Wednesday, 25 March 2009

New Lens - New Birds

I have been patiently waiting for a new lens to arrive which it duly did today. After fitting it and making sure it worked properly I turned to the kitchen window to try it out. Of course the best laid plans.... the heavens opened, the wind blew the rain straight at the window, result - couldn't see a thing! Fortunately those clouds blew over fairly quickly, the window dried and the birds returned to the feeders. I couldn't believe my eyes. For over a year I have been trying to attract Goldfinches without luck but today that changed. One lone Goldfinch was tentatively trying out the niger seed feeder and after a few attempts it settled down to some serious eating.


Next came a Thrush which sat on the cables above the feeders with a Robin along side but as I took their photo the Robin flew off right in front of the Thrush and it also left. That was the first time I had seen a Thrush in the garden for over a year. Luckily I later spotted it amongst the branches of a tree and got my photo.


To cap that along came another bird which I have yet to identify positively. It is hard to see the top of its head but I think it could be a Goldcrest. Another fairly fuzzy photo shows a yellowish stripe right on top of its head. Here are two views of it:

IMG_0918c IMG_0921c

It seems to have such large eyes for the size of its body.

The rest of the time I took photos of the regular visitors - Robin



Starlings on the lawn

And finally another newcomer for me was a group of Crows which immediately took off as soon as I picked up the camera but I managed one shot:
Crow in Flight

I am delighted with the results from this new lens. All hand held. Quite a few are small crops from large pictures. What was I using? - the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS USM. An image stabilised lens which has made a lot of difference to the hand held pictures taken by this wrinkly. I had read fantastic reviews of the quality of its optics written by many users so I took the plunge.


  1. Oh WOW John, all those birds must have known you had a new lens to play with! What beautiful photos. Congratulations on getting your long awaited Goldfinch and such a lovely photo of it, and as for being visited by a Goldcrest, well! I'm positively jealous!!

  2. ShySongbird: I think you are right. They waited especially. :>) Get a decent lens and then I'll post for you.
    It is usually being in the right place at the right time to get certain garden birds. The Goldfinch I was really pleased to see. The Goldcrest, well, I had to keep checking identification sites to make sure but now I am positive.

  3. Great photos with your new lens. Definitely worth waiting for a lens like that! I am looking forward to seeing many more of the birds.

  4. ShySongbird: should have read ... then I'll pose for you (not post). Oh dear - another senior moment!

    Mick: Thanks for the comment. Now I want to go out and try it the weather changes - rain, hail possibly snow, gales - typical local weather!

  5. Oh, I'm so pleased you've attracted a goldfinch! We got a thistle-seed feeder a few months ago, and within a week had several goldfinches visiting regularly. I love them, they'll sit there for such long stretches of time, but always darting their heads from side to side between each seed.

    I think that could be a goldcrest, we had something very similar in our garden and a long time spent poring over our bird-books resulted in us both agreeing that it was probably a goldcrest.

    I have been reading your blog for a month or two, really love the photos, thank you for positing.

  6. Felinity: Hello. Thanks for visiting and for your kind comments. No more signs of the Goldfinch but at least I know they know I'm here.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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