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!


  1. That's a lovely assortment for an hour in the garden. Let's hope you get the chance to spy on the Bullfinches again and any shot will be worthwhile as they are a difficult species to get close to. Well done..rock on. FAB.

  2. A great assortment in a short time Estelle. I'm very envious about the Bullfinches, they used to be such a common sight in the garden when I was a child and irritated my parents immensely by stripping the buds off the fruit trees but the only one I have seen in years was a fleeting glimpse of a male in the garden early last year.

    Lovely to see the Coal Tit, I find it difficult to photograph them as they never stay still for long.

  3. Well done Estelle.
    We do have a pair of Bullfinches visit our garden but not on a daily basis...unless of course I miss them. They are one strange bird to photograph as Frank said you cannot get close and when you do manage a shot it is often a let down. I also agree with Jan about the Coal Tit.