Thursday, 2 September 2010

Beetles and Bathers

A couple of days ago I turned over a piece of wood and found this tiny shiny beetle. The camera couldn't catch just how metallic it looked seeming to change from blue to green depending how the light caught it. Body length about 5mm. I am pretty sure it is a Chrysolina, maybe Chrysolina herbacia.

Chrysolina  Beetle

The same day this beetle had fallen in the water in Bobby's bowl. This one was about 11mm long and appears to belong to the group Xantholinus. What caught my attention was its long thin body and the tiny wings.

Xantholinus Beetle

Yesterday I set up the 350D and home brew IR detector to monitor the pond waterfall. This time it worked very well, triggering hundreds of times during the day with only a tiny number of shots without a bird in sight. In fact it took a long while to sort through all the shots and decide which to keep.

Amongst the visitors were:

Greenfinch at the Pond Waterfall

Goldfinch at the Pond Waterfall

Wood Pigeon
Wood Pigeon at the Pond Waterfall

Starlings at the Pond Waterfall

Clumsy young House Sparrows
Whoops - Clumsy

Whole collections of House Sparrows
Sparrows at the Pond Waterfall 2

There were many times when the waterfall was so full of birds they had to queue to get in
A Busy Pond Waterfall

Not shown today Chaffinch and Coal Tits were also photographed. One thing is certain - a supply of drinking and bathing water is just as important (if not more so) as seed feeders, especially with all the dry days we have been having this year.


  1. What a great system you have going there, John! It is producing some wonderful results and certainly shows how busy your garden is. I love the one with the young House Sparrow :)

    Lovely detailed photos of the insects too, digital photography really has enabled us to see creatures which I am sure would have once gone unnoticed.

  2. Love the one of the Wood Pigeon. He looks like he's really enjoying that.

  3. Hi Jan. I was really surprised just how busy the waterfall was as the birds only use it when I am not in the garden. I was taken with the young sparrow which appeared to be landing on the back of another.

    The advent of quick results from digital macro photography has made observations of mini-beasts so much easier.

  4. Hello Keith. The pigeons really do seem to enjoy bathing.

  5. That is a great collection of birds visiting your water feature. The motion sensor camera set-up certainly works well. I like the idea of the water in the garden attracting birds as much as seed does. I intend to try to set one up this summer. The big problem has been to work out a way to get it high enough so the cat can't get to the birds but I think I have that one worked out now. If it works I shall certainly post about it on the blog.

  6. Hello Mick. I was really surprised just how much the waterfall was used for drinking and bathing. I can't see it from indoors so I used to miss most of the action, hence the idea of using automation.
    I hope your water feature goes well - look forward to seeing the results. In the summer there is plenty of natural food for the birds but in dry spells water is harder to find.

  7. What amazing results from your automated camera rig-up as it shows the activity in your waterfall ~ and such a variety of birds. They obviously love spending time there ~ I think you may have to call it The Birdy Bistro and Water Park Oasis ;)

  8. Hello Glo. I was amazed how much time the birds spent in the water. Humans have drive in feeding places - I have a fly in!


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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