Thursday, 7 January 2010

Thursday 7th.January 2010

The workday up on Hayes Common was cancelled yesterday evening , mainly on H&S grounds and the threat of even more snow .
So my first decision this morning was 'in or out' . Given that all bodies of water would be frozen over and the ground completely covered with ice and frozen snow , I thought on balance , another day at the back bedroom window would be the most productive option . As it happened , I feel sure that I made the right choice , as 18 of the 19 species recorded yesterday , Wren being the exception , returned to the garden today , to be joined by 6 species that didn't show up yesterday . The usual garden species showed up as soon as the food went down , these included
the Robin , who thinks he owns the whole garden , and everything in it , and one of the pair of Coal Tits that seem to have been in the garden for most of the winter , and seem to have taken a real liking to the home made seed and fat feeder . After a no show yesterday , two male Blackcaps turned up for breakfast on the Callicarpa , one of them staying all day , and finding that a few gymnastic moves , provided the best tasting berries from the ends of the branches .
It wasn't too long before the jingling chat of the Goldfinches filled the air , as they came in good numbers to feed . Mid-morning provided the greatest excitement , when I just happened to look at the Callicarpa bush to see if the Blackcap was around , when I spotted my first Brambling of the year , a male sitting in the middle of the bush , thinking tentatively about joining the throng of Chaffinches feeding on the path . I managed to get three shots of him , and as I went for the fourth , he was gone from the viewfinder , I did get one other longer distance shot a bit later when he was in the Tamarisk , but he was scared off by a Jackdaw , not to be seen again today .
Very few Redwings were seen , Fieldfares did better with two hovering about the neighbouring gardens and a flock of 8 and a second of 15/20 , noisily flying over . I wished the Cotoneaster berries weren't covered in last night's snowfall , they might have spotted them and stopped . There again , there must some food left for when the Waxwings arrive ! One of the Fieldfares did come down to the ground , but was very nervous , moving all the time , but did settle for a second on a pile of snow , obviously to rest one leg . A spell of afternoon sun provided more excitement , when a Song Thrush flew up from the garden next door and posed for quite some time in the said sunshine . What could be better than that I thought to myself . Well , 15 minutes later , a movement down by the side of the rockery , turned out to be , probably the same Song Thrush , knocking seven bells out of a snail shell on a rock , to get at the meal inside .
All in all , I feel quite happy with my morning decision , I just wish the same could be said for some of the ones I've made in the past .
Now , in answer to fellow Blogger's questions -
I've always felt that my old camera was good on close ups , Dragonflies , butterflies etc , but the lens was not so keen on fur or feathers , and it always bugged me , so I started saving for a replacement .
The 'new gear' , is a Canon 500D , and after a lot of reading and head scratching on which lens to put with it , decided to go for a second hand off eBay , Canon EF 100-400mm. L Ultrasonic , Image Stabilizer lens , which I think is absolutely brilliant . I just hope that in time , I can get my head around getting the best from the pair of them . I am also looking for a Macro lens to make my 'new gear' complete .
And thank you for the kind comments on my first few efforts .


Adam said...

Hi Greenie

Well done on the Brambling - nice when you just look out your window and get a goodie like that. I'm still looking! Few more reports of Waxwings up north today so I'm on red alert. Nice Song Thrush pic.


Simon said...

Like Adam I like the Song Thrush photo. We get very few Bramblings on the east side of Maidstone - would love to have one visit my garden!

Snap! - I use the same lens! The Macro lens I use is a Canon Ultrasonic Ef 100mm Macro f.2.8, and I highly recommend it.


Warren Baker said...

Hi Greenie,
Garden birding doesn't get much better than you had today!

There are very few Brambling around at the moment, so you've done well with you bird.

Anonymous said...

The comments are well deserved Greenie.