5 May 2016

Garden Visitors 2

Following on from "Garden Vistors 1" and "The Rare Garden Visitors" Blogs, this documents the other visitors I have visit on a regular or daily basis. First is the well known Chaffinch. He and his partner spend quite a bit of time in the garden normally hanging around the Cherry Tree for security. These particular shots are quite close to the house on the lawn where some seed had been spilled.

Male Chaffinch

Next up the House Sparrow, used to be very common and frequently nest in our Eaves, then for some reason (as documented by specialists) numbers dropped significantly. The last 2 years has seen them returning and living in my neighbours Rhododendron. A group of around 10-20 spend there time in the Shrub and pop out to our feeder station constantly. I was lucky to get a stunning male once all fluffed up posing...

A right Poser...

All fluffed up

They are so expressive and a joy to watch with their splendid deep Red/ Brown colouration. I'm glad the numbers have increased in my area.

The Blackbird is a stalwart of British Gardens and as such in ours too. Thanks to territory wars each season I have been able to capture (if not perfect) some of this action going on.... It is very challenging to capture due to trying to get 2 birds in one frame and also with their Erratic behaviour too.

The first 2 in the sequence are from 31/5/2014 and the second 2 are just recent to my writing this on 20th January 2016. To get them pin sharp is very tricky but I love how the drama and violence is depicted through the motion in the shots. One of the males is actually pretty tame and just last summer he, his partner and 1 youngster were all tame and were happy to feed on the table on the patio just some 12ft away from me. The next 3 are of this family. The female is particularly petty with a light mottled breast patterning.




They did have a second youngster but sadly it flew into the window and died. Such is life's balance!

On a lighter note, one of the most comical birds I watch is the Jackdaw. The way they move about, scrap with each other and generally get into mischief is just so enjoyable to witness. In the follow 2 photos, we had brush out the dead fur from our Border Collies and I thought as it was nesting time that maybe leaving it out in the garden would provide some activity. Sure enough, he landed not to far from it, looked around to see if it was clear, edged closer, looked again, edged closer, then went straight in, gathering as much as he could carry. He made 5 visits in the end clearing most of it and providing me with some footage too.


Sorry can't chat, got me mouth full!!!

 So this wraps up a few more of life in my garden. There are still plenty more for another Blog or 2 to follow.

10 Feb 2016

The Rare Garden Visitors

Over the last few years the garden has been full of diverse Wildlife. Among the common visitors there has been a few surprise visitors too. This Blog documents them I have captured on camera...

Blackcap 13/4/2013

Starting with the rarest and one time visitor. A Male Blackcap, that for just a morning fed on one of the few Peanut cages. The following year I saw one at my local lake (Seen in Eastwell Lake blog) so this may have been the same bird moving through the area.

Flycatcher 29/9/2014

Flycatcher 29/9/2014

Next to appear was a Fly Catcher. The bird darted about in this Shrub for 30 minutes or so. The next rare, well I say rare, but visits on and off hunting is a Male Sparrowhawk. I finally captured him with the camera February 2015 when he landed on top of the bird table. The piercing stare from his yellow eye clearly visible along with the pristine blue/ grey plumage down his back. Talons so dainty too that defy the image of a formidable hunter.

Male Sparrowhawk 24/2/2015

The latest bird to appear is a Tree Creeper on our Cherry Tree in the garden. He appeared on the 13 January 2016.

Tree Creeper 13/1/2016

Another venturer into the garden was a Red Legged Partridge. Previous to this and unseen by me about 9 had come in, but this occasion just the solo bird. I had 2 quick grab shots from hiding in the conservatory shooting through a very narrow gap in a bush and was lucky to get the following shots...

Red Legged Partridge (also known as French Partridge)

Another colourful bird to appear on the front garden was a female Green Woodpecker. They are normally seen out in the back field feeding on bugs or heard calling in the mid distant trees. There was a youngster around too, but was found dead several days later under our Kitchen window. We couldn't believe how we had 2 young bird deaths in one summer. We put it down to the male Sparrowhawk flying through and spooking them as he was common at this point! 

Feeding by front path

Green Woodpecker female

Last of the infrequent visitors was a Pied Wagtail also at the front of the house. He visited the small feed table we have at the Kitchen window for just 2 days. They are normally out on the village green but one felt brave and made a journey over in front of the row of houses we live in. I love the quirky movements they make, darting about so fast in sporadic directions. Not akin to the dainty design the bird has...

Pied Wagtail on front parking place
Lastly, well not actually in our garden, but flew over the bottom of it was a Red Kite in 2014. I was told by my neighbour of its location he had actually seen it after I said to him we saw it. So we proceeded there that very afternoon and was in luck as it did appear high in the sky. The first of the 2 is the grab shot of it from my bedroom window and the second, if still not great was at the location at Challock, Kent. In fact walking the dogs twice to Eastwell Lake and once in Kings Wood Challock, I have seen one on these occasions too. All when I had no camera with me! Doh!. And at the woods he was really close and low too... just to rub it in!

From Bedroom
Over Challock

Over the years we have had other 1 off's but at those times I did not own a camera. But these are a Snipe, Yellow Hammer and even a Kingfisher stuck in our conservatory!!! More recently just this month too a Grey Wagtail appeared at the edge of our Fish pond, but just as I got to the camera (always set-up ready, but upstairs this time...lol) it flew off and as yet not returning. It really is amazing how diverse the wildlife is in our area over time.