Friday, 30 April 2010

Friday at the Flicks (Hedgehog, Blackbird, Rooks)

Yesterday a friend and I went to the

Wagon and Horses

at South Reston (Lincolnshire) for a meal. The food at the Wagon and Horses is always freshly cooked, well presented and very appetising. I had to mention that if only to be able to show their stained glass window.

On to the business of the day: Most of every day I can hear at least one Blackbird singing at full volume, sometimes as many as four at the same time. Unfortunately they are very adept at hiding from the camera a good deal of the time. When in sunlight they are silent. (Still taken with the 50D)


The only time of day they sit out in the open singing it is getting on towards dusk which only allows a silhouette. This time I thought I would try the effect of combining two videos, one of blackbirds with one of the Moon as a background. This is the 2nd attempt which I think gives a cleaner silhouette.

What amazes me is the speed at which the Moon appears to move across the sky. Of course it is the earth rotating with the camcorder locked pointing in one position.

Every evening for the past ten days I have had the old Hitachi DVD camcorder set up in the kitchen in case a Hedgehog made an early visit - that is, before my bedtime. Last night one finally appeared. I turned up the volume of the outside microphone but the only sounds picked up was that of raindrops. The camcorder was set to night vision so the slow shutter speed makes for blurring of fast movement.

Finally a short hand held clip taken with the Lumix when we visited the Rookery. One particular Rook appeared to become very agitated, cawing and wing flapping for all it was worth.

You don't need a calendar to tell when it is a holiday weekend - just watch the downward change in the weather. I hope it stays dry and sunny where you are so you can enjoy the wildlife around you.


  1. I really like the blackbird and moon. Do you have the option of blend modes in your video editor. If so try screen, if that doesn't work try multiply.

  2. John, that blackbird clip is amazing! Quite amazing that with a fixed point you can see the moon moving! The blackbird has the most amazing song, I opened my bedroom window at 5am this morning and just listened to them. What a lovely time of year for birders!

  3. Hi Adrian. Cracked it! Blackbird as the mask, apply chromatic effect so white is see through and the silhouette shows properly once the fade in is finished. Will replace with the new version later.

  4. Hello Matron. If we look at the Moon it appears to be stationary as our eyes follow the slow movement. Now I can see how complex it is for astronomers to make long observations of objects when the telescope has to automatically track them across the sky.

    I am surprised just how many Blackbirds I hear at once. Often three within a couple of hundred feet radius. They must have quite small territories.

  5. John, a cracking video of the Blackbird. I love to hear them singing. I get one in next doors tree early evening singing out the day. Beautiful.

  6. Hello Adrian. Yes it looks a bit better. I though I had tried it that way yesterday but obviously not.

  7. Hello Keith. I thought it would brighten a visually dull video a bit. They certainly are persistent singers.

  8. That's a great video of the moon and the blackbird. btw we have a long week-end too and SO FAR the weather is good!

  9. Super video of the vocal Blackbird. The weather looks set to upset my weekend but who knows it may change!

  10. Thank you Mick. So far the weather hasn't been as bad as forecast as the rain has mainly been late in the day or over night.

  11. Thank you Frank. Looks as though it could be a bit on the wet side today. Fortunately most rain has been over night here, so far.

  12. I was looking for pictures of farm waggons and happened on this super blog. You show a real talent for capturing the moment. Thank you very much for sharing it. I shall have to visit that pub too! Ken


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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