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 .
3 hours ago