Sunday, October 30, 2016

Soome birds are very cautious.

Jackdaws and Magpies will not linger at the feed point on the lawn. I provided a hide to mislead them. Although the camera was evident they took no notice of it. Even the clicking noise was
ignored. A magpie that had landed at the lawn top sauntered down to the food and picked out, - not hurrying a bit - but taking its time to pick out its choices.
I got several shots of it, whereas previously one picture was all I could get before it flew off.
Sometimes even without taking anything.

A jackdaw was the next visitor followed by a small Gull.

The Jackdaw decided it was going to stick it out and feed on the spot. 

The gull however decided that size meant a win. Although it frequently gets forced out by the larger Herring Gulls if I don't manage to shoo them away; against the jackdaw it was victorious.

The jackdaw was forced out taking its choice with it. The Litlle Gull settled down to its feast; until it in turn was 'outed' by a pair of herring gulls. I could not show myself in the impromptu hide and so for once they managed to get away with it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Jackdaw flight

I noticed in the week that the jackdaws showed when looking out of the back door. I set up this morning with the A77 on my tripod pointing to the sky.

                           Again the flight was spread out for quarter mile at least

It surprised me because I just had not realised they had so large a sky covered.

I must try again with the camera set to manual focus. I pressed the shutter cable as soon as I saw them but the focus took just enough time so they were almost past before the Continual shutter started. As it was the setting was on high so it would have been around 6 frames per second.
For the best view click on the picture and it will go to full screen

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Gulls and Magpies don't mix.

                                                            So one of us must leave town.

There was a face-off on Friday when a little Gull and a magpie arrived together although from different directions to have a go at the food on the lawn.

                                                    Although it didn't last very long

When it came to heavyweight versus flyweight the Magpie soon moved out. I did manage to get a pic of it crouched just before it sprang into the air and away though.

                                            The Little Gull adopted the normal activity

You just stand as though resting; yet keeping your eyes open in case of trouble. Then having selected the piece you wanted (the largest you could spot) you sprang forward and grabbed it quickly and took off with your prize.

                                            I managed to get a shot 

I had the shutter set to 3 frames a second 10 shots if you keep your finger down. Continual Auto Focus at 1/200th. ISO was 400. As soon as I saw a movement I pressed the button. Even so all I got was one shot with the bird in it and two or three with a bare lawn. In spite of never chasing off the Little Gulls they just can't seem to realise that they are welcome. Herring Gulls and the Black-backs I don't let feed if I can chase them off. They aren't content to take a crust and fly off with it. They stop and gobble the food down without giving other birds a chance.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Autumn Dance.

The leaves dance across the grass
the yellow ash and red creeper
twirled and spun as the wind caught them
and made them dance. Now they rest.
Autumn has come and leaves drop
from the tree and the vines.
Their day is done; their duty performed
the ash keys will also fall in time.
Even now black patches show
at the top of the tree as they wait,
for their time to fall in turn.
Maybe to fulfil the fate awaiting them
and grow new trees in turn,
or to rest upon the compost heap
in the corner, rotting away
next year will see another story
as history repeats itself.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Got a jackdaw.

At last I've managed to catch a jackdaw. A solitary bird arrived and flew in without warning.
It had not prospected from the roof top because it was choosing on the ground.

                                        It looked around and sought out a large crust

Decided it was not going to loose out to other birds. The crows had not yet arrived and it had plenty to pick from.

                                                      Tried a small sample

Picked up the crust and flew off before I could get another shot. Promising though. Caused me to try a different approach. I set up my very small tripod with the setting on the SLT A55 I decided to use, at multiple exposures on slow at 10 frames per second.
When the crows arrived the sound at first made them hesitate but as they found it was just noise they soon ignored it.  It was fairly quiet because there was no flapping mirror.  Managed to get a series to sort through.  
Magpie arrived after they were gone but didn't like it and flew off. I think it didn't approve of the tripod showing close to the door. I will have to wait and see what happens today.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

What a Surprise !

Magpies are always very cautious. To my surprise there is one that is visiting my bird lawn.

                                  A careful inspection at first.

I reckon it was thinking to itself "This is too good to be true"
I had the camera ready while waiting for my friendly crows, now up in numbers to three. When this bird arrived for the first time to prospect around with my door open.

                                             I froze and waited

I expected that it would realise that I was there, only about nine or ten feet away; with the space between us wide open.
I took another shot, It was too busy sorting a few tasty morsels to worry about me.
Previously it had dived in snatched a beak-full and fled. This time it was lingering and sorting out what it wanted.

                   Two large bits were as much as it could cope with.

Unlike the couple of Jackdaws that do not linger, the magpie having decided that it is safe (I hope) 
may perhaps, become a regular feeder.
The Jackdaws have been regular but settle on the roof I think, to select what they will take; then they swoop in, quickly snatch up their choice, and are gone.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

It happens every morning.

Each morning as it gets light the jackdaws fly up from further south where they roost each night.
In groups numbering into the hundreds they make their way up to Clevedon. Then here some split and go on to Portishead area while others scatter through the town here.

I set my Sony A77 camera to 16,000 ISO and waited patiently. Suddenly without any warning they skimmed past above Treefield Road.
I managed two shots; the second one catching the tail enders.

They don't linger and in 15 seconds they had gone. They, unlike crows congregate and roost overnight in great gangs, like starlings do - although not in such numbers - there is safety in numbers it seems.
I must try again, camera ready next time; I must have missed the first half of the flight. 

                                         Tried again for a better shot.

Tried again for a better shot. Set the camera to high speed continual shooting.

                    As you can see the spread of the flight is at least a quarter mile.

It might even stretch to a half mile. At 16,000 ISO there is a bit of noise but I got the pic.
Camera balanced on the top of my recycle box. Set to manual for focus because auto focus took to much time.
Saw the first birds and pressed the shutter. Fourteen pix in a very few moments and they were gone.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Got up one morning

Looked across the road from my flat and down Treefield Road.

Dawn was just breaking and the trees at the bottom were in silhoutte against the sky.
I dived back in and grabbed my camera and took a few shots.
Realised that really I should have looked out a little earlier and then I would have been out on the moor either getting pix looking up the Blind Yeo or on the motorway bridge for shots across the moorland.
Still you can't win 'em all can you.