Tag: garden birds

New Camo & Spring Bird Photography

New Camo & Spring Bird Photography

In lockdown earlier this year, I spent some time taking photos in the garden. I’d set up some netting and was shooting from underneath it to capture some great photos.

As spring has now arrived, I wanted to try and get a different angle on the birds and set up some ground feeding areas beneath my blossoming apple. Now, to get close I had to rethink my camouflage and decided to start creating my own gear for my lens, camera and eventually tripod.

So having made my first couple of pieces, I started putting it to the test.

Wearing a green fleece, I blended in too. The birds were quite happy to land a few metres in front of my on the lawn.

It wasn’t long before they also started landing in the tree.

I’m not saying my new covers are magic, but they seem to work well enough for the birds to be comfortable with the camera being disguised enough to come down and feed.

I need to finish making the camera cover, then I plan to create a tripod cover.

I think I need to make a ground cushion/kneeling cushion as its quite uncomfortable sitting on the ground for hours.

It will be very similar to the bean bag support I’ve made.

I am hoping to make these to sell them. When I’ve done this I’ll give an update and how you can buy them.

Bird Photography Progression

Bird Photography Progression

So, with the 2021 UK lockdown into it’s second month I thought I’d post an update update on my progression of my bird photography.

To be honest, I’ve been putting off writing the post. What with home schooling and tutoring if I can, I’ve much preferred, when weather allowed to be outside testing my bird photography skills than trying to write about it. However, I thought I’d give a progression report.

I’ve, been constantly updating my bird table and added new feeders. I started with table as shown in my previous post, and I must say, I have been pleased with what I got…

…the birds liked my perches and it returned good results. I really like this Blue Tit photo.

However, I wanted more (doesn’t every photographer?). I changed some perches and I introduced an interesting stump, with has given me some great photos. Although the background isn’t amazing on them – I’m still working on that – but I noticed quite regularly the images didn’t seem as sharp as I’d like.

So I made a change. Despite using an image stabilising lens, I felt this was where I was losing the quality. I have a big heavy zoom lens and felt I was not steady enough and so I started using a monopod (I didn’t have room for a tripod in my make shift hide) and I immediately noticed an improvement. I also started upping the ISO (I hate doing that, but need to with moving objects). One issue though, is I’m fighting the weather, the dull conditions, which doesn’t help anything!

Since I’ve made those 2 changes, my results have really increased and improved.

My Son found for us (he’s been giving this a go to) a really interesting stump, which has added some great interest to the images.

I have been lucky enough to get most of our visiting birds land on it at some point.

Now, trying to do this in January, I’ve have spent a few days looking out the window at the rain. So, I finally to the plunge and braved some rain photography! I normally avoid it, but have now embraced it and have been very pleased with the results!

It’s funny, Starling are regarded as noisy and annoying birds, but I have loved photographing them in January and they have now given me inspiration for my February challenge to myself and that is to photograph birds in flight.

I’ve started at the beginning of February with the birds landing on the perches, but now I want more flight photos.

So that is my February challenge.

Watch my progress in my Garden Bird Gallery page, and I’ll write another blog on my progress soon.

Lockdown Bird Photography

Lockdown Bird Photography

When the first UK lockdown was announced in March 2020, one of the first things I did with my kids was to build a custom bird table using an old broken one I had.

I found some old branches and created a stand that the birds could land on as well as feed from. It also gave it a natural look for taking photos.

Nine months on, when our 3rd lockdown was announced, I decided to modify the table and add some more interesting perches to it, with the intension of photograph the birds on it.

I admit, it is not an amazing creation, but you only really use bits of it in the photos.

Taken on the same day as the above photo, I had a Nuthatch land on the left hand perch.

Over the days, many more birds have come to land on this and it has created some nice photos.

I’ve found the small birds to be the most tricky to photograph on it, but plenty of bigger ones and landed there too.

The starlings have actually liked the perch on the right, that sticks up. Initially I had this as a cut rose stem,

but have since changed it to more of a mossy gnarled stick.

After the seemingly success of this, I went in search of some more perches and items and found an old tree stump.

If you fill parts of this with seed, that is hidden from the cameras view, the birds will happily spend some time on it routing out all the hidden goodies.

Sometimes they’ll even pose for you.

I’ve managed to get a great selection of bird photos so far using this simple setup. One thing a would add though, is Ive bought some camo netting from which I’m managing to hid under to take the photos. This has definitely helped.

More photos are now in my Garden Birds gallery.

Even more Success

Even more Success

Today some Starlings visited the bird table, the new food most be working!!

I got this great close up of one of the Starlings

Starlings may be regarded as nuisance birds, but their colouring is really quite amazing

Bird Photography Continues

Bird Photography Continues

After my first attempts at setting up a perch in the garden to photograph the birds, which got a good result, I had changed the perch to a more natural looking twig, it was a laurel twig before, but that’s where the success stopped. The birds didn’t seem to like it! Strange, as it was part of a tree branch!

Anyway, I persisted with the twig and today bought some more seed and some mealworms (expensive!). Within about 20 mins I had birds on the perch! I also put a ‘cage’ over the bird table to allow the small birds in, but keep the pigeons out!

I initially got sparrows, but then got a juvenile robin and suddenly the parent landed to feed it. It was a rushed shot, but actually managed to capture the moment!

So a couple a good photos today!

Bird on a Perch continued…

Bird on a Perch continued…

After my initially success on day 1 of setting up the perch, day 2 also was successful.

Since then though, I have changed the perch, to be more like a tree branch instead of the piece of laurel bush and my results have been a bit more hit and miss. I have managed to get a photo of a Robin but the composition wasn’t as good, so maybe now they are scared of it.

Anyway, I’m sticking with it as the perch looks good and hopefully soon get some good results.

Bird on a Perch

Bird on a Perch

I wanted to try and do some bird photography in the garden again, but wanted to try and get better background, and similar shots to some I’d seen on the web.

This meant creating a custom bird perch, but firstly getting the birds entised to that spot.

So I headed off to the garden centre to buy a basic tray bird table. Once I had this, I needed to find a branch, not too difficult and a way to stand it, tricky!

I found an off-cut of a laruel bush and a table umbrella stand, perfect!

So, food on the table, the stand and branch next to it, check the setup and background, now wait! And wait… a couple of hours later, I was asked if anything had landed on it, nope, but then, yes, a Blue Tit!

I got 5 shots, this was number 3!


Its a good start, it was looking into the picture, back to the branch, but considering it was the only bird to land on it, that I saw and photographed, I was pleased!

You can watch my progress here! Garden Bird Gallery