Back to my Patch… Brambling beauties and photographing my locals…..

I am always excited to have a new visitor to my feeders and this week, that new visitor has been a brambling! It has been windy this week and I was writing at my desk, when I saw this beauty for the first time, swinging around on a feeder I had suspended from a tree to try to stop the squirrels getting on it! It was a bit of a fairground ride, so I decided to move the feeder, even if it meant the squirrels could then access it.

I mounted the feeder next to my owl tree as it was protected from the worst of the weather and could be viewed b the PTZ camera that I use up this end of the garden. Its ability to pan, tilt and zoom gives me the flexibility to change and move the feeders around. It only took about half an hour for the birds to discover where I had moved it to and there were soon lots of visitors back on there. The greenfinch are most common, with the goldfinch and tits also visiting. Within a few hours, my brambling was back…..

Bramblings do not arrive in the UK until late September and most have gone again by late April. Their numbers fluctuate year to year depending on the availability of beech mast in Finland, Scandinavia and Russia where they breed. I had a single individual visit last year as well…. I wonder if it is the same one? Brambling generally like to feed on the ground, often in small flocks with other finches. This individual likes this Matterhorn feeder and is rare feeding on the ground. There are sunflower hearts and black sunflower seed being fed here.

With the light fading, I crept up the garden with my camera this afternoon and managed a few record shots. I hope it hangs around!

I also mounted a far bar next to this feeder and this has attracted the Great spotted woodpecker in. This is the female as she has no red on the nape of her neck.

I also hung a couple of new feeders from CJ this week. The left hand one has pink suet fat cylinders and these are loved by the tits, especially the long-tailed tits. I felt this feeder was a little slippery, so I wound some ivy around it to give them something to hang on… they love these fat cylinders! The other feeder is a Darwin feeder and I really like it. It’s clear perspex roof protects the contents, but allows light in, which is great on my cameras. The base is a metal grill and the whole thing is easy to clean. I put some seed and half a fat bar inside and the birds were very quickly using it….

It’s been a bit quieter at the waterhole. There is a lot of water around, so less need to come and drink here, maybe. The black birds are still enjoying using it for their daily bath though. It is important to bathe regularly to keep feathers in tip top condition in the winter particularly.

My snack bar is mostly visited by blue tits and the robin and blackbird. This week a few goldfinch popped in to visit as well…

… and a few sparrows are starting to check it out too….

Today, the light was quite soft late morning and the blackthorn hedge is bare and a soft beige/pink colour. It seemed to enhance the vibrancy of the blue tits, who perch here before alighting on the snack bar. Photographing from my son’s bedroom, I tried to capture them and their perky little characters….

Sparrows are quite unusual visitors here, but I have about 6 house sparrows visiting this area now. Their hiring reminds me of my childhood in London and I love these little birds, even if they are not as bright and vibrant as the tits. The male did not perform today for me, but this female stayed long enough for a few shots…

 

The robin is always around and was happy to pose….

Moving up to my hub, to try to capture the brambling, the light was fading and I shot these images on a high ISO . Long tailed tits are one of my most favourite of garden birds. Like tiny feathered lollipops, they flit in, as a gregarious group, chattering to each other. Who doesn’t love a long-tailed tit?

It has been a while since I have to my camera out. I have a lot of projects on the go at the moment and I just haven’t got around to doing what I actually love most.. photographing the wildlife right outside my window! As much as I also love photographing more unusual species, I still get the same pleasure capturing images of the most common of species…..