Good Guys, Bad Guys

The poor old magpie gets a bad press. The truth is, all birds will do whatever needs to be done to ensure survival. Some methods are more overt than others. Some cute, some not so cute. Whatever your survival mechanism, if it involves attempting to raid the nests of (cute) blue tits, then your PR … Continue reading “Good Guys, Bad Guys”

The poor old magpie gets a bad press. The truth is, all birds will do whatever needs to be done to ensure survival. Some methods are more overt than others. Some cute, some not so cute. Whatever your survival mechanism, if it involves attempting to raid the nests of (cute) blue tits, then your PR is going to be dented.

Suppertime at the bird table

I’ve been registered on the BTO Nestbox challenge for years and some years I’m more thorough than others. One nestbox is used year after year by blue tits. Blue South as it’s registered with the BTO, perhaps should be renamed Old Faithfull as it never fails to get used. There’s a webcam that sometimes points … Continue reading “Suppertime at the bird table”

I’ve been registered on the BTO Nestbox challenge for years and some years I’m more thorough than others. One nestbox is used year after year by blue tits. Blue South as it’s registered with the BTO, perhaps should be renamed Old Faithfull as it never fails to get used. There’s a webcam that sometimes points in the general direction but it’s rather a hit or miss affair.

But sitting quietly outside, with beer in one hand, and camera in the other, I am soon rewarded …

Blue tit returning with foodHe (she?) is nervous at first, as he knows I’m sitting there. For a few minutes I was feeling guilty as I could hear the chicks crying for food inside and the adult made a few approaches then flew away again with a series of loud alarm calls. In previous years they’ve soon accepted my presence. When the adult returned for the 3rd time I decided if he spooked out again I’d leave the scene. He didn’t and I managed to get a few nice photos in the fading light.

Meanwhile on the bird table I could see a Jay munching through the dish of the day. Shy birds, I’ve seen them around, but usually fleetingly, and easily spooked. They must be hungry as I managed to get quite close and it seemed remarkably unperturbed. I’m pretty sure it knew I was there as my fieldcraft is not something that would impress Ray Mears.

and getting stuck in …

Gallery from fell and forest:

youngsters at the feeders

I have a webcam pointing at the Blue Tit nest box but unfortunately it gets so much movement ‘noise’ that I end up with skipfuls of images and it’s hard to sort out the good ones and all sorts of empty images get uploaded automatically to my flickr photostream. There’s always the conventional approach of … Continue reading “youngsters at the feeders”

I have a webcam pointing at the Blue Tit nest box but unfortunately it gets so much movement ‘noise’ that I end up with skipfuls of images and it’s hard to sort out the good ones and all sorts of empty images get uploaded automatically to my flickr photostream.

young hungry starlingThere’s always the conventional approach of pointing a real camera at the birds and pressing the button.

This youngster has landed on top of the fat feeders and is screaming at the adult nearby to come and feed him. The adult, however, is older and wiser, and has spotted me nearby and is keeping a wary eye on me.

I do like this picture and its drama with the youngster screeching for attention. But there’s always something nice about getting a photo of a bird on a natural perch. Here’s the same bird again balancing on a bit of hazel:

Starling on hazel

Not as excited this time but a more natural backdrop, which I like.

And every year we get young sparrows that are always good to see. I don’t know where they’re nesting because it’s certainly not the expensive roof terrace that I put up for them years ago and has been ignored every year.

House Sparrow

Bigger versions of these photos can be found in my zenfolio gallery.