Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Bird Table Visitors

Yesterday I set up the IR detector next to the bird table with the camera indoors to see how well the setup would work. As the sensor could 'see' through the table it would also respond to other birds at the feeders but did catch quite a few comings and goings. Nothing out of the ordinary but it was great to see  a Greenfinch family visit as their numbers were drastically reduced by finch disease last year.

Greenfinch Family

Greenfinch and House Sparrow

How small the Coal Tit is when seen next to a young House Sparrow

Coal Tit and House Sparrow

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

A slide show  of some of the visitors (came out darker than the original file when YouTube processed it)

It didn't take long for the birds to get used to the detector being close to the table.

IR Detector

As the photos were taken through double glazing the originals were rather grey so  they were batch processed using Paintshop Pro - another first for me.


  1. These are very very good. I love the technology. Next is to set up for Swallows in flight. Would it react fast enough if pre-focussed on a nest entrance or a yard away from the entrance.

  2. Hello Adrian. It would be a good technique for photography near a nest or nestbox. Reaction time seems to be a fraction of a second. Best reactions when sheltered from sunlight. I could see it being ideal in a barn or similar though the camera would probably need flash.

    Did you ever see the interview on the TV with a chap who had set up multiple detectors over his large pond to photo bats swooping down to drink on the move. That was very interesting!

  3. On the subject of distance Adrian it can detect moving heat from a reasonable distance. With starling size birds 6 feet seems quite possible.

  4. Great stuff, John and good to know you are still enjoying experimenting with different techniques :)

    Nice to see that you are also seeing good numbers of Greenfinches again.

  5. Hadn't considered flash that would give much greater depth of field and consequently a better hit rate.

  6. Hi Adrian. I've even contemplated putting the flash gun on the camera outdoors when the light gets low - don't know what the birds would think of it!

  7. Some good birds visiting there John.
    Greenfinch and Coal Tit are rarities here.

    On the subject of flash for bird photography, it's not something I'd favour. Just a personal thing, but I reckon it can't be any good for the birds eyes. Some pros are for it, and others are dead against though.

  8. Lovely to see the Greenfinch John, Linda

  9. A good point about the flash Keith. My thought here is to use it as a fill in to penetrate the deep shadows in sunlight and the flash would be about 15 feet away from the birds. I'll keep thinking on this.

    The Coal Tit has taken enough sunflower seeds to start its own sunflower farm!

  10. It is Linda, especially as we lost so many here last year.


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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