Sunday 19 August 2012: My first bird blip
One of the reasons I wanted a replacement camera in 2010 was to photograph the bird life in our garden, which is abundant. I remember CleanSteve borrowing a lens and spending hours in the cabin, and coming up with some great shots, here. So, I eventually got a cheap compact camera and the results were... not quite what I'd hoped for.
But I have been looking at some shots of a woodpecker I took in April, and seeing how processing can make a difference. And now I have a new camera, and a hammock... you can tell I am an amateur! I lay in the hammock today, making the most of the weather, pretending to read, with bird feeders in the trees either side of me. Every now and then some birds would come along, and I'd frighten them away, either by switching on the camera, which warbles on startup, or by knocking over the parasol, or by the sound of the drive mode fluttering into action.
I have chosen to blip this nuthatch. It is not a very good shot, but I thought it was about time for a bird blip. Things can only get better! I have ordered a gorillapod, so maybe there will be a camera in the tree soon, pretending to be an oversized beetle.
As a child, I learned bird names by the place-mats at my grandmother's house, and by playing Bird Lotto (aka Bingo) which we had in Ireland. The nuthatch was my favourite lotto bird, because it feeds upside down. Our garden ones like sunflower seeds from the squirrel proof feeder, and suet.
My mother, who lives in the highlands of Scotland, has a bird-feeding station outside her kitchen window. A few years ago, she reported to a client that she had seen a nuthatch, and the client asked if she could pass on that information. Several days later, my mother received a call from the Chief Twitcher of Wales (for some reason, I always confuse him with the Arch Druid, and imagine him in long white robes). He quizzed her at length about the bird she'd seen, before stating categorically that it could not have been a nuthatch. They had never been seen that far north, he said.
Well, Mr ArchTwitcher, I have news for you. I have seen it there too, and it definitely IS a nuthatch. So nyer...No, not niger seed, but nyer nyer ne nyer nyer...
CleanSteve's recent nuthatch blip is here