Saturday, December 18

Shooting our garden birds

Well the snow sort of arrived as you will know if you visit Martyn's weather blog but considering what has happened in other parts of the country I'm a bit embarrassed to say it has snowed here. We may not have had much snow but  it has been bitterly cold so I have been amusing myself shooting our garden birds.

Bet that caught your attention but if you know me at all you will know that the only thing I would use to shoot anything is my camera.

Martyn has bought me a new camera (I didn't even have to wait 'til Santa came!) so I have been 'exploring it's capabilities' which is just a pretentious way of saying I've been playing with it.

Now it's one thing taking photos of gardens and flowers and vegetables as each has enough consideration of the photographer to keep still but birds are another thing altogether. They move and in some cases pretty quickly and they don't give an amateur photographer like me time to compose and focus so I must admit to relying on autofocus and burst shooting! I also have to admit to a bit of tweaking and cropping using Photoshop. Much photographic jargon is a mystery to me but if any 'real' photographers out there would like to give me a simple online course then I'd happily take them up on it.

Anyway although I haven't got to grips with the camera yet I thought that I'd share some of my photos - they may not be quite in focus but some are quite cute. The photos were taken from our window and I had to try and dodge the leading on the glass. Also I guess the windows could have been a bit cleaner so cut me a bit of slack!

Maybe when I set up on a tripod the focus will improve and I've also ordered one of those remote thingies to plug into my camera so I can stand away from the window and not scare the birds away.

I must have taken several hundred shots, (literally), to get these few that I dare share. Many shots were of where the bird had been just a second before the photo was taken! Anyway one thing for sure is that if this weather keeps up I'll have plenty of time to practise!


  1. Congratulations on your new camera. It seems like a god camera, as I can never get this good pictures with the one I have.

  2. Great photos, lots of birdlife in your garden.

  3. Lovely pictures and a similar selection of birds to those in our garden. That thrush is just gorgeous.

  4. Some piece of kit! (And you so self depricating.)

    Pigeons and magpies I count as villains.

    Loved the rest.

  5. I bet you've had a wonderful time aquainting yourself with your new camera. What type of camera is it? You've done a great job with the photos.

  6. Hi vrtlarica - It's been a case of trying to get the birds to come closer by setting up feeding areas close to the house - takes a while for them to accept them but you get a better chance of photographing them.

    They all came yesterday Damo - I think the bad weather brings them in (although the blackbird and great tit were taken before the snow). Bird watch time and they all disappear. I think a friend got some waxwings the other day - from her description of then.

    Thrushes are very photogenic VH aren't they. I was a bit peeved that I was looking up at the bird table and couldn't get the whole bird but it sort of works

    Just being honest Mal - when the photos are at full size they aren't crisp - they look better smaller. You should see the photos that Paul at his blog Little Brown Job takes - that's what I am aspiring to. I also literally took hundreds and most were discarded. On burst it takes 11 frames per second and they soon mount up.

    Jo its a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 my other is a compact Panasonic but it doesn't zoom in as near. Great for the handbag though.

  7. I think your photos came out well. It's great to be able to take them from indoors (keeps you warmer as well as helping you stay hidden).

    You have a good range of birds visiting. The snow has been pretty heavy with us and all the wild birds are posted around the garden near the chicken house - so they know where to get a free lunch! I've given them some food of their own too and they really appreciate it.
    Have fun playing with your new camera.

  8. Hi FJ
    Glad that you are looking after the wild birds as well as your own. We don't seem to have as many visiting birds today which is a worry as it was particularly cold last night - I hope they are OK!

  9. I would be very well pleased if I could take pictures like yours of the garden birds. I filled the bird feeders today and also cleared an area of snow from the lawn. Scattering seed for the ground feeders. Within 10 minutes 14 woodpigeons landed.

  10. Wow that's a lot of wood pigeons Alistair. My sister counted 14 collared doves in her tiny garden yesterday. Poor things are really suffering.

  11. This is the situation I'm going to find myself in later this week -- I'm getting a DSLR for my Christmas present, and I'm sure it will take some getting used to!
    I think you've made a good start, and I know how elusive those birds can be.

  12. The weather has made the birds more of a captive subject Mark. The instruction manual seems like gobbldigook to me I'm afraid so it will be trial and error! Good luck with your new camera.

  13. Some great shots with the new camera; hasn't digital made such a difference.

    We had a woodpecker at the bottom of the garden the other day; the first one I've ever seen, knowingly. Sadly he didn't stay put till I got the camera!

    Hope you have a great Xmas and here's looking forward to lots of growing next year.

  14. It certainly has Woody - can't imaging taking 100s of pictures on film and throwing most in the bin!!

    We had a woodpecker a year or two ago that I have a photo of on another post but haven't seen it since.

    Happy Christmas to you too - let's hope that it's a good gardening year

  15. I really was quite worried when I read the title...but a lovely post..thanks for sharing. :-)

  16. I knew the title would make people wonder Tanya - I was being mischievous


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