Monday, 6 December 2010

Feeding the birds!

In November I posted a photo of the nasturtiums that I had reluctantly removed from my garden when they began to take over the paths!

In the background were the fallen apples, that I leave for the blackbirds and I was beginning to wonder what was happening as there was no sign of the birds - until last week when we had snow!

We didn't have a lot of snow, compared to Scotland and the North-East of England but it was enough to cover the apples and, as we had some of the lowest temperatures in the UK, presumably to freeze them too!  So I thought they would be useless to the birds in their hidden and frozen state.

But that was precisely when the blackbird appeared, accompanied by a second male blackbird and a female and they tucked into the apples with enthusiasm!

I'm absolutely no bird photographer! Apart from anything else, any birds that I spot through my kitchen windows are well gone by the time I open the door! And my new camera can cause me problems in some light conditions as I can't alway see what I'm photographing! So my first attempt to catch a blackbird enjoying an apple (above) was pure chance! And so was my second -

I did a little better with the sparrows up high in the apple and pear trees because I could more or less see what was going to be in the picture -

But it took a lot of standing very still in the snow without a coat or boots on, waiting for the birds to return after they'd fled when I opened the door! I wish we could puff up our feathers like this one, to keep ourselves warm!

The following day I noticed from inside that there were not only the blackbirds and sparrows in my little fruit trees, but two blue-tits and two thrushes as well! The only thing missing in the pear tree was the 'partridge'!

I think I could get quite hooked on this bird-watching. I've never known a tiny garden with so many different birds. There's a robin too and some nights I can hear an owl very close by, though I've never managed to see it. And I'm sure the birds in Wales sing more sweetly, in good Welsh tradition, than anywhere else! Maybe it's a consolation for not having a cat these days?

But I realise that I need to improve my photography somehow, especially when I see the wonderful bird photos that Jean posts on her blog!

Maybe, one day, I'll have a go at painting them instead!


Ulla Hennig said...

Thanks for sharing those beautiful photos! And I am looking forward to see some bird paintings!

Jean said...

Hi Judy, Dang... I think you did a great job taking these photos!!! Sure hope you continue to watch and photograph the birds.
I take 95% of my bird pictures though a window. I "set the stage" with feeders and one birdbath. Then sit here and wait for the birds to comfort. Maybe you could do the same.
Thanks for the link and Happy Birding!:)

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Ulla - I hope to do better with the photos in future! I certainly won't get around to trying bird paintings this side of Christmas but maybe some robins for next Christmas!

Hi Jean - thank you for your encouragement; as I said, I hope to better in future.

I was afraid to take photos through the window in case the flash shone on the glass, but I suppose I could turn the flash off!!! If I go outside, it's not helped by the fact that my door is stiff in winter and takes a bit of opening - and then all the paths are gravel so impossible to tread quietly (but if that applies to burglars too, it's all to the good!)

Polly said...

Oh I love the blackbird! Can't remember when I last saw one. We don't hear very many songbirds over here, at least nothing like the show the English (and Welsh) birds put on. I actually downloaded a recording someone made in their English garden, a blackbird singing it's heart out in the rain, accompanied by church bells. It's just SO England.

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Polly - that sounds like a very typically English (or Welsh!) recording! I hear the church bells in the distance from my garden and I always think there's something very special about it.

Do find that the internet helps by making you feel more in touch with England or does it make you homesick?

Country Mouse Studio said...

I love the photos and seeing what kind of birds you have. Sorry about the snow and cold, hopefully it won't last too long and I'm looking forward to bird pictures too. Looking for birds becomes addictive but it is a great hobby.

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you, Carole - I do believe it's getting a bit warmer today! The blackbirds were up before I was, breakfasting off the apples!

I hope I don't get addicted to birdwatching - I'd never get any work done!

Coincidentally, Jackie Walker published a blog post about birds feeding off leftover apples on Monday too so I've put the link to her post in today's post (iPhone cases) for anyone who's interested.

Wanda said...

What a Great Story! Your photo's are Lovely...Great Captures!

Polly said...

The internet helps a lot with homesickness, Judy. I used to feel completely cut off but now a quick google search and home is right there. I expected to miss family and certain foods but was really surprized to find how much I missed the birds, church bells and the late night Shipping Forcast on radio 3, of all things!

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Wanda - thank you for your comments (I did reply yesterday but somehow my reply disappeared!)I hope my bird photos will improve but, in spite of waiting very patiently, I've so far not managed to catch a blackbird in the act of pecking the apples! They seem to be able to hear the sounds of my camera as it zooms in, even through closed windows!

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Polly - I think it's often very surprising what things we miss that we took for granted when they were available to us. But thank goodness for the internet, though at present it can't replicate fragrances and aromas and they are sometimes the most evocative at all. Maybe one day...?