Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 projects kick into life

I'm making a start on a couple of woodland bird projects.  One is in a small woodland a stone's throw from where I live.  Our community group have permission to undertake a bit of woodland management including the setting up of a feeding station.  Early days but we have already had marsh tit pair in and I know there are a good mix of birds around.  The other week one of the marsh tits came so close when I was walking the dog I took a snap with my pocket camera!

 Hopefully we'll have a birdbath/drinking pool/reflection pool soon too. 

Project 2 is set up a further away but I have high hopes I might get some hawfinch in.  I had my first session there at the weekend and I'm sure I heard some ticking although it's been a while so my hearing might not be tuned quite right.

The seed I had put down the weekend before had all gone, so it was no  surprise birds arrived not long after me.  Almost inevitably the first was a robin

then the usual tits (blue, great and coal)

and then a nuthatch or two.

I heard siskin and goldfinch, but they'll need a different feeding strategy.  There were some chaffinch around, but they were quite shy and surprisingly it was their northern cousins that showed more clearly.  The trouble with brambling is that they hoover one seed after another making it hard to get a shot that doesn't have a bit of seed somewhere in view.

I didn't have a hide so I was a bit restricted in what I could do without disturbing the birds, and both foreground and background need some work. but I've had a chance to see the way the light works over the morning now so hopefully with some tweaking it'll be better next time.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Nearly - not quite

I'd read that goosander had been seen at a few sites in the Forest of Dean. In my experience they tend to be pretty shy, but I thought I'd have a go. On arrival in the early light I could see some birds were present, but as soon as they saw me they swam strongly away.  I tucked in and hoped they might come back, which one male did, albeit briefly.  3 females looked as though they might come, but then a dogwalker appeared and they were off - not just swimming but airborne.  Not a great shot but a start I suppose.

After that a bit of a tour around and I headed for Cannop Ponds - possibly a goosander, but more likely a mandarin duck or two.  The light was interesting although not ideal, and the birds were quite shy (except the swan!).  I snapped away and the light did provide some variety.  I quite liked some of the little grebe shots through the reeds, but no prizewinners.  Best viewed in larger size by clicking a pic or going to the web album.

As I was packing up I snapped one of the local nuthatches on the seat post feeding site,

then watched some folks chuck in bread for the ducks which came racing over - including some of the mandarins. Dohhh!