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.




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.



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


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


Weekly Prompts

Weekend Challenge: Story

This is my contribution to the Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Story.

I thought of the story of a pair of Eurasian Blue Tits nesting in a nestbox in Cheshire. In 1987 I documented the complete nesting cycle of a pair of Eurasian Blue Tits using a specially constructed nestbox built into a garden shed in a Hatherton garden.

Having digitised all the nestbox slides last winter I had lots of photos to pick from so I decided to limit myself to four photos illustrating key points of the nesting cycle.


Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Story

One of the adults lining the nest with a feather prior to the start of egg laying.


One Word Sunday: Company

The male feeding the female during incubation.


Weekly Prompts: Story

An adult feeding one of the young.


Weekly Prompts: Story

Close to leaving, one of the young at the entrance hole exercising its wings.


One Word Sunday


This is my contribution to the One Word Sunday prompt Company.

I had a couple of ideas for the challenge before thinking about it being spring in the northern hemisphere and that lots of species are in the process of breeding.

In this case the female Eurasian Blue Tit will spend approximately 14 days incubating the eggs while being kept company by the male who regularly brings her food.

One Word Sunday: Company


Cosmic Photo Challenge

Cosmic Photo Challenge: Inside

Having spent a lot of my spare time digitising my slide archives over the winter the Cosmic Photo Challenge: Inside was rather well timed.

I now have digital copies of most of the nestbox interiors documenting the nesting cycle of various hole nesting species. So here’s the inside of three different nestboxes and three different species using them.


Cosmic Photo Challenge: Inside

An adult Eurasian Blue Tit feeding young. The adult has an unidentified insect in its bill.


Cosmic Photo Challenge: Inside

A male House Sparrow feeding young.


Cosmic Photo Challenge: Inside

Juvenile Great Tits begging for food having just heard an adult land at the nestbox entrance hole. Occasionally the adults will take a break from the constant feeding to feed themselves and do some feather maintenance. As a result, all the young are hungry when feeding resumes.