Bird watching in the garden again

(Entry copied from my WAB blog)

Spent some more time trying to photograph birds in the back garden again today. I’m still trying out new things with my new camera, rather than always relying on the ‘automatic’ mode. As it was such a bright day (glorious blue skies and warm for the time of year), I set on ‘Shutter Priority’ mode and set it to a high shutter speed, with the idea of getting sharper images but with less depth of field.

Blue Tit

Previously when I’ve been taking photos in the garden, I’ve put some bird food out on two large branches on the apple tree where the bird feeders are. Of course, I would then focus on one branch and the birds would visit the other one – I’d refocus on that branch, and the birds would simultaneously switch to the first branch (or so it seemed!). So I just put the extra food on one branch this time. I positioned myself with my camera and tripod about 30 feet away.

Unfortunately not a lot turned up – perhaps I was too close and too obviously visible. Great Tits, Blue Tits and Chaffinches were the only birds that came to feed, and so I at least got some better photos of those. A buzzard flew overhead, and a wren and a robin also appeared in the garden. I managed to get a very distant shot of a Yellowhammer in a tree at the bottom of a neighbour’s garden – it came into our garden and landed on a bush behind the apple tree, but hidden from my view by some branches. I see these birds often on my walks, but it is a very rare visitor indeed to our garden.

Great Tit

Two Collared Doves fluttered low across the garden, and later on I saw a Sparrowhawk fly across the rooftops. But there was no sign of the regular ‘Greenfinch gang’, let alone the Bramblings and Greater Spotted Woodpecker that have visited the garden recently. At least I’d managed to spot a Long-tailed Tit on the feeders while I had my breakfast.

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