Friday, March 21, 2014

Back to puddles

A few years ago I spent a couple of seasons lying next to some woodland puddles.  Not the best environment in terms of backgrounds, but 24 species made it fun, and there were plenty of photos - you can see them here.  What I did find though was that rain just killed the action.  If the birds had no trouble finding a drink/bath they didn't use the puddles, so although I had thought about revisiting the site this winter the overall sogginess suggested it wouldn't be worth it ..... that and the fact that some other photographers found the spot 2 years ago and trashed it by cutting back the vegetation.  It might have helped the snapping but it removed the security - birds drinking and bathing tend to be twitchy, no doubt feeling vulnerable.
However in our local wood I had made a raised drinking pool modelled on the one David Whistlecraft showed me at his hide in Norfolk - here.  As this was next to our feeding station I hoped it would have more chance of bringing the birds down.  Early days, but some success.  Hopefully the treecreeper and some of the larger birds will come while I am there as they gain confidence in the the 'hide' (tent!).  Since these snaps I've 'improved' the infinity branch.  Maybe a chance to try again this weekend.

I also made a small puddle at my other woodland feeding station - an old plastic bin lid dug a few inches into the ground as I can't use a raised one here.  I was pleased to find that the birds are using it.  I have found, as you can see from some of the snaps, that I will need to be more forensic in my tidying up, especially of the pine needles which get disturbed too easily, and can stick up adding a third leg to at least one snap.  Apologies if you spot some rather basic removal of bird droppings - I just did this quickly in Lightroom.  Something else to remember for future tidying!

I have found some old pond liner and will try and make this puddle a bit bigger, with a lower front lip or higher water level, but as I have said before it's a small space and I can't make a clear background, so close-ups it will remain. 
Some more shots in the Picasa albums

No comments: