Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More from the Kitchen Door
As I now have a flock of 20 or so goldfich coming in to the back garden, I thought it a good time to replace a perch with some'natural habitat' of teasel heads. They were a bit reluctant to use them at first but a sprinkle of niger seed and they soon got the idea.
In fact they now use them regularly as a perch before hopping across to the feeders.
We had an unusual visitor to the garden recently in the shape of a female chaffinch which is a first in nearly 8 years of living here. I assume this was a migrant that just decided to stop off to refuel for a couple of days.It appears that the robin has firmly established the garden as his territory for the winter.
Checking his favourite perch which has the vague appearance of a statue from Easter Island.
To finish off the female black bird from the spring has returned. She was losing head feathers at that time but now the poor bird has taken on an almost vulutre like appearance.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sunday Dawn

I headed out for a short session at first light on Sunday morning (although that was 8am!!), to see what was around at a local site. The jays are still busy hiding their winter stores of acorns. I came across a kestrel which was allowing me to get in close. First sighting was in a fir tree, although I am not sure who was watching who.
I found the same bird later on amongst the autumn leavesStar bird of the day was a green woopecker. I have seen these birds at this site before but they are very unapproachable and have not got a shot of previously. This shot is a 'record' shot as it is heavily cropped as I still failed to get in close on the bird, but it is my first shot of this species. It looks like I will have to think up an approach plan to get some better shots. As I always say its only a matter of time :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Yew Tree Fun

I recently found a yew tree loaded with berries that is currently being fed upon by large numbers of thrushes and blackbirds. It has been quite difficult shooting the birds in the tree and waiting for one to appear in an appropriate spot to get a shot.
Male blackbird
and the female
Song thrush
The Mistle thrushes that have also been using the tree have mainly been out of range and right at the very top. However, the main species I have really been trying to photograph is the recently arrived Redwing but to date have only managed one decent shot, although that is more than I have had in previous attempts trying for this wary species.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Missing Warbler

A rare Blyth's reed warbler was reported locally at Red Rocks. Its not often I go to rare bird sightings as I prefer to work away from the crowds. Crowded it was, with numerous scopes surrounding the reed bed and waiting for a glimpse. I decided not to bother and wandered further along the reedbed as the late sun was creating great light. I came across a couple of birds in range, a female stonechat.
She was flying between different reed stems and catching flies emerging from the reeds. This is a moment of take-off and en-route to the next insect.
The other bird was a male reed bunting in winter plumage

The warbler will just have to wait until another time.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Raptors and Jays
I always find that it is rare that I go out specifically to photograph rapor species and then tend to be birds that I happen upon on my travels. Two recent such birds are:

A buzzard at the side of the road while working up in Scotland, near Oban.

and a kestrel whilst out searching for some Jays.

Speaking of Jays there are a lot visible at the moment as they are busy burying their winter caches of food. I have been trying to get some shots of them but still not have not got the shot I have in mind. Here are a few examples of the efforts to date.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Nervous Linnet

As a bird photographer you quickly learn which birds are approachable and which will fly off to the horizon if you glance sideways at them. Two very nervous species that spring immediately to mind are grey heron and curlew. Another very difficult species to approach are linnet. I found a flock on a local field busy feeding on dandelion seeds and the presence of a road along side allowed the use of the car as a hide. Even so they where still nervous although the situation was not helped by numerous dogwalkers.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Out Back

Just a few shots from out the back door of the house for this post. There are still plenty of goldfinch coming into the feeders and they are starting to look a lot tidier now after nearly finishing their moult.
Still plenty of young birds arriving in the flock.
No wonder the seed is disappearing so fast. Its not really that fat just fluffed up on a cool morning.

and of course the ever present sparrow flock.

A recent garden arrival that looks like it has set up territory for the winter is this robin.

Unusally for my urban location is the arrival of this grey squirrel that only appear very rarel in the garden.


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