In the 2 hours after dawn, we recorded 17 species, all feeding within the environs of Tense Towers (fly bys don't count). I tried to take a few photos of a Reed Bunting, hopping about beneath the sunflower seed dispenser at the base of the feeding stand. However, it was too shady for anything crisp, especially through two windows.
As the sun wearily dragged itself up into the sky, the shadows cast by our neighbour's house gradually receded. Eventually, one of the feeders found itself in the full glare of some golden wintery light and I brought a small arsenal of optics to bear on the fat block hanging from the Hawthorn tree.
It was fun having the time to try different gadgets and settings. I managed a few shots with my phone cam through a telescope, but then a Blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla, appeared and a less fiddly approach was needed. Good old Very Wrong Len was hauled out and plonked on the tripod, windows and doors were opened to improve the view and Tense Towers became much cooler quite quickly!
This male warbler only started visiting the garden during the last few days and seems to appreciate the fat block, as there aren't many insects about at this time of year. He's never still for a second, though, and as I amateurishly blundered about with ISO, F stop and exposure settings, a whole host of blurred images and muttered obscenities were created.
|Male Blackcap with a... small blue bird of some sort*|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dendrocopos major|
|Robin, Erithacus rubecula|
|Starlings, Sturnus vulgaris|
* Author's note: A few days ago, whilst idly scanning a list of my posts from the last 6 months, I noticed that a few of them had much higher visitor numbers than the rest. A whole 50% more than the next highest. Odd, I thought... what could possibly be the reason? Were the topics related? A short investigation revealed that, yes, the posts in question were connected, being those pertaining to the ID mystery of Poecile palustris and P. montanus. And in which the short word beginning with 't' and ending in 'it' appeared rather frequently. Now it could just be that this identification question is one that does exercise the many great ornithological minds of the globe, but I suspect that the search engines of the world spend an inordinate amount of time looking for that particular grouping of three letters. In my quiet backwater of cyberspace, I had not even considered how peculiarly androcentric the internet can sometimes be. So the other bird in the Blackcap photo is Cyanistes caeruleus, also known as a Blue Cap.