lot of thumbnails. In amongst them though, some interesting … Continue reading “Leaving Home”

Perhaps, perhaps not. After a bit of fun with some parcel tape and a stick I was hopeful that the motion detection software might only detect motion, and not leaves, wind, sunlight or clouds. No such luck. 10,050 images this evening to browse through. That’s a lot of thumbnails. In amongst them though, some interesting behaviour …

I think what we’re seeing there is an adult feeding a very eager youngster who can’t wait to leave home. It was a hot sunny day today and this thin-walled birdbox faces due-south on a sunny wall. (There are plenty of other bird boxes to chose from but the blue tits chose this one, year after year. They don’t know that they’re not meant to.)

And every year on hot days like this I fret a little. Far more than the chicks I suspect.

I’m slightly intrigued by that last picture (above). Is it courtship feeding? Or one adult passing food to another to pass into the nestbox?

Then, (after discarding another few thousand thumbnails), it looks like the bold fledgling decides to see the world outside its window.

Sticky Backed Plastic …

… well, not quite. But a big long bit of wood, a (really) heavy planter (which I usually use to sit on), and some parcel tape. Nothing that the BBC Springwatch tech-crew will feel too threatened by but I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself. Sometimes thinking about things too much is a bad idea. I … Continue reading “Sticky Backed Plastic …”

… well, not quite. But a big long bit of wood, a (really) heavy planter (which I usually use to sit on), and some parcel tape. Nothing that the BBC Springwatch tech-crew will feel too threatened by but I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Sometimes thinking about things too much is a bad idea. I wanted the webcam, away from the building, pointing at the nestbox. And I couldn’t work out how to do it. So I went for a walk. Around the garden, and around the garage. And 10 minutes later …

Looking good but despite tweaking with mask files and experimenting with the configuration for motion I still end up with over 10,000 images at the end of the day.

Starling investigates the blue tit nestbox

It must be pretty tough being a blue tit. Yesterday there was a magpie sitting on the roof. Today a starling tried to get in through the front door. The blue tit youngsters must still be in there (I saw an adult with food) and presumably the starling can hear them chirping inside. If the … Continue reading “Starling investigates the blue tit nestbox”

It must be pretty tough being a blue tit. Yesterday there was a magpie sitting on the roof. Today a starling tried to get in through the front door. The blue tit youngsters must still be in there (I saw an adult with food) and presumably the starling can hear them chirping inside. If the image below is going to be typical then leaving home for the blue tits is going to be a dramatic business.

I don’t know if starlings predate blue tit youngsters but I’ve no reason to assume they don’t. The starlings have been keeping an eye and a claw on the nestbox all day. I wonder how this one will play out …

 

rude boys

I’ve worked out that at 3 fat blocks, twice daily, I could easily get through 42 fat slabs a week. That’s alot of fat, and a lot of money, so they have to do with a fraction of that. Even so, every time I blink, the feeder is empty. It seems to be mainly the … Continue reading “rude boys”

I’ve worked out that at 3 fat blocks, twice daily, I could easily get through 42 fat slabs a week. That’s alot of fat, and a lot of money, so they have to do with a fraction of that. Even so, every time I blink, the feeder is empty. It seems to be mainly the starlings feeding their squabbling lazy youngsters …

Although the food is there for the taking the starlings prefer to screech to the adults to have the stuff physically shoved down their throats …

Although, occasionally, they still manage to look cute.

The screeching and squawking comes to an abrupt halt however. Not because the fat has run out, but because the heavies arrive …


you wouldn’t want to mess with that stare.