The (h)edge of reason

by on Jan.14, 2010, under Birdwatching, Photography, Southeast Northumberland

We’re well into warm(er) weather now, although there was a fresh covering of snow this morning and as Martin sat through a 2hr meeting at Matfen Hall yesterday morning there was steady snowfall throughout.

As well as the flocks of birds that are visiting gardens so that they can find enough food to survive we’ve been finding reasonable flocks of farmland birds.  One flock we’ve been watching has lots of Linnets, Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers and at least 12 Bramblings.  They’ve found a wheat field that hadn’t been harvested so there was a substantial food source above the snowline even at the weekend when there was still a lot of snow on the ground.

Patience was the key to watching them.  Standing motionless meant that they were willing to approach to within the minimum focusing distance of our 500mm lens.  Well worth the discomfort of standing in one place in sub-zero temperatures 🙂

Mixed flock in a hedge, a warming winter birdwatching sight

Mixed flock in a hedge, a warming winter birdwatching sight

Brambling and Reed Buntings

Brambling and Reed Buntings

5 of the Bramblings

5 of the Bramblings

Linnet

Linnet

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer

Of course, with so many birds concentrated in one small area it was inevitable that ours weren’t the only eyes watching them.  Through the camera lens there was a rush of wings as everything took off, a blur across the viewfinder and then an opportunity for a morbid portrait.

Who ended up on the menu?

Who ended up on the menu?

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