Sunday, 30 June 2013

Juvenile Blue Tits

Two juvenile Blue Tits are now regular visitors to the Birdy Bistro. I would think they were born a couple of gardens away where there are nest boxes regularly used by Blue Tits:

Juvenile Blue Tits

Of course they are not the guilty ones who have been destroying the bottom of the peanut feeder.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Big Ears

It can be a tad fraught when we walk through the churchyard. There are often rabbits around and if madam spots one she takes some holding. Being a retired racing greyhound her previous training kicks in and she hears and sees nothing else. Every ounce of concentration is on the prospective chase.

On our walk yesterday afternoon I spotted a couple of rabbits but fortunately they were hidden from Penny by the grave stones and bushes:


It looked as though one had sensed our presence and I hoped that meant they would beat a rapid exit before you know who spotted anything:


Unfortunately one decided to move in the open and eagle eyes (not known as a sighthound for nothing) spotted it so after a quick shot it was a case of hanging on to Penny and the camera when big ears made a dash for cover.


That is one of the reasons Penny always wears a harness. It does her less harm if she suddenly decides to accelerate and the lead brings her to an abrupt stop. She is slowly getting better and normally responds to commands once she finds it impossible to chase.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

My Feathered Friend

Many people have a chirpy Robin follow them round the garden, especially when digging or weeding. Here the Robins seem to be shy and disappear when I go outside. Starting late Winter I had a bird which would come down as soon as I started to top up the feeders. Over the months she has got bolder and bolder. Which is my feathered friend? A female Blackbird.

Late yesterday she came down as soon as I started to top up the feeders. As usual I scattered some seed on the ground for her and she stayed there while I fetched the Nikon to take a few photos. For these she was about six feet away and carried on collecting seed while keeping one wary eye on me:



Today, while I was removing some grass from the rockery, she came within three feet of me and once again allowed me to photograph her:


One day I will have to try holding out a handful of seed to see whether she will dare to come that close.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Macro on Monday - What's Wrong?

gold star
Pleasing to see several correct guesses for last week's mystery photo. It was indeed a close up of Penny's eye. It was one of those rare days with glorious Sunshine and the grass reflecting in her eyes made her look like a wolf with glowing green eyes in a horror movie. Anyway, congratulations and virtual gold stars to TexWisGirl, Ragged Robin and Adrian.

IMG_6067 copy


Something different this week (couldn't find anything to macro!)

This time you can see the full object but there is something wrong.
Can you spot what is wrong?
Daddy-longlegs Spider
Daddy-longlegs Spider  -  Pholcus phalangioides

It was a while before I noticed it.

Guesses in the comments will be revealed next Monday along with the answer.
No prizes, just for fun.

Sunday, 23 June 2013


Often get a pair of Goldfinches visiting these days but don't often manage to see one in the clear:


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Tatty Tyke

A couple of days ago one of the local squirrels made its usual raid on the bird seed feeders:


As I watched I noticed it had several large patches of fur loss:




A search of the internet resulted in finding several possible reasons for this to happen:

1) Result of a fight

2) Mange which can be caused by squirrel mange mites

3)  dermatophytoses - a variety of fungal infection. The fur isn't lost but breaks off as it brushes against things.

There are other causes but I think in those cases the squirrel would likely be nearly or completely bald.  The above mentioned causes tend to be temporary and the probability is that the fur will grow back in time.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Friday at the Flicks - Snail

It so often happens I have nothing new for Friday at the Flicks until the very last minute. As we returned from our early morning perambulation this morning I spotted this snail climbing the bungalow wall:


With the return of damp weather there have been many dowdy looking garden snails in evidence. Good news for the thrushes, not so good for gardeners. There are far less of the more colourful types like this one.

Camera Nikon S9050 hand held.

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Around the Garden Pond

A quick look at some of the wildlife in and around my garden pond:



Pond Skater:

Not seen so far this year are any water boatmen.


Pond Snail:

Stretch Spider:

Bathing Birds:


Juvenile Goldfinch and Starling:

Miniature bullrush,  First of this year's male Blue-tailed Damselflies
IMG_9019c   IMG_9027c

I have spotted some newts but so far they have been too shy to photograph.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Andrena Solitary Bee?

At first I couldn't make my mind up whether this was a bee or a fly.
Size - a bit smaller and slimmer than a honey bee.



I think looking at the ends of its legs I would definitely lean towards it being a bee.
Possibly of the Andrena genus of solitary bees.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Sigma 28-80mm macro lens

Yesterday I was searching through my collection of Canon fit lenses looking for a macro lens. I was sure I should have a kit lens which comes with the 350D but couldn't find it. Instead I came across a Sigma 28-80mm f3.5-5.6 aspherical II macro lens so decided to try that. I was going to have a test run using the built in stacking facility in the Magic Lantern software I have running on the 50D but after reading various instruction on the web decided to put that on the Round Tuit pile. Instead I wandered round the garden to see what was in flower.

Here are the results; 50D using Magic Lantern. No cropping, no tweaking, just text added in Irfanview. All were taken in RAW format and saved as jpg from Irfanview:










Plus the only bee I saw during that session:


The above photo cropped:

All were taken hand held with the aperture fixed at f10, ISO 400, some with added flash. Weather was overcast with no direct sunlight and breezy so most were moving to some extent. On the whole I am very pleased with the results from this Sigma. I'm not usually impressed with that make but this lens looks to have its uses, as does Magic Lantern once I get fully used to using the LCD screen for viewing as the mirror has to be locked up to switch over to their software.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Macro on Monday - Guess What

gold star
My thanks to all who had a go at identifying last week's mystery photo. Congratulations and virtual gold stars go to Jan, Ragged Robin and ImaBurdie who correctly identified a piece of a horsetail reed.



On to this week's puzzle photo
Guess What:
 IMG_6067 copy

Can you work out what this is part of?
Clue: 40 mph couch potato

Guesses in the comments will be revealed along with the answer next Monday
No prizes - just for fun.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Feeding the Youngsters

Two Blue Tit parents have been wearing themselves to a frazzle feeding their offspring today. I don't know how many they have. Just two can be seen at the start of this piece of video but the parents were flying to various bushes nearby:

I also occasionally catch sight of our Great Tits feeding a youngster:

They are also finding food for themselves. This youngster had found the peanut feeder I put up yesterday:

Young Great Tit

Friday, 14 June 2013

Something Mother Often Yearned For

NO - not the car or the cycle with a trailer for the dogs:


NO - not to exchange the OM for two fellers:


She often wished she had a pony and trap, something she would have seen and used a lot in her childhood. I see this one around the village a couple of times each year but this was the first time I had a camera at hand for a few snaps and the driver obviously enjoyed having his photo taken.


Penny was very good and just stood watching as it slowly passed us and continued down the main street though the pony wasn't very keen to pass too close to Penny.  I hope they managed to reach home before the hail shower which started about twenty minutes later..

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Blue Tit

Lots of parent birds are coming to the Birdy Bistro to gather food for their offspring. It is very noticeable that, apart from a few rare warm sunny periods, there is generally a lack of insect life around the area.

One of the regulars is the Blue Tit:

Blue Tit

I don't think it could get much more in that little beak:

Blue Tit
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