Good evening everyone, I hope you are all well!
I haven't done any bird photography in my garden for much too long so today I decided to rectify this. Over the winter we have been getting fairly large flocks of Siskins, Redpolls and Goldfinches coming down to feed on the sunflower hearts we put out.
With this in mind, I decided to re-design the feeding station in our garden and make it more photography friendly. Achieving this required me to disassemble the whole feeding station, lay all the parts on the floor and then decide how I wanted it to look by the time I'd finished! A while ago my dad had been doing some serious gardening which included reducing one of the trees in our garden by over a half. This meant that there was lots of left over vegetation and branches that I could choose from.
What I decided to do was keep the lower metal pole as it had been, but instead of using the other metal pole sections, I would use a long, thin and slightly bendy branch that I found that fitted inside of the existing pole. After sawing it to the correct size and shape, I fitted it into the metal pole. and hung the feeder from the top. I also found a more substantial branch that was straight, but with a curve at the end and I decided to put this in the ground with the curved end near the feeder so that the birds could land on it. After checking that all the backgrounds would be ok, I added some more seed to the feeder and put some on the ground to encourage the birds to start using it.
Within minutes of coming inside, the whole set up was teeming with birds and I felt satisfied that I'd done a pretty good job.
I left it all alone for a week to ensure that the birds were comfortable using all the new branches and yesterday I put my hide out to try and get them used to it, in preparation for today. Suffice to say the birds were more interested in the food than the hide. I left the hide out overnight as it's too much of a faff to put it away and then put it up again.
This morning I came downstairs to see loads of birds on and around the feeders so I went into the hide, armed with a seat, tripod, camera, spare batteries and extra memory cards - I was feeling very optimistic.
I spent a couple of hours in the hide and managed to get some shots that I'm very pleased with - though I've already got some ideas on how to improve things for next weekend!
Here are some shots from today, I hope you like them: