Having spent most of the day working at my PC, I ‘escaped’ at the end of the day, into to my hub, with my camera. I have a number of feeders that I have set up right outside the window and they are starting to attract more and more visitors. To encourage a few more to the sunflower heart feeder, I attached a large baking tray onto it today. This is a cheap baking tray from the Pound Shop. It is a good size, but had not holes in it. I simply drilled a couple through for drainage. Using a larger drill bit, I drilled a hole in the centre so I could screw the feeder into it.
I drilled a couple of holes at the back so I could cable-tie the tray to the pole to stabilise it a little….
Adding a tray like this is beneficial in a number of ways; Firstly, it cuts down drastically on waste. This feeder is one of my favourites, but the sunflower hearts do fall out of it… and at the price they are, I do not want to waste any! Also, by adding a large tray like this, more species are attracted to the feeder. It is easier to feed from a tray than it is to hang on the feeder. On the whole, the tit family will still hang on the feeder. The greenfinches seem to prefer to sit on the tray if it is there and the goldfinches do a mixture of both. If I am lucky enough to attract the bullfinches here, I have found that they will always sit on the tray in preference to hanging. Having this tray also means the robin can enjoy the feast! These trays are teflon coated, making them easy to clean as well.
I have placed a branch behind the feeders as well, as the birds prefer somewhere to alight before feeding. This can also give me a chance to photograph them. With a limited space here, however, it is difficult to get a clean shot without another feeder in the way.
These feeders are in front of a single pane window… literally right in front… less than a metre and as the hub is dark inside, if I don’t move too quickly, the birds seem oblivious to me.
I am still experimenting, but here are a couple of shots from today… in a relatively short period of time (in between doing other jobs in the hub as well!) They were shot through the window with my 100-400mm lens.
Other shots from my hub can be seen in my Flickr collection HERE