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.


Tuesday Photo Challenge – Action

When I read the prompt for the Tuesday Photo Challenge – Action I had all sorts of ideas for a post.

It took me some time to narrow down the ideas to either different species doing the same activity or to concentrate on one species.

In the end I decided to go with one species engaging in various activities. I picked the humble House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) because it’s one of my most published species and I have lots of photos of them engaged in various activities.


Mating House Sparrows.



Tuesday Photo Challenge - Action



Tuesday Photo Challenge - Action



Tuesday Photo Challenge - Action



Tuesday Photo Challenge - Action

Dust bathing.


Male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan, Canada in the summer of 1995.

I had found the nest of a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in the middle of a group of large trees. Because of the surrounding trees there was only a few brief periods each day when the sun illuminated the tree trunk and nest hole.

Both the male and female were busily feeding the young in the nest. This meant that the adults would land at the nest hole and check that the other bird wasn’t about to exit before they entered. There is a photo of a bird exiting while the other waits here.

Here, the male is making sure that the female isn’t in the nest before entering.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker male.

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Bathrooms/Outhouses

This is my contribution to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Bathrooms/Outhouses.

As is sometimes the case, I took a sideways look at the challenge and thought about bathrooms and outhouses in the natural world.

To a bird, any water is a bathroom, here a male House Sparrow is bathing in a garden pond in Nantwich, Cheshire, England. Bathing is an important part of feather maintenance.

Monochrome House Sparrow bathing.

An adult Great Tit removing a fecal sac from a youngster in Hatherton, Cheshire, England. The young produce fecal sacs to allow the adults to remove the droppings and keep the nest clean.

Great Tit removing fecal sac.


Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire in the spring of 1987.

I was documenting the complete nesting cycle of a pair of Eurasian Blue Tits.

The eggs are laid and the female has started incubation. In this photo the male is feeding the female while she incubates the eggs. The female will leave the nest a few times each day.

Feeding during incubation.

Feeding during incubation

Cee’s latest Black and White Photo Challenge is Tender Moments.

I had a few ideas for the challenge before thinking of this story of a pair of Eurasian Blue Tit nesting. Taken in 1987, this is a monochrome conversion of one of the colour shots. However, at the time I was taking black and white shots along with the colour as a local newspaper was running the story of the birds nesting.

This got me wondering if this photo project was the last time I shot black and white film. Certainly by 1987 most newspapers had gone to colour apart from a few local newspapers. If a publication wanted a black and white photo they would often convert a colour original.

To the photo, the eggs are laid. Now the female is incubating them while being fed by the male. In this photo the male has just given the female a caterpillar.

Nesting Eurasian Blue Tits