I've been attempting some bird photography but trying to get close enough to the bird feeders to get shots is not easy, and only the tits would brave feeding with me anywhere nearby. So I managed to persuade my OH to move one of the feeding stations closer to the kitchen window, so I could watch the woodpeckers and hopefully get some better shots. He grumbled about the lawn being trashed and having to move it every couple of days to prevent this, but I won out!
|A Dunnock which actually sat still in a willow tree and posed; unfortunately in willows |
(and many other trees) there are always branches in the darn way!
|Mostly shot through double glazing - clockwise from top left: |
Blackbird, Nuthatch, Starling, and the Dunnock again which was shot outside.
|Before moving this bird feeder this is best I could get at max zoom as it was miles away....|
|And now.... Great Spotted Woodpecker. There is room for improvement if I clean |
the windows and better still when it's warm enough for me to open them,
though the birds might see me then.
|Woody again, this time with a tripod, but still through double glazing.|
No need the caption the following which are lots of blue tits. We have so many of these little cuties there must be eight of them for every great tit. They are the most abundant bird in the garden, and even outnumber the sparrows! What's interesting though is that since we moved the feeder, there seems to be even more birds attracted to it!
After moving the bird feeder, I can get the dogwood in the background which adds an interesting colour to the bokeh! The next two birds are great tits which I find much harder to capture.
Finally managed to get a decent one of a Blue Tit and a Great Tit together!
Since taking this photo my OH has fixed the wobbly metal holding up the feeders and we bought a new fatball holder, which is bigger. The old one has been hung up from an arch near where this home made feeding station originally was. I was feeling a bit worried that I'd moved the food further away from trees, and the birds were still flitting backwards and forwards to the trees for cover whilst eating their beakfuls, expending their precious energy, just so that I could see and photograph them better. But now that there's another lot of fatballs near the trees I feel better. We've also got another feeding station with a seed dispenser and a hanging table, elsewhere in the garden, not far from our boundary hedge and my wiggly hazel tree, which is the one the sparrows like as they like the hedge. I've also counted up to 15 tits on this feeding station at the same time, but six birds is the best I've managed so far in a photo!
|The feeding station is basically a broom handle stuck into an outdoor |
parasol base, with a piece of metal put through the hole
and bent to fit and to hold up the feeders. Voila!
Changing the subject completely, I had an unexpected surprise in the form of this pretty moth. I found it in the spare bedroom where I overwinter my geraniums. I can only guess the pupa came in with the pots and the relative warmth inside (even though they are in an unheated room) caused it to eclose? I believe it is a Plain Golden Y (Autographa jota) although the Y shape marking is more of a blob. These moths should be on the wing from about June to August, not in February!* It must have been thirsty because I had been watering the plants and had some water on my hands, and when I picked it up it started to drink the moisture, and I could feel its proboscis moving around over my hand, which was fun! So I tipped a little more water into my hand and it drunk deeply. As I didn't know what to do with it (putting it outside wasn't an option as it would have died from the cold) I made up some sugar water which I blobbed on a saucer, but I never did see it again.
Thanks to Countryside Tales, who knows a LOT about moths, the correct ID of this moth is the Golden Twin-spot (Chrysodeixis chalcites), which flies as late as November. It is classed as a pest as the larvae eat a number of food crops as well as other plants. Thanks CT!
I've about given up with the gardening now as being active again has caused my tendonitis to flare up, in a new place (from lower back down into buttock! My bloody bum, I won't say it will be the death of me because that's chancing my luck but it's pissing me off!!!), as well as niggling in the old place (thigh). Dammit. It actually got better when I was unable to garden much through the late summer and autumn. I need to review the way I garden as I do far too much squatting and gardening low down as I like to see what's going on, like plants that have self seeded, but the enforced rest period after my op should at least mean it all eases before I attempt gardening again. With a hoe and/or my kneely pad thingy which reverses into a low stool! Though I've just discovered these really cool low garden stools on wheels which also hold your tools, which might be a great idea.....