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Monthly Squares

Eleven Of A Kind

This is my day 11 contribution to Becky’s October Squares challenge on the theme of Kind.

Eleven Eurasian Blue Tit in a nestbox. Technically there was eleven young plus the adult but only 10 young are in view.

Eurasian Blue Tit feeding young.
Categories
Saturday Bird

A young Eurasian Blue Tit

My Saturday Bird this week is a young Eurasian Blue Tit.

The photo raises a couple of interesting points. The yellow plumage shows it is a young bird hatched from an egg in the spring. It has only been out of the nest for a couple of months. The bird has a ring on its leg which means that it was probably ringed while in the nest.

I did some research and the closest location I could find for the bird to be ringed was three miles away in a straight line. That means that this bird has already travelled a considerable distance in the short time since it left the nest.

The other interesting point is the birds activity. It’s pecking open an Oriental Poppy seed pod to get at the seeds inside. I had seen and photographed adult birds doing this previously but not young birds. So did this bird learn how to do this by watching an adult or is it instinctive behaviour?

Categories
Weekly Photo Challenge

Friendly Friday: Nostalgia

This is my contribution to the Friendly Friday Challenge: Nostalgia.

I’m going to take a sideways look at this challenge with a post partly about nostalgia and partly about camera equipment.

It’s now 40 years since I left art school after studying photography. In those 40 years there has been huge advances in equipment and techniques.

Sometimes I will look back at shots in my film archives and consider how much easier some of the shots would be to get today. Or I will be aware of how much better the quality of the images would be compared to the film stocks available when the shots were taken.

So this post is about looking back at some favourite photos and considering how some of my photos could be improved with modern equipment or techniques.

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge - Number

 

In the late 1970s and early 1980s I was photographing a variety of motorsports. In those days 200 ISO was the highest colour film speed a lot of editors would accept. One of my current mirrorless cameras has a base of 200 ISO. Also, lenses are faster with better anti-reflection coatings.

 

 

Weekly Prompts: Story

 

Nowadays I would build a LED panel into the top of the nestbox for more even, diffused light.

 

One Word Sunday: Drama

Nowadays there are techniques for dealing with high contrast lighting like this. I can take multiple exposures and combine them to keep detail in the highlights and open up the shadows.

 

 

 

Categories
Weekly Photo Challenge

Cosmic Photo Challenge: Shadows and Silhouettes

This is my contribution to the Cosmic Photo Challenge prompt Shadows and Silhouettes.

I decided to keep it simple and go with one photo of shadows and one photo of a silhouette.

 

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Panoramic Views

Trees and their shadows at Bickerton Hill in southern Cheshire, England.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Treasure Hunt

A Eurasian Blue Tit silhouetted against the rising sun at Faddiley in southern Cheshire, England.

 

Categories
Throwback Thursday

Flying the Nest

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire on the 3rd June 1987. Yes I know I’m a day late.

This is the end of the story of the nesting Eurasian Blue Tits photographed using a specially constructed nestbox in a Cheshire garden. The previous two Throwback Thursday posts were also detailing this nestbox.

 

Throwback Thursday: 4th June 2020

The ninth young Eurasian Blue Tit about to take its first flight leaving just two young in the nest.

 

Throwback Thursday: 4th June 2020

The eleventh youngster couldn’t get up the nerve to leave and spent the day in the nestbox being fed by an adult occasionally. The following morning one of the adults was outside calling to encourage it to leave, which it did.

 

Categories
Archives

Keeping the nest clean

This is a follow-up of sorts to my Throwback Thursday post yesterday. That showed how cramped it was getting inside this nestbox.

After posting it occurred to me that I should post a photo showing how the adults keep the nest clean. While in the nest the young produce fecal sacs. These are droppings encased in a gelatinous sac allowing the adults to carry it out of the nestbox and drop it some distance away.

The young stick their bottoms in the air as a sign to an adult that they’re about to produce one.

Interestingly, when I captioned the slides in 1987 the reference books I used spelled it as faecal sac but the accepted spelling nowadays is fecal.

Keeping the nest clean

 

Categories
Throwback Thursday

It’s getting cramped in the nestbox

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire in the spring of 1987 as I continue the story of the nesting Eurasian Blue Tits. Photographed using a specially constructed nestbox in a Hatherton garden.

The young are almost fully grown and will be leaving the nestbox in a few days. Here one of the adults is about to feed a green caterpillar to one of the young.

Throwback Thursday: 28th May 2020