Hide Diaries: Page 3, TITS!

I got my first sighting of Bearded Tits and for the first time, It’s not just a joke about me looking in the mirror!

The photographs are not of the quality I prefer, but these were the only chances I had and it’ll have to do for now.

My first time seeing Bearded Tits and I saw a male and a female.

bearded tit malebearded tits

Fact about bearded tits, despite the name ‘bearded tits’ they’re not part of the tit family and is a ‘Reedling’

Not to mention the fact really it should be called “Moustachioed tit’ since they don’t actually have beards but have moustaches!

Female bearded titFemale bearded tits have no beards or moustaches! 

Some more tits to follow.

Blue tits!
blue titBlue tits

Willow tit

marsh tit 2Marsh tit

No more tits.

A male Reed Bunting (Winter plumage)
Bunting 2Bunting 3Bunting

 

Jay Diaries: In pursuit of the perfect photograph

I still haven’t got the perfect photograph.

Not by my own standards anyway.

But I’m going to share the failures along the way as this seems to be an ongoing journey I’m on.

The best photo I did manage to get due to lack of light I had to bump that ISO up and it created a noisy image which to me makes it not perfect.

Anywhere here are yesterdays attempts at the perfect photograph of a Jay.

All are okay photos for one simple reason, there is a Jay in them. Other than that they’re not that good…

The last photo in this collection is the best one, but as said above the noise is distracting. You don’t notice it as much when it’s smaller like in this blog post, but full size the noise is very noticeable.  However,  I enjoy the focus on its eye and the light in it too

The reason it’s been so hard to get the photographs…

Firstly the time of day I keep trying, due to my failure to wake up at a reasonable time.

Secondly, Jay’s being the shy birds they are fly over, pick up some nuts and leave in a flash with only the odd occasion it stays long enough to get a shot.

Thirdly, I am behind a window. I hope to improve on that set up eventually so there will be no dividing glass between us to further darken the photo. Plus in some light photographing through a window seems to create a sort of double vision look which ruins the photo further.

Jay 1 29 10Jay 2 29 10Jay 3 29 10Jay 4 29 10 19

Jay Diaries: My top bird

I think it’s been established on my twitter and on here that I have a deep love for Eurasian Jays.

I really, really do.

I’m not sure exactly why perhaps it’s the fact it’s a corvid that looks so exotic compared to its other corvid cousins.

That said I’ve always liked the corvid family, seemingly going against the grain of other peoples preferences. Most people I meet don’t think high of Crows and Ravens viewing them as harbingers of something dark and evil.

No amount of my pleading with them that they’re really not all that bad and that they’re a very intelligent species appears to be enough to change peoples minds.

But those same people who talk negatively about Magpies and their cousins will see a “colourful looking bird” of the likes they have seen “No bird quite like it!” Described in a varying degree of colours from ‘orange’ to ‘beige with a flash of blue and colourful eyes.”
They tend to be cheerful having seen this colourful bird, perhaps thinking they’ve seen some exotic species. Almost always what they’ve seen is a Jay.

“I think it was a Jay you saw,” I’ll say, and get my phone out to show them a picture, “Is this what you saw?”

“Yes!” They’ll beam excitedly.

They often seem shocked when I tell them they’re part of the same family as Crows.
Despite this, it doesn’t seem to make them automatically hate them or at the very least be less inclined to like them.

But their excitement over it never seems to outmatch my own excitement about The Jay.

Perhaps I am falling prey to the same cognitive bias as them. “Oh look a colourful more exotic looking bird! These are my favourite!”  And there is probably some truth to it.

After all, I’m the same person who has been and is always in pursuit of photographs of the common yet elusive Kingfisher. And surely there is only one real reason for that, they’re exotic looking little birds to have in such a non-exotic place such as Britain!

It’s not just the colours that endear me to the Jay though, it’s something as simple as their moustaches!

I think what brings them to the top of my list of favourite birds is that they have a very prehistoric dinosaurian look about them, and though shy, you can entice them into your garden for fleeting glances by putting out peanuts and collecting acorns (Never collecting more than a few a time).

The noises they make also make them one of my favourites, I’m never quite sure if their calls quite match the way they look. I guess you could say they look more exotic than they sound! But that only makes me love them more! It’s not exactly a pleasant sound.

It isn’t like listening to a songbird like a blackbird singing.

But the noises they make are certainly a reminder of their dinosaurian nature!

Another reason they are on the top of my list is that every time I see one I am reminded of some paleoart I have seen of an extinct species of dinosaur called ‘Microraptor’ 
While the picture used in that link doesn’t scream Eurasian Jay and more ‘Crow’ I have seen art depicting A Microraptor as much more colourful with flashes of blue.

Why that image has stuck with me more I don’t know, again, it’s possibly a very superficial thing and being attracted to the colourfulness of it.

Nevertheless, for whatever reason my brain seems to be reminded of these extinct dinosaurs when seeing A Jay more than when seeing a Crow.

I’m in an obsessive pursuit for the perfect photograph of A Jay. I’ve have a few photographs yet none of them are good enough for my liking.

I realise there is probably no such thing as a ‘perfect’ photograph. But the day I get a clear photograph of Jay, with a catch light in its eyes and perhaps even something akin to expression its face I will be looking at it and finding flaws still…

But I’d still be very happy with that photograph.

Hide diaries: Depression & Kingfishers

So after a Depressive chokehold and an autistic meltdown and deciding to give up photography, obviously I didn’t.

As said in a previous post, I can’t help from scratching the itch.

My Depression is still getting the better of me, and I’m not in a hopeful enough mood to say “I will get better though” because it’d just be a lie I’m saying to appease people and to feel like less of a misery sharer.

BUT!

I have seen a bird recently I’ve been trying to see again since my previous sighting  

Yup, I saw my second ever Kingfisher.

Comparing to my previous photographs, I’m happier with the shots I got this second time around.

Kingfisher 3Kingfisher 4Kingfisher 5Kingfisher 2019 augustKingfishers 2018 august 2

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I can’t stop the itch: Bird photography and disability.

I was going through a depressive blip mixed in with an autistic meltdown in my last post.

I still feel somewhat the same about most nature reserves not being as wheelchair friendly as they advertise.

Or perhaps the difference is wheelchairs and powerchairs.

Perhaps they’re often wheelchair friendly, but not for powerchairs.

But I can’t stop the itch to watch the birds and try to get photographs.

But I know how frustrated I’m going to get again.

I guess just watch this space for more frustration.

Disability and wildlife photography: Why I’m giving it up

The truth is not enough places where you can see the wildlife are disabled friendly.

And I wouldn’t even dream of pushing an agenda that we make more places for viewing wildlife more disabled-friendly because the harsh truth of it is that it will and does more damage to the environment of the very wildlife we’re trying to get a view of.

And this is why with a heavy heart I say goodbye to bird photography and all it entails.

I’m so tired of reading and seeing photographs from people who travel to all these nature reserves that I could never get to in a million years. Because most of them aren’t as wheelchair friendly as they like to advertise themselves as.

Yes, it’s a petty part of me, a jealous green-eyed monster within me that is tired of seeing other peoples wildlife viewing success.

But it is what it is. This is how I’m currently feeling.

I’ve been feeling at odds with the whole disability, environment and wildlife thing for a while now.

Trying to move past these feelings and just ‘carry on’ as people say.

But I can’t move past these feelings.

I’m increasingly frustrated and I can feel it turning into a sense of mourning for what I managed to grow passionate about despite my Depression and other things combined. I’d spent many, many years far too depressed to have any interest in anything.

Only to rekindle a childhood interest in wildlife but find that actually, it’s just not practical.

And I realise it would be selfish of me to say we need to make these spaces more accessible. I wouldn’t be thinking of the wildlife, I’d only be only thinking about me and my possibility of viewing it.

We lie to ourselves as a society, especially in communities like the RSPB, Wetland trust etc that we can make space for wildlife while also making it viewable and accessible for disabled people.

But this lying isn’t fair on anybody or anything.

It’s time I let go of a hobby and interest that is too impractical.

I wish I could post on a happier note.

Thanks to anyone who has liked my photos and followed.

Hide diaries: A celebration of Gull’s

Gulls are the bird that when you’re out hoping to see birds, people will often see a Gull and say, “Oh it’s just a Gull.” I’ve said it myself.

Because they’re so common and regularly seen.

But actually, I’ve grown to love them.

One of those reasons is they’re so common and regularly seen that you can practice photography skills on them!

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Gull 1Gull 2Gull 3Gull 4Gull 5Gull reflectionGulls wingsGullsMore gulls1C1A022771C1A023881C1A024441C1A028441C1A028551C1A02877

Hide Diaries: July the month of the Mistle Thrush

A Mistle Thrush and what I think is it’s youngen kept appearing in the garden.

The younger one spent what seemed to be an entire Sunday morning giving a rattle call right beneath my window!

The adult
thrush

The Juvenile

Mistle thrush juvenile 2Mistle thrush juvenile
I see the Mistle Thrush around in the little wooded area next to where I live too and they’ve let me walk up quite close to them.

Meanwhile, there have been plenty of juveniles around the garden of all different species.

A juvenile Jay potentially but I’m not good at recognising juveniles in Jays despite them being my favourite bird. And the Jays, in general, have kept on coming to the garden for peanuts

Juvenile Blue tits, great tits and nuthatches have been feeding on the seeds.

Juve ble titGreat tit 1Great tit 2

One Juvenile wood pigeon, a wood pigeon blind in one eye frequents the garden and eats the peanuts up if the Jay’s haven’t already been.

Bullfinches male and female frequent the feeder.

Juvenile Goldfinches, adult Goldfinches, chaffinches.

A juvenile Dunnock

Juvenile dunnock or robin