Monday, 1 October 2012

A rare September garden Brambling

Undeserved, this Brambling. A confession, on Saturday morning I stood at the back of the garden practicing 'birds in flight' shots with a new camera. So thin on the ground were any birds, that turning around in frustration while walking back to the house, I snapped anything at all - including this small brown thing was sittiing high on the top of our garden spruce. It was only only when I looked at the pictures on screen later, that I realised that we were looking at our third garden Brambling and first autumn record in 16 years.

Sparrowhawk makes a splash

Yesterday, at the back of the garden, I cut-back an overgrown Blackthorn tree that had smothered one of the ponds. I cut it back heavily to let in some light, but I left one branch to over-hang the pond. I figured it would be good for Sparrowhawks and possibly Kingfishers. At the time Sian chuckled at this... today, cleaning our mountain bikes on the deck 130 feet away from the pond, a superb male Sparrowhawk took to trying out the new perch - as predicted!. We all watched it from some distance, as it seemed very inquisitive about the pond itself. To our pleasure it dropped down onto the pond edge. I made my way down the garden and spotted the bird again this time leg deep in water. From behind a small conifer and armed with my new camera, I used the flip down LCD screen whilst taking pictures with the camera high above my head. I got a few lucky pics, but frustratingly the exciting ones of the bird bathing were partly obscured by garden foliage in the path of my lense.  But, never mind, I'm convinced of the attraction of my designer perch, and hope we'll have the Sparrowhawk back again soon.