Today, as part of Big Garden Birdwatch, I set myself the challenge to photograph all the species of bird that visited my garden. I must admit, I did not think it would be too big a challenge… a couple of hours and I should have it in the bag….. it proved to be more tricky than I thought!
Firstly, I have quite a big garden and I have lots of different feeding stations… from one end to the other! I started by getting my small hide out. It was a beautiful (if not rather chilly) morning and I set up below the sieve feeders as the early morning sunlight was on them and there are usually a lot of visitors. I sat there for about half an hour and managed one blue tit! I was freezing, so clambered out of the hide and thought I would wander down the other end of the garden. I took the hide with me… but the birds were quite suspicious of it. I should have put it out in the week really, so they could get used to it. Ironically, they were much more willing to come to the feeders with me standing in full view on the patio! In fact, one great tit happily fed on the feeder about 2 metres away!
The most wonderful experience I had today was with my beautiful long tailed tit. Their distinctive chirrupping call alerted me to their presence and they flitted into view, like aerial acrobats, almost magically appearing on one branch, disappearing and appearing somewhere else…. a night mare to photograph! Just as you get them in view and go to press the shutter, they are gone. I had lots of bare branch shots, or just a tail. Again, they were happy to come to the log feeder whilst I stood in full view on the patio! I must admit, I think they are one of my favourite garden birds and I was pleased with the shots I managed to get of them today.
My regulars performed well.. my robins, the goldfinches and dunnocks…
Harder to get good views and shots of today were my nuthatch, the house sparrows and the great spotted woodpecker. The coal tit was very elusive and I only managed one, rather poor back shot. The only species that did not turn up today was the bullfinch. Last week I got some nice shots of a male, but did not see them at all today.
My images can be seen on my BirdWatch Flickr set A slideshow can be seen on my website HERE If you have tried this challenge either today or tomorrow, email me the link to you photos in a Flickr set and I will put them on my website, along with mine. I really enjoyed spending a day with my camera on my favourite subjects… the wildlife in my own patch!!