A week on the trailcam

6 to 12 Aug 2020

I moved the trailcam. This turned out to be a good move. I moved it near a water trough and at around ground level. This spot isn’t visible from the house, or the garden for that matter. Quite secluded. It has proved to be a popular drinking spot.

There are lots of moulting magpies. Or perhaps just one moulting magpie. One moulting magpie looks pretty like another to me. It’s also possible that it’s a juvenile. There are a few sequences of a blackbird feeding its youngsters, (4:00 and 7:05), with what appears to be some peanuts that I’d scattered on the ground. Although they look pretty scrunched up I think I’ll keep the peanuts in cages until the birds are a bit bigger. A few long-tailed tits show up from time to time. I love the whirring their wings make when they fly off.

Some interesting blackcap behaviour at 4:33, where a female, possibly juvenile, blackcap approaches a female chaffinch. I don’t know what’s going on there. Perhaps it’s a juvenile looking for food. It also illustrates a conundrum I occasionally have with the Garden BirdWatch scheme. If I observe a bird on the trailcam, but not from my usual watching positions, do I add it to my records?

The juvenile greater spotted woodpecker is a regular visitor, at 8:56, then 9:58 visible on the fat-block feeder in the background, then at the water trough at 15:23, 18:03, 18:28 and 18:58. There’s a nice catch of a male bullfinch in the sunlight at 14:33.

I’ve moved the camera again. When the birds are perched on the nearside of the trough they’re just a little out of focus so I’m guessing it’s just a shade too close to the camera. And the trough needs filled. Poor birds are having to bend down a long way to get to the water. The other thing I may try and adjust is the timer. The default recording period is 10seconds, but in theory this should extend if activity is being detected, but in practice this doesn’t always happen. This can be a little frustrating if there’s activity on the camera and the recording suddenly ends.

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