Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Arrival and Departure.

After returning and recovering from the noisy but joyful weekend wedding celebrations it was good to spend some quiet time catching up with the Blue Tit nesting activities in the garden.

Both the male and the female share the feeding programme and are now flying in and out of the nest box with alarming regularity. During the early morning sessions they  were returning with food with monotonous regularity about every minute but as the day wore on the visits became less predictable.

I have also noticed that unless there is any indication of other species in the vicinity or possible predators flying overhead (Magpie, Crow etc.) they rarely perch in the nearby Lilac but fly directly into the next box, often without even perching at the hole. 

During this session I just sat in the garden chair and took a few pot shots (hand held) by focusing on the nest box plate and hoping for the best!

 Capturing them leaving was a test of both patience and anticipating their departure schedule.

Once a head appeared I started to fire off a few frames but as usual most of the 2nd and 3rd shots were just a blank canvas as this little species launches itself into flight faster than I can say 'gotcha'!

Occasionally I was just lucky to find that these little torpedo's were actually 'captured in the frame' but often slightly out of focus.

I then tried picking a manual focus point in line with the nest box hole and increasing the shutter speed (anywhere between 1/1000 - 1/1600 @ F/4.5) but keeping the ISO under 800 even though at times the overhead skies were somewhat dull.

More practice is definitely required and I have no doubt that the use of a tripod and the remote release would probably improve on yesterdays efforts. Anyway it was fun watching this pair going about their rigorous daily routine. How many days before fledging? ... Your guess is as good as mine.   FAB. 

Please check out WORLD BIRD WEDNESDAY for more avian activity from around the globe.


  1. i'm always amazed at how much effort goes into successfully raising baby birds. thank goodness they have incredible energy (and i assume they take a few worms and bugs for themselves). you got some great shots of these pretty parents!

  2. Hi Frank...very enjoyable...it is so wonderful to watch these things go on!! Some people just don't realize what fun it is to watch nature at it's finest!!
    I enjoyed the show even if you think it needed perfecting!! : }

  3. Not an easy task Frank but one you seem to have good success with... just lovely to watch the coming and going - just like busy bees at this time of the year! :D

    (The word verification is: flank ;) )

  4. Nice series of images! Lovely blue tit!

  5. These are great and informative shots about bird habit Frank. Who needs "Springwatch" anyway.

  6. Capturing the Blue Tit as it leaves the nest is tantalizing, but, you did get it several times, brilliant photos.

  7. Fantastic series Frank. You've done exceptionally well to capture them on the way out of the box. Any idea how many young they have in there?

  8. Great post Frank, and cracking captures.
    A lot of fun watching them.

    I've a pair nesting in my garden, and they work non stop feeding. They certainly work hard.

  9. Your experimenting paid off! Great shots.

  10. Hi Frank,This is all so wonderful!

  11. Wonderful series on the BlueTits. It is fun watching them come and go from the nestbox.

  12. Excellent work! I guess we have both been playing the anticipation game. I can tell you this, small bird in flight will always be more luck than skill especially when light is at a premium. Having a camera that shots seven shots per second helps catching the little buggers in your predetermined focal sweet spot too. More better technology raises the average but nothing can replace the singlemindedness necessary to take a thousand chances in hope for one or two good ones! Fascinating series!

  13. Hi Frank

    I loved the images. They show this delightful little bird about it's business and that for me is the most interesting factor.

    I am sure you will improve as time goes on, but for me personally they are great. If I had taken them I would be more than happy.....

  14. Great sequence Frank!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  15. ...great job documenting the nesting activity...I love the photos! I have nothing like that going on in my yard, so they are doubly fun to look at!

  16. Hi Theresa. Amazing how they pack in so much activity in such a short time frame. The parents visit the fat feeder for a top up fairly regularly.

    Hi Grammie. There is always room for improvement, especially with the camera!

    Thanks Tricia. I think I'm as worn out as the parents .. lol.

    Thanks Kah-Wai Lin.

    Cheers Roy. Well hopefully they will show us some Pied Flys doing the same.

    Thanks Bob.

    Thanks Adam. I haven't had a chance to open the front with all the current activity ... perhaps I'll leave it as a surprise.

    Cheers Keith. You'd wonder where they find all the energy!

    Thanks Mike B, Modesto, Amila and Eileen.

    Hi Springman. Appreciate the understanding.

    Hi Cheryl. I'm happy just watching them but the chance to capture the action is always gets the mind ticking.

  17. Thanks Gary.

    Hi Kelly. Just hope I can second guess the departure of the young ones.

  18. What a fantastic series! Great job on capturing all the activity going on in your yard!

  19. You still did good with the shots you managed to capture! They're very unpredictable and quick. Such a cute, busy little pair.

  20. Brilliant study and a great read Frank

  21. Lovely to see, but to capture it all is fantastic.
    My new nestbox remains unused but I was a bit late adding it to my garden this year.
    A great set Frank very well presented.

  22. Lovely to have these birds nesting in the box so close and the photos you took of their activities are great.

  23. Terrific action sequence, Frank! You got a front seat. It sounds like you are empathizing with the parents. Such dedication!

  24. Beautiful, especially when he spread his wings! Great photos! Today I saw that we also have one living in our garden :)

  25. Wow, they certainly are busy ones, aren't they and so cute too. The top image is grand~

  26. Thank you Marissa.

    Hi Mona. Far too fast at time for my hand, eye coordination!

    Cheers Matt. Delighted you enjoyed this one.

    Thanks Andrew. It took longer to put the posr together than it took to take the pics!!

    Thanks Mick. I'm just hoping all their efforts come to fruition.

    Hi Hilke. Nothing more pleasurable than resting in the garden with all this activity going on around me.

    Thanks fjallripan. Maybe yours will nest sometime.

    Thanks Mary. The backyard birs are certainly keeping me entertained at the moment.

  27. Wonderful captures Frank! Great results from your experiment.

  28. You chose a difficult task and I think you pulled it off very well! These shots well illustrate the busy -ness of these little birds as they tend the nestlings

  29. What a fantastic series Frank!

  30. Great post. I also find it difficult to catch small birds in flight. Once in a while I get lucky. Great series with the tough conditions.

  31. Absolutely brilliant series Frank. Your patience and perseverance were well rewarded.

  32. Oh my gosh Frank. Unbelievable. I feel like I'm right there with the camera trying to get those images. You did a great job. They are so adorable. I wished I could see that little guy here in Kentucky but I've never. Carol

  33. Very beautiful set of images. Well done!
    We are feeding them during the winter, but do not see much to the now.

  34. Wonderful series, Frank! They are quite busy parents. It's so very difficult to capture good in flight images but you managed to do so. Fantastic!

  35. sure, this takes a lot of practise and luck as well. I think you got some good shots here. And, torpedo, is a good word for them. :)

  36. MainBirder. Thanks John.

    Thanks Pat. Catching the little ones will probably be even tougher!

    Thanks joo.

    Hi Bill S. It is not something I would attempt every day but worth the effort.

    Cheers John. I guess one day I should try to video this action.

    Hi Carol. They are unlikely to ever make it across all that water so I'm delighted to provide an insight into their world over here.

    Thanks Fotokarusellen. Yours are probably in hiding whilst they bring up their youngsters.

    Hi Julie. Hopefully next time the light will be better and I can up the speed for some sharper images.

    Thanks NatureFootstep, and I need to practice a bit more when the conditions are just right.

  37. Your post made me smile. I have "hundreds" of similar photos of our Blue Tits at the nest. It's very hard to get something good. You did very well!

  38. Great collection of shots. It is such great fun to do, isn't it?

    I usually end up with sore arms and lots of misses :-)

  39. Thanks Dreamfalcon. I very much enjoyed your sequential Blue Tit posts.

    Hi Gwendolen. Thanks for your visit and comments. There wewre quite a few blank frames .. lol.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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