Dale's Garden Hide. (been a busy boy)

OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
I can't see then ever becoming dependent Dale,I'd have zillions all year if that was the case and it simply isn't:) The food is there all year and my lady doesn't let them run out often. they come when they want a hand along the road,and when pickings are good they go elsewhere and much on that. I used to be very concerned about all this Dale,but not so much anymore.. IIf ya think about it a sunflower heart is something a goldie probably couldn't access with out us removing the shell, it's about as natural as peanuts to blue tit I think they wan't their natural grub, and we are a long way from undoing that need

we just help them along tis all;)

Good to see ya posting and mending buddy,they change fast don't they,one min all rough looking the next bling,:D Beautiful birds,we are really lucky us humans they like the feeders so much and even more so as image makers,such a gorgeous photogenic subject

7d huh;) a bit of ettr and biingo:D,certainly looks that way Dale,always the caviat of what one sees on the web,looks great though mate !!

I do worry about it at times, maybe I shouldn't. You make valid points matey. My worry is that these are this year's brood and it's all they might come to know, then if something happens and I can't feed them (been reminded of that lately), then they are at a loss. I could 'train' er indoors to keep the feeders topped up I spose. :LOL:

I liked the rough look they had as youngsters, maybe not the greatest for photography purposses but it yielded something different. I have to say though, they are approaching some magnificient condition at the moment and look great as subjects, hard to beat a prime goldie.

The 7D, yeah, I gave it a try on Sunday. I do think I could've exposed even more to the right as I still had to do some noise reduction, especially on the background but in fairness, I was at ISO 1000 for this last image, something I wouldn't have contemplated until recently on a 7D. I do think it would make a great hide camera if I could totally master it and also save the clicks on my 5D. (y) The 7D actually has a faster frame rate than my 5D.:eek:
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,402
Name
Stu
Edit My Images
Yes
I understand that Dale,all those kids knowing nowt different :),we had that same influx as you this year.but we also had it last year aswell. The numbers of kids was insane both years,but it drops back. I think simply it's this : being somewhat of a flock bird,their parents also take them off for the thistle,teasels and god knows what else,so although they utilise our handouts,their education continues,though the winter,as to all the wild goodies they would normally eat,if we didn't help them.

I don't know any of this buddy,it is simply what i'm seeing. I look bloody hard at animals Dale it's my way,I suppose,I try to get my head around the behaviours,it's part of looking after animals as you know. I guess it also helps as an image maker,if we can preempt a behaviour,because we know our subject inside out,then we are in a lot better place to capture it,rather than simply reacting to a behaviour and being put on the spot as it were.

Did that make sense:D
 
Messages
2,101
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
I do worry about it at times, maybe I shouldn't. You make valid points matey. My worry is that these are this year's brood and it's all they might come to know, then if something happens and I can't feed them (been reminded of that lately), then they are at a loss.
I don’t think you need to worry. Birds have been around for a very long time and they have their own ideas about food. When blue tits use my nest box you can see that the adults feed on seed but don’t then go back to the youngsters but fly off to get spiders etc. I’ve bought in and raised several different breeds of hens which were free range in the day time but none of the would eat layers pellets if wheat was available so I gave up offering it. They spent a lot of time and energy chasing tiny flies! These were all “true breeds” not hybrids so not heavy layers and I didn’t make them lay through the winter. The Runner Ducks I had refused to eat layers pellets until they were laying heavily and though they had a constant supply of wheat and layers they spent most of the day rooting about for slugs etc and eating grass.If long domesticated birds are like that I don’t think you need to worry about changing the nature of wild birds.
 
OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
I understand that Dale,all those kids knowing nowt different :),we had that same influx as you this year.but we also had it last year aswell. The numbers of kids was insane both years,but it drops back. I think simply it's this : being somewhat of a flock bird,their parents also take them off for the thistle,teasels and god knows what else,so although they utilise our handouts,their education continues,though the winter,as to all the wild goodies they would normally eat,if we didn't help them.

I don't know any of this buddy,it is simply what i'm seeing. I look bloody hard at animals Dale it's my way,I suppose,I try to get my head around the behaviours,it's part of looking after animals as you know. I guess it also helps as an image maker,if we can preempt a behaviour,because we know our subject inside out,then we are in a lot better place to capture it,rather than simply reacting to a behaviour and being put on the spot as it were.

Did that make sense:D
I don’t think you need to worry. Birds have been around for a very long time and they have their own ideas about food. When blue tits use my nest box you can see that the adults feed on seed but don’t then go back to the youngsters but fly off to get spiders etc. I’ve bought in and raised several different breeds of hens which were free range in the day time but none of the would eat layers pellets if wheat was available so I gave up offering it. They spent a lot of time and energy chasing tiny flies! These were all “true breeds” not hybrids so not heavy layers and I didn’t make them lay through the winter. The Runner Ducks I had refused to eat layers pellets until they were laying heavily and though they had a constant supply of wheat and layers they spent most of the day rooting about for slugs etc and eating grass.If long domesticated birds are like that I don’t think you need to worry about changing the nature of wild birds.

You are right chaps, I do worry too much at times about these things. Being finches, they can become quite tame but I also have to appreciate that these were ultimately born and bred in the wild and it's unlikely they'll lose that instinct. (y)
 
OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
I thought I'd bring a little update as it's been a while. I've not been too well but almost recovered now. Before I fell ill, I did a little modification to a hatch that I found difficult to use. I have now fixed the hatch cover permanently but also cut it in half and hinged it, so it gives twice the area of the hatch that I had been using and makes life a lot easier with it being easier to move the lens around whilst poking through the mesh. I've also purchased a gimbal head, something I should've done long ago, the amount of time it saves is huge. That's obviously not the gimbal in the image, that's an old cheapo tripod from many moons ago as a friend had a loan of my main tripod.

New species update, a redpoll, a few weeks ago.

DSCF7342 tp.jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
I'm going to need a bigger perch.
A young male I think, flying around the perches today, I think there was a small bird hiding in the tree behind the sparrowhawk in this image as it was flying around the base of the tree then landing on the feeder stand. I wasn't in the hide, so had to take the image from the back door. The sparrowhawk actually landed on one of my 'natural' perches but was just out of shot, so man made it is, which makes it a record shot for me but still nice to get. The ring makes me a little sad.


5Div, Sigma 150-600 @ 600mm, f6.3, 16/01/19.

EDIT:- I've been since corrected, by Alan Mcfadyen, that it's an older male, about 5 years old. (y)





Sparrowhawk.
by Dale, on Flickr
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,402
Name
Stu
Edit My Images
Yes
He's fabulous Dale,I thought older,wouldn't have a clue on age bar the older they get the more colour on the breast they show....is that how Alan aged him???
Fab work buddy I know they are not quite what you want,but gorgeous to see and hopefully more chances to follow cheers for sharing mate how cool !!

stu
 
OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
He's fabulous Dale,I thought older,wouldn't have a clue on age bar the older they get the more colour on the breast they show....is that how Alan aged him???
Fab work buddy I know they are not quite what you want,but gorgeous to see and hopefully more chances to follow cheers for sharing mate how cool !!

stu

cheers Stu.

I'm not sure how Alan aged him, but safe to say, Alan knows his sparrowhawk onions. His comment was when he saw the image, "older male that, about 5 years old". I think it's something to do with brown fringing on some of the wing feathers, or lack of in older birds. It may also be to do with the breast colouring too. If I'm honest, I couldn't be specific about this one's age as I don't know how :thinking: but we did have a youngster doing the rounds last autumn and as this one had a ring too, I pressumed this was that youngster.

I'll be in the hide one day, not in the kitchen making a coffee when it visits, we have at least one female doing the rounds too, my mate has seen her on our roof and I have pics of her on the fence too, she's in this thread somewhere. (y)

I'm pretty sure today's bird had its eye on a dunnock that was in the tree but the short, almosy spikey branches were preventing the sparrowhawk getting to it. There are 2 dunnocks that flit about in those branches. The sparrowhawk definately had its eye on something in the tree.

I'll keep trying, I spend hours in that hide when I can, one day, I'll be there right time, right place. :)
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
Thats just ace having this beauty visiting the garden - hope he becomes a regular

Mike

Yes, it’s very exciting Mike, I hope he keeps visiting. The day before, my Daughter and I were walking from the school and almost home and we saw a sparrowhawk flying low through the gardens in front of us, maybe this same one.
 
OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
I've also posted this in the 'Birds' forum but I wanted to share it here too, just to show how the goldfinches at my hide are totally at ease with my presence. They seem to know though, as if anybody else goes to the hide, they fly away. This one is less than 10 feet away from me and watching eveything I do.

Also, Russ (Rustydon) mentioned to me about keeping the feeders clean. Birds, particularly it seems smaller ones are susceptible to disease that can be transmitted at feeding stations. There are various safe and natural disenfectants out there that can be used to keep the bugs away. (y)

This is the kind of result I was hoping for when I first set up the hide, happy days. :)


tp.jpg
 
Last edited:
Messages
9,966
Name
Robert
Edit My Images
Yes
I've also posted this in the 'Birds' forum but I wanted to share it here too, just to show how the goldfinches at my hide are totally at ease with my presence. They seem to know though, as if anybody else goes to the hide, they fly away. This one is less than 10 feet away from me and watching eveything I do.

Also, Russ (Rustydon) mentioned to me about keeping the feeders clean. Birds, particulalry it seems smaller ones are susceptible to disease that can be transmitted at feeding stations. Ther are various safe and natural disenfectants out there tha can be used to keep the bugs away. (y)

This is the kind of result I was hoping for when I first set up the hide, happy days. :)


View attachment 235750
Brilliant shot Dale
 
Messages
2,402
Name
Stu
Edit My Images
Yes
The mo blur in the rain/ snow messes with my eyes Dale,it isn't a criticism ,just an observation,it makes me think I'm seeing double :LOL:

We have just one male coming Dale our first beauts are they not !! . This is lovely , i wouldn't change a thing bar the crop I'd keep the RHS. Mate the density of bkg is fading across the frame left to right,the bird really pops against the denser bkg to the left,if you have only cropped from the RHS maybe it's worth musing FF to me the subject is strong enough and the bkg might?? add.
Lovely couple of frames above ;)

stu
 
OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
The mo blur in the rain/ snow messes with my eyes Dale,it isn't a criticism ,just an observation,it makes me think I'm seeing double :LOL:

We have just one male coming Dale our first beauts are they not !! . This is lovely , i wouldn't change a thing bar the crop I'd keep the RHS. Mate the density of bkg is fading across the frame left to right,the bird really pops against the denser bkg to the left,if you have only cropped from the RHS maybe it's worth musing FF to me the subject is strong enough and the bkg might?? add.
Lovely couple of frames above ;)

stu
The blur is certainly odd isn't it? Single flakes here and there and treblers elsewhere. There's just a squidge more space to the right in the pre processed version, not much as I was mindful of the nearby fence that runs down that side, a modification I might make in the near future, we'll see.

Lovely birds, I wish there were more coming to the hide but fingers crossed as we have spring and summer just around the corner. (y)
 
OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
Time to update this, I've not for a while, had a lot going on in life and not spent much time in the hide.

It's coming up on a year now, where did that go?

Of the species I can remember,

house sparrow,
goldfinch,
redpoll,
siskin,
blue tit,
coal tit,
great tit,
great spotted woodpecker,
starling,
sparrowhawk,
dunnock,
jackdaw,
blackbird,
song thrush,
chaffinch,
magpie,
wren,

there's probably more,

and one from yesterday, they seem to be a permanent feature now, a nice suprise for my return to the hide,

tp.jpg
 
Last edited:
Messages
609
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
No
Now's the time to take some branch cuttings from Blackthorn or cherries, for some song birds and blossom shots.
 
OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
Really doing well with that set up now :) very jealous and we hope to do similar when we move (if we ever sell our house)

Do it, I love my hide, it's not just about taking images, it's great for 'me time' and just sitting and watching the wildlife in the garden is a great pastime. Every home should have one. ;) The early days , it was all sparrows but over the year, many species have come in and also, last year's fledgling goldfinches have turned into fine birds. As long as I'm able, I will have a hide.
 
Messages
1,353
Name
Trevor
Edit My Images
Yes
Wow, what a great thread! Dale, you’re quite an inspiration, I’m in the wilds of northern Scotland and really think I should do something like this myself. I regularly watch the birds at our feeders, only some 3 feet or so from the study window. We do move the feeders around for hygiene reasons, but I always look forward to getting them back outside the window. We get a nice variety of species and a few weeks ago, had 38 Siskins - it was like green confetti, I love them and they’re not frightened of any other species, apart from the sparrowhawk that I found perched on the feeder pole, giving me the beady eye lol. 3 years ago I had a male hawfinch around for a week, they’re quite rare up here and my sighting was included in the BTO yearbook which was nice. We get the odd mammal too, voles are common, roe deer make regular appearances too, a stoat spent a few days in our stone wall and a few years ago I found an otter spraint. (We get them in the river behind us.
Thank you for your contribution Dale, now all I need to do is persuade my wife that we need a garden shed. :)
 
OP
OP
Dale.
Messages
3,942
Name
Dale.
Edit My Images
Yes
Wow, what a great thread! Dale, you’re quite an inspiration, I’m in the wilds of northern Scotland and really think I should do something like this myself. I regularly watch the birds at our feeders, only some 3 feet or so from the study window. We do move the feeders around for hygiene reasons, but I always look forward to getting them back outside the window. We get a nice variety of species and a few weeks ago, had 38 Siskins - it was like green confetti, I love them and they’re not frightened of any other species, apart from the sparrowhawk that I found perched on the feeder pole, giving me the beady eye lol. 3 years ago I had a male hawfinch around for a week, they’re quite rare up here and my sighting was included in the BTO yearbook which was nice. We get the odd mammal too, voles are common, roe deer make regular appearances too, a stoat spent a few days in our stone wall and a few years ago I found an otter spraint. (We get them in the river behind us.
Thank you for your contribution Dale, now all I need to do is persuade my wife that we need a garden shed. :)


Thank you Trevor.

When I started this thread, I had no idea of the appreciation it would get and I am touched by that. I'm glad I set up the hide now, for my own gain yes but others seem to be getting inspired too, which I think is great. I would say to anyone that is thinking of doing it to just do it, don't think about it too much apart from the planning stages of course, then just let it run naturally. All I do now is provide food and clean water, the rest more or less looks after itself. I enjoy just sitting there sometimes and watching things happen, it's not just about getting images now.

I've had a bit of a trying day with it today, I must admit, after a few hide stints that were about the best I've ever had this last few weeks, today saw the return of the house sparrows. I don't mind them and they have to eat but they are preventing the siskins, goldfinches, redpoll etc from getting to the seeds. I have jackdaw proof feeders but the house sparrows get into them no problem. I don't mind feeding them but I do mind when they are taking over and potentially driving away the smaller birds. Anyway, I'll let it play and not interfere too much.

It sounds like a lovely place that you live, we are in Ayrshire, I'm originally from South Wales. We have loads of wildlife too, there are deer very nearby, foxes, all the usual as well as all the usual woodland birds. We live in the shadow of a large woodland, which has a population of (now fenced off) wild boar. I've not had hawfinch here, my claim to fame so far would be the sparrowhawks that come in now and again, GSW and very recently, a chiffchaff.

I'm also in pursuit of kingfishers on the river nearby, I get regular flybys but nothing perched. I've found the nest but I don't have the licence to be there whilst they are nesting, so I'll stay away until the nesting season is over, then investigate further, the bird/animal is more important than the image.

I will be carrying out some maintenance on the hide this weekend and making some small changes, watch this space.
 
Last edited:
Top