Suddenly very busy

As the weather has chilled the number and variety of birds visiting the garden has really taken off. (Well they do have wings).

I’ve probably complained before about my compact camera with auto zoom not letting me select a sharp focus on birds in trees or against a certain backgrounds. I was lent a more expensive camera with manual focus and a 70-200mm lens. Great clear shots but too small! But surprise, surprise, my wee Canon has manual focus too. I just need to learn to use it.

One chap who has not been easy to photograph is the coal tit. He seems less common than the blue tits and great tits, but he’s quite distinctive. Here’s a rogues gallery:

Blue Tit
Great Tit
Coal Tit

You can see the coal tit’s “Mohican” white stripe and chin whereas the great tit’s are completely black.

The woodpecker is now almost a permanent feature, especially on the fat ball.

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

As are the nuthatches.


The chaffinches scurry about in the leaves, superbly camouflaged, the sparrows just get more and more numerous. I moved the ring on the feeder so that the magpie couldn’t reach the fatballs. So he now just pretends to be a (very big) blue tit.

Keep warm. The snow is coming!

ps. Will try and get more mobile phone friendly in future!


Autumn again

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since May! Well it’s time to feed the birds again, which has led to a flurry of activity in the garden.

At first it’s only the sparrows who find the fresh seed.

But soon the tits start joining in

Then the big guys are then not far behind:Note the magpie has already detached a fat ball!

Robins are fiercely territorial so it was a surprise to see two in the same square meter. They faced off and only one stayed!

It was also interesting to try and catch the nuthatch as they seem to be unable to approach a food source without going downhill to it….

Last year we bought a ring for fat balls. This stops the magpies and squirrels running off with the balls. It also means that the autofocus has a clear frame and gives me a better picture.

One last tip if your autofocus is a nuisance. Pick a tree trunk at the same distance and focus (light press on shutter release) Then keep your finger lightly pressed down until you’re ready to click on your main shot. (it only took me years to think of this! it’s probably in the manual, but who reads that 🙂