Wednesday Wings: It’s a Hoot!

There have been multiple exasperated conversations here about how wildlife, especially birds, refuse to cooperate with our attempts to get pictures. I swear that there is a memo going around when I leave the house as to whether I carry a camera or not. Last week was no exception. On Monday, when we had our friends over, I took my camera for the walk. I also took many pics the days before, the ones posted on Saturday, so I left the camera at home on Tuesday. When we arrived at our fountain we took a small break and sat down. I looked up at the old willow tree and was like “This branch looks strange. It is fluffy. It also wasn’t there yesterday and trees don’t grow thick, short, fluffy branches over night.” I took a closer look and it turned out to be a young owl, drowsing there in the branches of the willow.

I was so fucking angry. This was the first time in my life that I saw a wild owl. Oh I hear them almost every night, no problem, but seeing them? Only at the zoo. And no camera but the crappy phones.I told Mr “I’m going back and I’m going to get the camera and heaven help this owl if it is no longer there!”

So that’s what I did. 1 km back home, 1 km  back to the fountain, so about half an hour later I was there again and of course the owl had moved! But only a few metres and it was actually two owls. Back home I tried to identify them and my most likely guess is a tawny owl, since they’re also the ones I keep hearing, but honestly the pics I found all look very much alike.

To cut a long story short, I saw owls and here’s the evidence:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

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Wednesday Wings: The Birds of Spring III

An old German children’s song is about the joys of spring, when “all the birds are here already”.

From the list of “blackbird, thrush, finch and starling” you can assume that those birds used to be more migratory or simply tried their luck in the woods back in those days.

There are different thrushes living here, but they are rare visitors to the garden, but can be found in the woods.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

Wednesday Wings: Hunting Kinglets

Kinglets, or more specifically goldcrests, are the prettier cousins of our common wrens. They aren’t exactly shy birds, although they don’t like too many people in the woods, but they move fast in an area with lots of bushes and twigs. I know a spot where I have good chances of spotting them. Taking their picture? The work of Sysiphus… The big lens needs a lot of light and the autofocus needs time. Given the terrain, chances are good that the bird is long gone once it has found that particular twig*.

So here are my results of several hunts.

kinglet

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The best shot, though I don’t recommend “click for full size”. It is grainy, since the ISO went through the roof, but shooting birds at less than 1/125 is impossible anyway.

*I could still bite my own ass for not having waited a few months longer until I had enough money to buy the “sports” version…

And now for a whole row of “I should have put superglue on the branches”…

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