Pictures by Walter

A View With Every Picture


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At the Feeder – 3 May 2016

May – the green month, the month trees show the new green leaves, grass appears to been repainted with a bright green and skies go blue with fluffy white clouds.  The reality is the exact opposite, high wind, rain and cold. No new bird visitors have been seen over the last 3 days. I did have a very fleeting glimpse of a Siskin (Carduelis carduelis) on Saturday however, it was a very brief stop at one of the feeders then flew off, not enough time to get a photo of it.  The stalwarts pay frequent visits and an increase the sparrows or to give correct name House Sparrow (Passer domesticus).  The Dunnock pair are very frequent visitors at present, though I think it will only be one visiting soon as they hatch their eggs.  One favourite visitor is the Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto).  I do like this bird.  The visitors appear to be a pair – with one of them having a feather coming out of the wing.    I’ve been using three cameras over the past week Canon 50D, Canon 60D and a compact zoom Canon SX50 HS.  This image of the Collared Dove with the loose feather was taken with the Canon SX50  HS.

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What a Bird Brain… An Insult!

20160501-_MG_6824I’ve used that expression myself without really thinking about the phrase.  It is generally a mildly insulting phrase denotes silly behaviour, actions or thoughts usually attributed to a child or immature person.  Yet birds are not silly, in fact their brains control flight and are really ideal for the bird, perhaps not for a human. Do birds have silly behaviour? I cannot say what thoughts they have. What I do know from my own observations is that they are quite smart, especially the Crow family.  I sit at my computer overlooking my small garden which I call “Chez Walter”  Since 2012 I’ve watched Starling work out how to get into feeders which have access for small birds only.  Today I sat and watched a Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), work out how to land into a suspended table type feeder (shown left).    The Collared Dove is about the size of a small pigeon:

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The bird assessed the situation, there was seed in in the feeder which was suspended from a hook on a stance.  One side was blocked by the stance pole leaving three sides with limited flight path to a tight opening.    A quick flick of the wings a short flight and a hop and the bird was inside the feeder – perhaps not fully, but enough to get the seed.  Mr or Mrs Collared Dove enjoyed the rewards of his/her efforts.  Next time I looked up there were two doves inside the feeder – alas I did not manage to get a shot of them….next time I’ll have the camera ready

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The other day I watched a Magpie (Pica pica) take some dried meal worms drop then into a small birdbath of water fly away.  She came back approx 3 minutes collected some more dried mail worms drop them into another part of  the birdbath then collected her previous load.


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At the Feeder.. 29-4-2016

“Chez Walter” feeding station is now attracting the smaller garden birds along with Magpie (Pica pica),   Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus).  The ravages of winter have been repaired, though some work remains.  Broken feeders replaced, water features repaired and new gnomes adopted.  The larger birds soon came back as did the Starlings. However the smaller garden/woodland birds had not been seen since September last year.  Today 29th April “Chez Walter” had 7 specie of birds to the feeders.  First (as usual|) was the;

20160418-_DSC8517-EditWoodpigeon (Columba palumbus) in the rain

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Two special birds returned: one small garden bird the smallest Tit in UK :

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One of my firm favourites the Coal Tit (Parus ater).  The little bird flits in and out very quickly, pausing for s second or two to check out the area for danger.  Makes a quick flt to the feeder – usually for the Sunflower Seeds, gets one and flits out again.  Rarely does it pause to eat the seed in my smallish trees – it heads fro higher and safer spots.  A welcome return wsa also extended to a larger woodland bird the Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto). 20160429-_MG_8030-Edit

Whilst the little Coal Tit is mostly Grey and black with white patches, the Collared Dove is almost all grey with a pinkish-buff Collar-band round the neck.  Perhaps a bit bland for most tastes however in sunshine the birds feathers take on a lustre and the ruby eyes  light up and sparkle.