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Archive for the ‘birds’ Category

Four Goldfinches on nyjer feeder

Saturday, April 10th, 2010


I’ve managed to capture four Goldfinches on the nyjer feeder. The feeder was moving in the breeze like a pendulum, so a little difficult to manual focus with me gear! Photographed at a distance of 50 feet. Not as crisp a focus, as I would like, I’m waiting for an additional eyepiece which will magnify the viewfinder image, so I can sharpen the focus on the ’scope before remotely firing the shutter. The viewfinder produces a small, dark image and I cannot be sure if it’s in focus.

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Single Goldfinch on Nyjer Feeder

Sunday, February 28th, 2010





My latest efforts at closeup photographing of the birds in my garden. These photographs are still not perfect, but I’m discovering and learning new things about photography with my Digital SLR, now that it’s not in Automatic and I don’t have Auto-Focus either!

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Illegal bird killing in Malta

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Migration is one of the most amazing stories from nature. Every year, hundreds of species of birds make astonishing journeys from one part of the world to another and back again. And some end up in the UK, including swallows.

From the cape of South Africa swallows fly north the length of Africa, averaging 200 miles every day. Most pass over the Namib and Kalahari deserts to the Gulf of Guinea on Africa’s western coast, eating insects on the wing.

Then comes the difficult journey across the Sahara. Buffeted by sandstorms and with few insects to sustain them, they struggle to get to the other side of this vast desert.

Once across, they follow three main ‘flyways’ over the glistening expanse of the Mediterranean sea to southern Europe and eventually, after 7,000 miles, to the place where they were born. Often to the same village. The same barn. The same nest as in previous years.

A truly remarkable feat.

swallow180_tcm9-174734Unfortunately, some swallows never make it that far. Their route takes them to the coastline of a small island - Malta - where they stop, feed, rest…and are shot. Just for the sheer pleasure of it.

Last September, volunteers from BirdLife Malta and another bird conservation group found the remains of over 200 birds hidden in an area of the Mizieb woodland, which is used as hunting grounds.

The bodies, which ranged from freshly killed marsh harriers to bones that appeared to be several months (maybe years) old, were located in stashes under rocks, in crevices and under rubbish. The remains also included honey-buzzards and hoopoes.

Sign the petition here or

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The one that got away!

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Bird's gone!

Bird's gone!

I know it doesn’t look very special, and it was the first rushed shot, when daylight was fading this evening, and there was a Long Tailed Tit on my nuts. But the special thing about this photo was it was taken with my Digital SLR attached to my spotting ’scope. The bird feeder was 100 metres from the position of the camera.

I hope to get some birds on the next shots!

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Big Garden Birdwatch Results

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

I’ve just spent the last hour doing the Big Garden Birdwatch, from 09:50 - 10:50, and here are my results (it’s not too late if you’ve not done it, but too late for Self-Assessment Tax Return!)

  • Blackbird - 4
  • Blue tit - 3
  • Chaffinch - 3
  • Collared Dove - 11
  • Goldfinch - 10
  • Great tit - 1
  • House sparrow - 31
  • Starling - 44
  • Crow - 12
  • Bullfinch - 1

I now know why, the bird seed gets eaten in one day!

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Big Garden Birdwatch, 30 - 31 January 2010

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Why not spend an hour this weekend filling the bird feeders and taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, 30 - 31 January 2010. Watch the birds in your garden or park for one hour and record the highest number of each species you see at any one time.

Counting birds each year is very important. Information from the Big Garden Birdwatch over the past 30 years has produced valuable scientific data. Comapring the fugures helps us determine which birds are doing well and which are struggling, and so need some action to help them.

I’ve topped up my feeders for this weekend, have you!

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Thursday, September 10th, 2009

As promised a few months ago, these are pictures of the Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) which patrols our garden chasing the sparrows. I finally spotted it again today on my neighbours aviary (full of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus)), so I quickly ran for the camera (already on tripod), fired a few shots, and then realised I needed to change to a zoom lens. So quickly replaced with a 300mm zoom lens and took a few more, before it flew off.

Sparrowhawk on aviary No.1

Sparrowhawk on aviary No.1

Sparrowhawk on aviary No.2

Sparrowhawk on aviary No.2

Sparrowhawk on aviary No.3

Sparrowhawk on aviary No.3

300mm zoom lens is the largest I have (it’s not image stabilized either)

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Goldfinch Update

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Here’s a small video clip of the Goldfinches visiting the feeder in my garden.

I now get four Goldfinches regularly visiting the feeder everyday. The only problem is being a 2 port feeder, they squabble over which bird gets the food, as can be seen in the video clip. Video clip is taken about 30 feet from the feeder, they get spooked if I’m closer. Time for a larger feeder!

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Bird Table repair

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

The bird table feet and support have rotten away, so it’s time to repair with some odd bits of wood, I have in the wood shed.

As you can see, the bird table has no base.

But, I’ve got wood, hammer, screws, jigsaw, paint and a chiesel! We can rebuild it!


Bird Table fixed

Bird Table fixed

Well it won’t win any carpentry awards, but it’s fixed and painted, and at least it stands up again.

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Goldfinches on feeder - “The Movie”

Monday, April 27th, 2009

I only posted one photograph of the Goldfinches on the feeder yesterday, I didn’t want to bore you with too many photos. With the remaining photographs which were taken between 30 seconds - 1 minute intervals, I’ve created a short time-lapse 4 second movie clip. Here it is:-

I could have just created a movie from the digital video camera, but where’s the fun in that!

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