Feeding Station

13th September 2007
I'm fortunate enough to have a friend who owns some land local to me, and over the last couple of years Fred has let me set up a feeding station for my Autumn and Winter photography.

During my first year of photography on this site, I was using my hide which was set up at the rear of Fred's workshop. It wasn't the ideal place for it, the light was very poor during the best times of the day and the coming and goings of the workshop usually spooked the birds.
Having said that, I still managed some nice shots and was very grateful for the secure parking and use of his land, plus I was supplied with hot cups of tea on a regular basis.

At the begining of this year Fred agreed to let me build a proper wooden hide on an open part of his land, which I thought was very kind of him.

By the time the hide was built and the feeders were put out, it was well into breeding season. I kept the feeders topped up during the summer so the birds got use to finding food and over the last couple of months the traffic has doubled.

I got the strimmer out and cut the grass which was waist height by now. When the grass was cut I started getting some props together including some nice perches for the birds to sit on.

All was going well, although the birds still looked a bit tatty with lots of young birds and moulting birds using the feeders, but I thought I'd use this time to sort out backgrounds and perches so as to be ready for when the birds started to get into their prime winter condition.

One of the many young Goldfinches using the feeders.

Lots of Greenfinches too.

One of four Woodpeckers using the site.

One of two Rats with bushy tails that have wrecked three feeders so far

I also purchased some new bits of kit, a flash extender and flash extender bracket.
The bracket came from an American company called Really Right Stuff, their service was first class and the bracket is a quality piece of engineering. I was very impressed with it all and keen to start using it.

Armed with my new kit and the feeding station starting to buzz with loads of birds I was raring to go when disaster struck.

Our pet Cat came in the other night limping and was unable to put her paw down, so a quick trip down to the Vets to see what was wrong with her was required. There was not a slot for an Xray so he gave her a few jabs and a course of antiboctics costing me £55.

Two days later still no better, so another trip to the vets for the Xray costing me £136 this time and coupled with the news that she has broken all four bones in her paw.
The bones were cleanly broken and in a straight line which suggests she might have put her paw in a mouse trap left out by someone.

Anyway, I had to take her to a specialist now for an operation to pin all the bones in her paw and the Mrs was getting extremely upset by all this as it's her little baby.
Six days later the cat was ready to be picked up, the bill was £2627.. Gulp.. Now I was extremely upset.

The Cat looks a sorry old state at the moment and I also had to build her a pen in my living room which she has to stay in for the next 5 weeks, Oh the joy of owning a pet.

Here's a few pics of the offending paw.

The Mrs with her baby.

The cats new home for 5 weeks

Take my advice, don't get a pet.