Tuesday, 16 February 2010

It rained from dawn 'till dusk today, and the worst of the rain was reserved for the afternoon, so I gave up on the idea of a patch walk, and stayed in to watch the garden feeders.

It was so dull and dank I had difficulty seeing the birds at the end of my garden, where most of the feeders are situated, a distance of just 40 feet away. There was, from what I could see, plenty of activity going on this afternoon though, mostly from the common garden species, BLUE TITS peaked at 14, but many many more of these birds visit during the day, GREAT TITS dont hang around the feeders for long, and only peaked at 4 birds, but again, I wouldn't be surprised if 15-20 different ones visited over the afternoon. COAL TITS peaked at two, not so many of them around the local vacinity.

The finch's arrived in small gangs, 14 CHAFFINCH'S, 13 GREENFINCH'S and 5 GOLDFINCH'S all fed together, but even these colourful birds didn't do much to brighten the garden with their wet plumage. The once common HOUSE SPARROWS have been coming back to the garden in bigger numbers since the Sparrowhawk ceased to dine here, a peak of 9 came in today, but thats well down on the 30-40 birds I used to get 5-6 years ago.

On the ground, a peak of 5 BLACKBIRDS fed, with two DUNNOCKS, and two ROBINS making awkward forays to the tube feeders, the COLLARED DOVES, of which there were 7, just ate everything, they are now adept at using all the feeders! Another once abundant bird in my garden - the STARLING was represented by just two birds, they hung from the peanut feeders, but if I put out fat I could get up to a dozen.

The less common birds, but still regular visitors, that used the garden today included; WOODPIGEON, JACKDAW, MAGPIE, a pair of GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS and a pair of NUTHATCH, the only scarce bird to visit was a lone male SISKIN.

All very nice, but i'm not going to find any new patch species for the month or the year in the garden!

I thought I try the 50D camera out in the dire conditions, if I could get a half decent photo today, then it would go a long way to making me part with the cash to buy one. Well I was very impressed, the following shots were taken through a rain splattered window, with the ISO set to 2000 allowing a shutter speed of just 100, thats how dull it was! I think the results are quite good, just think what could be acheived if the light ever improves!

Above is a Robin
Above: Great Tit, below: Blue Tit

Lastly, a full house at the 12 port feeder, mostly Greenfinch, but there is a Goldfinch, and a Great Tit in there!


Pete Woodruff said...

Ahhhh....looks like I'm the first to comment on your post today Warren and my day was only slightly different to yours as I actually did set off on a birding day but I'll let you see the report on Birds2blog 'cos I know you look in on a daily basis and I've thanked you for that and intend to keep on doing so.

Keep up the good work Warren.

Anonymous said...

Is that safflower seed or sunflower? It looks like it could be either. I am surprised you have the feeders so far away from the house. I would try moving them closer if possible. The details in the feathers might be worth it.

Thanks a bunch for visiting my My Birds Blog and for the comment. Sometimes I don't know what to post each day but it is usually something that I just took a picture of that caught my eye. This post is like that. I was experimenting with shutter speed and aperature to see if I could stop motion and it seemed to work in this photo you saw. As you can see I was able to focus on the head and stopped that motion well enough so you can see the tiny spider web caught on the beak of the hummingbird. And the wings are still a blur.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Warren: The photos are very nice. It looks like you need to move to that camera. Any excuse for a improved camera.

ShySongbird said...

Wow! Photos like that in bad light! Mine definitely couldn't do that. Do you use a tripod Warren? I still haven't got around to getting one and the worse the light the more 'wobbly' my photos get even though my lenses have image stabilizers. The Robin is particularly beautiful.

Monika said...

Interesting to read about the changing trends of birds you see in your garden, too. Do you notice differences in the numbers of house sparrows, etc. on your whole patch and the surrounding area or just at the feeders?

Warren Baker said...

Abe, It's Sunflower Hearts

Songbird, I don't use a tripod. I do use some of the customise settings on the camera though, I find it helps, rather than using the auto function.

Warren Baker said...

The house sparrow and starling have both declined on my patch as well as at the feeders, it's mostly due to change in the habitat, and the lack of insectivorus prey in the spring to feed their nestlings.

Chris said...

HI Warren
Here is a deal: You send me some goldfinch and I send you some crossbill ;-) Hope you will get some sun. We are getting some so I went to get pictures of eiders...

The Early Birder said...

I had a similar day here Warren but I still haven't seen a Siskin. The high ISO setting certainly helps to contend with the crap conditions. Chance of a better day tomorrow. FAB.

Anonymous said...

Great pics Warren, considering the gloom.

The only gloomy thing in my neck of the woods, is me. The birding has hit rock bottom.