Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Three out of six ain't bad

When we made our garden we planned for some bird feeding areas. As I wasn't taking photos at the time the feeding stations were positioned for views from the house, not for good vantage points for photos. To change things now would just be too much hassle, but it does mean I am continually trying to think of ways to get shots of birds with some sort of a background. To blur it properly you really need a gap of several metres. Less and you get the jumble of colours seen below.
Still I had a good weekend getting shots of all 3 species I aimed for, even if I didn't get both sexes of each.
In the garden the female blackcap posed briefly but nicely on a dwarf willow in a pot (positioned next to the dish of cheese).

We've had 2 females (both are featured above) and 2 males over the last week. At least one male was around, but too shy to come down given the limited cover I had. A bonus was the singing dunnock. This is a slight crop, and the branches are a bit intrusive, but for a shy bird quite a good view.
Over at Cannop ponds I got both my brambling and the Mandarin duck I was hoping for.

One day I hope I'll get a brambling shot in enough light to be able to use ISO 200, rather than the 400 I have had to use so far. The Mandarin shot could be a bit sharper, but it was the most interesting view I snapped.

Bonuses at Cannop were the song thrush (damn that twig!) and crow.
The sad feature was the continuing signs of mite disease on the legs of the chaffinches. This poor male was the worst affected I have seen yet - it was like the elephant man the way the legs were so thickened.
PS if you are wondering how I know there are 2 female blackcaps shown above it's because one of them had a slightly thickened left foot which it was favouring.

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