Garden birds

bullfinch2

A beautiful male bullfinch stops by for a drink in a small pond. (out of sight)

bullfinch

Meanwhile (below) another pond visitor was this crested tit. The lack of rain recently is making them more courageous and both the bullfinch and crested tit buzzed me a number of times, hoping that I would move away from the pond, I presume. In the end both decided to risk it and I got my photos.

tit

The crow I spotted poised on a concrete post on the hillside sunning itself, I have included it under garden birds as it has a habit of stealing the fat-balls from my balcony. Just look at that beak, puts many a bird of prey to shame.

crow

World Earth Day

 

Woodpecker III

woody

Yes, he’s back and looking more serious than ever. Not that he ever went away, yesterday I was just too busy to photograph him. For a brief period today he moved to another similar building, also white and positioned himself in exactly the same spot on the corner. In between drilling he invariably looks up, cocks his head as if listening for a response and surveys what’s above much like climbers do when assessing a route. However I suspect he is hoping to spot a prospective partner flying above, which so far, it would seem, he has not had much luck with.

As I am writing this a beautiful magpie just landed on the balcony railings and pinched something from a plant pot. It knew exactly what it was after, which makes me wonder, do they spot these things from a distance or can the smell a piece of rotting fruit.

crested-tit

Finally I get a halfway decent shot in focus of one of the crested tits that visits my balcony. Despite me and my camera being in clear view and noisy clicks as I pressed the shutter, it continued happily retrieving seeds from an empty ice cream carton and used the bars on the trellis to hack them open with its beak.

Some small brown butterflies were also dancing around today, a sure sign that Spring had arrived..

Birdbox

birdbox

A great tit inspects the birdbox. This morning I watched as it warily entered the birdbox and stayed inside for a good 30 seconds. It looks promising as it inspected the roof several times from different angles and seems to be hanging around more. I am really surprised how quickly they assess a possible nesting site and will keep an eye open for any signs of nest building.

This ‘Birdbox’ post will remain where I put any new related photos and updates, so watch this space there is for sure more to come.

Crested tit

crestedtit

A crested tit pays a visit. Being less common than blue tits and great tits it adds a touch of class to the day. This one seemed about as interested in the birdbox as the nuthatches, so I don’t hold out much hope of any moving in at the moment.

crestedtit2

I really must work on my focusing. A slow shutter speed (1/60th) is probably to blame but the light was bad and flash did not seem to penetrate that far. I always shoot at ISO 200 but maybe I should up it to 400.

Nuthatch 10.03.2020

nuthatch

Update 18032020

bluetit

A blue tit inspects a husk left by a nuthatch.

Until today I have only noted four regular balcony visitors: Greats tits, Blue tits, Crested tits and Nuthatches, which often arrive in pairs.  However today a Black redstart did pay a brief visit but seemed uninterested in what was on the menu. I spotted a blue tit inspecting the birdbox and even venturing inside for a while but as yet there have been no signs of nest building.

goldfinches

Meanwhile below in the forest a charm of goldfinch land on a nearby tree with buds. Spring must be just around the corner, it was sunny and warm today allowing me to have two windows open all day.

coal tit

A coal tit on another nearby tree. What with the woodpecker hammering on the building next door again today, a buzzard’s intermittent cry, an owl hooting at night and the general twittering of bird song, it was an action packed day, probably brought about by the prolonged sunshine and the approach of Spring.

Update 24.03.2020 (Winter returns)

robin

A through the window photo of the robin on the balcony railings.

Battered by howling winds and temperatures below zero has led to me curtailing my balcony photography for the last few days. I was forced to seal up the windows and balcony door as the cold wind coming through the cracks meant that the central heating was unable to keep the flat warm. Sitting at my desk I can still watch the birds and recently a robin joined the party. The black redstart has also been a more frequent visitor.

The Great tits and Blue tits continue to inspect the birdbox and I noticed a Great tit removing pieces of bark that I had layed inside the box. Either it was unhappy with my arrangement or it was pinching the bark for its own nest somewhere else. We shall have to wait and see. The birds may well only be inspecting the inside for insects and other goodies they might find. Who knows, they often inspect the exterior much like a potential house buyer might, so I am still optimistic

Visitors so far:

Great tit, Blue tit, Crested tit, Nuthatch, Black redstart, Robin, Magpie

Update 27.03.2020 (new visitor)

A chaffinch joined the party today.

chaffinch

Through the window so not a great shot 😉