Feathers.

The new Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Feathers.

An easy challenge for me having been photographing birds for decades. So I decided to do something a little different, rather than just picking photos of birds I would select shots where the birds feathers were a feature of the photo.

Feather maintenance. A well camouflaged juvenile Red Knot preening on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario, Canada. The bird has stopped over on its way south for the winter.

Feather maintenance.

Feather washing. An adult European Robin bathing which is an important part of feather maintenance. Hatherton, Cheshire, England.

Bath time

Feather iridescence. Iridescent feathers on a male Common Grackle are used to attract a female and are an indication of the health of the bird. South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

A shiny male Common Grackle.

Feathers for insulation. A male Evening Grosbeak warms one leg and foot in its feathers at -30°C. Greenwater Lake Provincial Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Evening Grosbeak in the winter.

Feather feeding. An adult Great Crested Grebe feeding one of its own breast feathers to its young. Hurleston Reservoir, Cheshire, England. There is some debate about why many species of Grebe feed their breast feathers to the young.

Adult Great Crested Grebe with young.

Feathers spread for take off. A Black-capped Chickadee taking flight on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

A Black-capped Chickadee taking off.

Feeding Recently Hatched Young.

One from the archives taken in Cheshire in the late 1980s.

Having documented the complete nesting cycle of a pair of Eurasian Blue Tits in 1987 I went on to photograph other species in different nestboxes over the next couple of years.

Here an adult Great Tit (Parus major) is about to feed some recently hatched young with a small yellow green caterpillar. While it looks as if the bird is looking at the camera it was just the timing of the shot. It was dark inside the nestbox, I was releasing the shutter a second or two after hearing an adult land at the entrance hole.

Feeding Recently Hatched Young.

Wildlife Garden.

The new Cosmic Photo Challenge is How Does Your Garden Grow.

When I was living in a rural part of Cheshire, England I turned a corner of the garden into a wildlife garden. It became a wildflower meadow and somewhere to photograph plants, insects and birds. I didn’t have to drive anywhere and could set up a hide anywhere for as long as I wanted.

A Dandelion seed head (clock) growing in the meadow.

Dandelion seed head.

This male Common Pheasant in hoarfrost one winter morning was a fairly regular visitor at certain times of the year.

Frosted Pheasant

This pair of Soldier Beetles are mating on Ragwort flowers.

Soldier Beetles mating on Ragwort flowers.

This male Eurasian Bullfinch liked the fresh grass seed heads.

Male Eurasian Bullfinch.

One of the plant species growing in the meadow.

Hardheads.

There was Teasels growing along the edge of the meadow to attract European Goldfinches.

Goldfinch feeding on Teasel.

I picked up the windfall apples from under the trees in the vegetable garden and put them in the grass on the meadow for birds such as this Common Starling.

European Starling in winter.