Little Birds

I spent some time today concentrating on the smaller local birds. It’s an area I tend to neglect because it’s time-consuming and the results are frequently unsatisfactory. The main problem is getting close enough to get something decent while not spooking the subject. The alternative is to crop heavily. This is a heavy crop of a blue tit, but catching one in flight (even a short hop, which is what this was) is a bonus.

Blue tit in flight

It’s far easier when they are eyeing up a bird feeder!

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

The foxes are still acting shy, though this one (with the slight nick in his ear) is becoming just a little more tolerant. Even so, this is a hefty crop and he won’t venture forward while I’m nearby.

fox

Camera note: bird photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens. Fox photographed with the EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.

Fox and Badger Video

This is a bit of a mixed bag. I spent most of my free time looking for small woodland birds. I could hear them, but getting a clear line of sight proved somewhat more difficult. I had better luck with the speckled wood butterflies which were out in number.

Speckled wood butterfly

This is a view of the woodland path I was following. It’s very pretty and runs adjacent to the fields where I was photographing buzzards yesterday.

woodland path

I made a very brief visit to the pond at Falmer Village to check up on the moorhen chicks. They’re doing fine. :D

Moorhen chick and adult

Back home the garden is lively at night with foxes and badgers. I’ve even managed a couple of direct sightings of the bolder of the still shy pack. This is from last night.

fox

The trail camera is doing rather better than me at the moment and there are some nice behavioural interactions among these clips of foxes and badgers taken over the past two nights.

I’ll close with the moon from this evening. It’s just a few hour past full and was still quite low in the sky when I took this.

moon

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Buzzards Galore, a Brimstone, a wren and a lively squirrel

Today was one of those days when taking a camera out is like being a child in a sweetshop. Too much to choose from, but all of it nice. It started early with this very pretty female blackbird sitting in woodland at the edge of Falmer Pond.

Blackbird

Everything else is from the middle of the day. I headed out in a different direction, taking in t he woodland and fields behind the rear of the campus. It’s an area I’ve wandered over to occasionally, but not explored to its full potential. Odds are I’ll be heading back in that direction while the weather’s fine.

I started with some shots of blue tits. Nothing spectacular, but catching one in flight is always something of a challenge.

Blue tit in flight

I couldn’t get particularly close to them so explored some more accessible trees. I was attracted by the distinctive and persistent call of a wren. They are strongly territorial and sound a constant warning to other birds to keep away.

Wren

Wren

I couldn’t help but notice the large brimstone butterflies flitting along the edge of the field. They are a brilliant yellow in flight, but much harder to spot when they come to rest (when they mimic a leaf rather well).

Brimstone butterfly

That was down at ground level. High overhead another treat was waiting for me. A small group of buzzards came over. Four of them, though I could only manage three together in frame.

Birds of prey

Three buzzards

The fourth buzzard wasn’t faring so well. A pair of rooks had latched on to it and were intent on a quite persistent mobbing.

Buzzard being mobbed by rooks

Buzzard being mobbed by rooks

Buzzard being mobbed by rooks

The final sequence of a lengthy post was somewhere between ground level and the sky… a lively squirrel negotiating its way through the treetops.

squirrel

squirrel

squirrel

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

More Moorhen Chicks

Another quick post today. The moorhen chicks seem to be doing well, spending as much time out of the nest as in it, while the adults are being kept busy finding a constant supply of food.

These photos are all cropped to some extent and were taken from a sufficiently safe distance to avoid disturbing the birds.

Moorhen chicks

Moorhen chicks

Moorhen chicks

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.