Sunday, 14 February 2010

Speed-birding on a Saturday morning...

...otherwise known as having just over an hour to kill before having to go to work, spotting a goldfinch and loads of other birds in the garden, and thus deciding to spend that hour birding!

This particular Goldfinch was part of the charm (I was apparently wrong to call them a "flock" the other day) of Goldies which has been feeding from the ash tree in the garden for the past week or so.  Perhaps it was the group scout, as it was the first and only of the group to come and investigate the new Niger seed feeder we've introduced for their delectation.  Hope it liked them and reported back to that effect!

Managed to get one crappish shot just to prove it was there :)

After this individual flew off, I glanced around the rest of the garden and noticed an unusually high amount of bird activity - including a first for this garden: not just one, but a pair of stunning Bullfinches!  Sadly in my over-excited haste to run back to the window with my bins, I scared them both off.  Yep, I'm a crap birder!  Gutted, as I've never seen a pair together anywhere, and have never seen a Bullfinch anywhere near the garden.  They did seem to be eyeing up the feeders though, so I'm hoping they'll return...

So this is why I spent my spare hour yesterday morning watching the garden - I was hoping the Bullfinches would return.  However, as I said there were loads of other birds around, so I decided to try and get a shot of every species I could see.  And here they are (again no great shots in this bunch - too far away, poor light, etc etc...):

Wood Pigeon
Great Tits on a wire

Blue Tit
Coal Tit


Housesparrow (female) chillin with Blackbird

Dunnock with Blackbird

Female Housesparrow (L) and Dunnock (R) - spot the difference!

Housesparrow pair

That's nine species captured on one garden in a short space of time - nature rocks :)  And of course there were the Bullfinches, as well as a Magpie, a Collared Dove and a Rook which I didn't manage to shoot.  Looking forward to next time I have an hour to kill!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

I'm back - and with Goldfinches in my garden!!!

Well folks, it's been a while.  I've gone from being (very) part-time self-employed to being that and full-time employed - and I'm finding it's taking up rather too much of my time!

Certainly it's eating into my birding, photography and generally getting out into the countryside in a major way.  I haven't been able to really do much of any of these for about two weeks.  Hmph! 

So today I returned home, mid-afternoon, and had a quick look in the garden to see what bird action might be taking place.  There was a lone Blue Tit eating from the feeders, and a couple of Wood Pigeons high up in a tree.  I was about to walk away when I noticed a smaller bird even higher up in the same tree.  I couldn't make out its colouring from where I was standing, but something about its shape and the way it moved told me it wasn't one of the regular visitors to our garden.  All of a sudden, it was joined by about 20 more, and I rushed to get my bins.  Yep, it was a flock of Goldfinches - my favourite favourite bird.  Just a tad excited!!  Of course I've seen loads of Goldfinches before, but never in my back garden - and certainly not in these numbers.  I was able to get a few record shots, but that's all:

For a while I was hoping that they'd venture down to the feeders so I could see them close up.  However, upon closer inspection it became obvious that they had plenty to feed on in the tree.  Buds, I presume, or some sort of insect?  If anyone can enlighten me I'd be grateful!  As I said, I've never seen them in this garden before, and they've obviously found something delicious, which is great :) 

So, that's my day made!  Now if only I didn't have to go to work at 6:45 tomorrow morning, I could hang out here and see if they return...