Garden Birds in Lockdown

So we have a lockdown in the UK right now and if you are not a key worker you are only allowed out for one bit of exercise per day and for essential food shopping.  Clearly the exercise bit is open to interpretation because when I went for a short walk I was passed by numerous cyclist who were obviously doing the Guild Wheel cycle route. That’s a 21 mile route around the city and it was a lot busier than an average weekday.  I guess some people will stretch that one daily exercise out quite a bit.

Anyway, I’m digressing from the the main topic of this post, which is photographing Garden Birds while isolated at home.  I’ve noticed some days are busier with birds in the garden than others and I haven’t worked out why, so that means somedays you have to be really patient.

I order to attract more birds, it would have been useful to have a better selection of bird food too but we are where we are so to speak and we seem to get around half a dozen different species on a fairly regular basis.

The photos here have all been taking over the last few days using the Fuji X-T3 with 100-400mm lens attached. Many have been shot through the window so are probably not of the highest quality but generally I am happy with the results. See what you think…

Everybody is doing the Woodland Bop

Looking at a few recent woodland photos this morning and a song from the early seventies came into my head by the late great Marc Bolan and Tyrannosaurus Rex. “Everybody is doing the woodland bop, once you’ve started you’ll find it hard to stop”.

Well, guess that was me following the recent storms and heavy rainfall. The waterlogged woodland locally made for some interesting photographs that took on an almost painterly quality.  See what you think…

Waterlogged WoodlandWaterlogged WoodlandWaterlogged WoodlandIvy climbing up a tree trunkIvy climbing up a tree trunkIvy climbing up a tree trunk

Our feathered friends are a calming influence

I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as a bird or wildlife photographer but sometimes it’s nice to take time to appreciate what is around us.  Being outside in the countryside is therapeutic in these difficult times.  It’s calming; patience is key to capturing bird photos and that is good for the soul. 

At times I wasn’t even sure what I was photographing here but half of the fun is getting the photo and the other half is learning about the birds afterwards! Hopefully more photos will follow over the coming weeks but for now here are a few images taken in the last week or so…

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Birds-1020

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Birds Lytham-1390

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Nuthatch  (Sitta europaea)

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Coal Tit (Periparus ater) taking bird food from a tree stumo.

Coal Tit (Periparus ater) 

Birds-0963

Great Tit (Paris major)

Birds-0965

Chaffinch (Fringilla celebs)

Birds-0995

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Birds-1017

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

This Outdoor Trail is magical

It was the opening night when we visited Blenheim Palace, not really knowing what to expect, but it’s fair to say that the Illuminated Trail exceeded our expectations.

Treetops glow in the dark and the colours are amazing. There are light sculptures and a constantly changing vista to keep things interesting. As you begin the trail you walk through a light tunnel glistening with 100,000 small lights – a magical experience.

The trail itself is around one mile long and as you return towards the Palace you are greeted with seasonal projections onto the house itself and search-lights dancing across the sky.

It was great to photograph, though to be honest it was also a bit of a challenge.  The exposure levels varied so much between the various set pieces and it was quite busy on the opening night too.

The fantastic light experience is available to book at Blenheim Palace until the 1st January.

A few photos…

Blenheim Palace-6541Blenheim Palace-6548Blenheim Palace-6553Blenheim Palace-6563Blenheim Palace-6564Blenheim Palace-6569Blenheim Palace-6581Blenheim Palace-6588Blenheim Palace-6597Blenheim Palace-6599Blenheim Palace-6605Blenheim Palace-6615Blenheim Palace-6619Blenheim Palace-6648Blenheim Palace-6655Blenheim Palace-6692Blenheim Palace-6721Blenheim Palace-6740Blenheim Palace-6744Blenheim Palace-6749