January Blues

01st February 2008
What an absolutely diabolical month it has been for photography! As you all know, the weather has been dreadful but coupled with that, I've had no luck at all with my target birds - Owl's!

I've been all over the place( when the weather permitted ) in search of Short Eared Owl's, without so much as a single sighting. The Barn Owl's that I've found are extremely camera shy too, I just can't seem to get close enough to a perched bird without it spooking. Although finding and watching Barn Owl's hunt as they glide about silently is great, it's still very frustrating not being able to get any images.

I had to take a picture of something soon as I was getting withdrawal symptoms, so a trip was arranged to my mate Chinny's feeding station to try for the Nuthatches again.

Chinny lives in Warwickshire which is about 40 minutes away from me by motorway but I decided to go up the scenic route in the hope of a photo opportunity.
Most of the trip was boring with not much about but just before I arrived I spotted a Buzzard sat on a hay bale.
I spun the car around and drove back for a better look. Pulling up opposite the Buzzard, I found I had a bush between me and the bird... typical I thought.

I sat for a while watching it clean it's feathers before I decided to get a better look through the lens. I couldn't believe it when I looked through the view finder, I had a clear view!
I normally shoot my bike images through the catch fencing at the race circuits, as long as you keep the apertures big the fencing doesn't show but that's no way near as thick as the branches in this bush, I was surprised by this but quickly moved the focus point to the birds eye to get some shots only for it to lean forward do a huge poo and fly off.



The air was a tad blue for a few seconds and I couldn't believe my luck yet again! I hoped this wasn't an omen for the rest of the day.

Thankfully it wasn't, we had good light in the morning and the Nuthatches showed well, I was able to get a few shots that I was pleased with.





The usual stuff like Blue Tits were about in good numbers too.



I came away happier than when I arrived, so all in all it wasn't a bad day.
The trip to Chinnys feeding station made me a bit more keen to visit mine, I've had to move it from the field back down to Freds workshop.
The field for some reason went very quiet, not sure if it was the two sheep Fred had put in it or the birds preferring a thicker hedgerow but as soon as I moved the feeders back to the workshop they became mobbed again. Although I filled the feeders every day I haven't had the intrest in taking any pictures until the visit to Chinnys gave me that spark of enthusiasm.

Anyway, there are 5 different sorts of Tits (6 including me) visiting the feeders plus the usual Robins and Finches.







The Robins are constantly fighting so trying to get an image of one all puffed up like a Christmas card shot is near on impossible.



I've also had some Siskins at the feeders and Bullfinches in the hedgerow down the lane on the approach to Freds workshop.
The Siskins have been a bit nervous using the feeders due to the fact I'm not using a hide to photograph out of, most of the other birds don't mind me standing there but the Siskins and a few Finches seem nervous.
I haven't managed a good picture of the Bullfinches either yet, they like to feed deep amonst the bramble which makes it difficult and they have no interest in the free seed that's on offer.





I had another trip out for the Owls the other day, I found three birds hunting in a small area but yet again I never got any images worth keeping.
I must admit, I blew it really, one bird was using fence posts to hunt from but I never tried to get close for fear of spooking it. In hindsight I should have tried as chances like that don't come often. All was not lost though, in the same area were some Stonechats that love to be photographed, just wish the Owls would be this accommodating.







Plus a bonus shot of a Meadow Pipit too.



By the way, I have sorted out my print gallery and some of my favourite images are now FOR SALE! If you're interested, please go to 'Print Gallery' for full details. Alternatively, contact me direct via this website.