Friday, 11 April 2014

Getting Twitterpated

As Thumper said to Bambi, "Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime."  There has been some nest building going on outside the kitchen door this week and not from the usual suspects I would be expecting.

These little guys are hard at work in some ivy that climbs up the outside of a neighbours wall.
The wrens have been eluding my camera as they dart in and out from a lookout post in a nearby sycamore tree.  These little chaps are quick.  They don't sit and assess you, like the robins and blackbirds do, they just flit around as quick as they can in the hope that you just don't notice that little flash of brown.
I must confess that I use auto-focus a lot for wildlife shots, concentrating on the framing whilst the camera does the work.  In this case it caused the failure of several attempts as the camera couldn't cope with a tiny bird flitting around in bare tree branches with a green hedge and other trees several feet behind.  There was a constant struggle as I tried to convince it that the foreground needed to be in focus not the background.
In the end I won the power struggle by turning auto-focus off.  Of course this presented a new problem as I'm not used to constantly re-checking the focus each time I move even a fraction.  I'm sure I am capable of getting a sharper set of pictures than these and with the birds in residence hopefully I should get the chance.  I might have to get the tripod out for the next batch of pictures.  I've also seen them carrying nesting materials, so I will see if that's also a shot I can achieve.
The wrens are not the only ones getting twitterpated though.
Whilst looking at the site of the wrens nest this guy flew in.  I wonder if this is the dad of the family I photographed last summer? (Pictures are here.)  Do they nest in the same territories each year? I don't know where their nest was/is, but hopefully there will be fledglings in the garden again this year.

Photo data: 11-Apr-2014, Digital SLR, backyard, Wiltshire

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