Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Saturday, 5 September 2009

Bird Macro

How often have you been out photographing birds, and sometimes thought, ‘I wish I had a bigger lens.’ I have. Don’t get me wrong. I’m very happy with the 100-400 zoom; it’s always on the camera, but, one day, maybe, a 500mm or 600mm………….

Anyway, I digress…………… and dream.

The other day I took a ride to Stockgrove Country Park. It’s a popular place, with a small lake, woodland and lots of dog walkers. It also has birds, and in one particular spot, lots of people leave some seed and nuts for them. So it’s a magnet for the Tits, Robins and others who find an easy source of food. And they aint too shy either.

So, I’m standing on the footbridge over the lake, leaning on the handrail, gazing into the distance, when I’m suddenly aware of someone, or something, staring at me. I slowly turned, and less than a foot away, is a young Great Tit, staring at me as if to say, ‘where’s the seed then?’
We looked into each others eyes for a moment, and I’m sure he’d have hopped onto my hand if I had some food. What a picture that would have been!
I’m used to stalking them, not the other way round. I slowly backed away, and raised the camera. Too close; wouldn’t focus. I moved further back, and the auto focus locked on; almost.

He stood, looking and waiting for food. Dam, I felt like Scrooge. I had nothing to offer him, except disbelief that a wild creature was so trusting of man.
I took more shots, slowly moving back to get him in focus.

And all the while he waited patiently for a morsel that wasn’t coming.
A few more,

and then he flew up into the trees. Probably thinking, ‘tight bugger!’

I hope his inquisitiveness and innocence doesn’t get him into trouble before he gets much older.


  1. Don't you just love moments like that :-)
    Next time , take some seed in your pocket and try to hand feed one of them !

    Lovely clear pics mate. I love those birds.

    Sorry I haven't been on much lately. Work gets in the way !
    Only just getting around to updating my own blog right now...

  2. Oh oh oh oh those are just stunning and amazing!!! I just love it when they come up close!! Amazing shots hon!!! Sarah

  3. Very special series of shots.

  4. Very special series of shots.

  5. Cheers Nick, it was a great feeling seeing him come so close. Some people left some seed later, and when I passed by again, I managed to get some close ups of others.
    I know what you mean about work. The proverbial pain....... lol

    Thanks Sarah. They are quite fearless i this particular spot.

    Wilma, thank you :)

  6. Oh wow!! What a great experience...and absolutely beautiful photos. I love it when I feel that connection with wild things...sounds like you felt it too!

  7. Thanks Kelly. It's a great feeling when something that small and fragile puts its trust in you. :)

  8. Marvellous experience well documented, Keith.

  9. Lovely tale, Keith. I have noticed that the siskins on my feeders are sometimes that brave too.

  10. Lovely shots, nice eye detail in each.

    Nice Blog.. :)

  11. here I was thinking about getting rid of my 55-200 and getting a 300 - we always want more.
    if I can I will put up some very poor photos of birds coming through on their way south most likely - I thought I saw a robin yesterday but the parrots scared him away before I could see for sure, that is likely my only chance to see him again until fall (spring?)

  12. Hmm next time take a packet of seed with you. Oh wouldn't that be good if you met the same great tit. You'd be buddies in no time.

  13. Hi Keith, you would have been even more shocked had he been pointing a dam great lens at you.
    You would get a greater range with your 100-400mm using a Canon 1.4 Extender. I have often thought of getting one.

  14. Thanks John :)

    Thanks Emma. I’ve not had Siskins in the garden for some time. Be good to see them again.

    Thanks for stopping by, commenting and following Mike. Appreciate it. :)

    Ginger, thanks. Yea, my list of ‘wants’ gets bigger every day lol
    Look forward to seeing some of your birds.

    Thanks Sergey; and Happy Birthday :)

    Thanks Valerie. I’ll have to put a packet of seed in the car for the next visit.

    Cheers Roy. I’ve got the 1.4 and the 2x, but I seldom use them. The auto focus doesn’t work with either, and the ol’ eyes aint what they used to be. lol

  15. Aw Keith - that's lovely and a privilege to witness. Given the black head markings (looking very "round") could it be a youngster?

    I do wish the 100-400 would focus at a nearer distance though.

    (I have to agree about the 500mm, 600mm etc :D)

  16. Thanks Lenora. He was quite a chubby little chap, and not shy at all. lol

    Thanks Tricia. Yea, he was a youngster, with a lovely set of bright feathers.
    Agree with the focus distance; and quicker too at times ;)

  17. Hi,
    Well I guess it was still a very good moment to spend with him even if you did not have any food to give! What a good moment it probably was! The shots are beautiful and it looks like he was very very patient with you! Well done on the back-focus process ;-)

  18. Thanks Chris. It was a great feeling being able to be so close like that. Some people came by later and left some seed and nuts, so everyone was happy in the end. :)

  19. Great shots of the Great Tit Keith.
    Love the clear backdrop which enhances the shot.

  20. Beautiful photos and the narration of the experience made it even more interesting...Thomas

  21. jejejeje, the bird is very funny, i like it, but i whould like see more thems in your photos, i like yopu work, but i want see more photos...

  22. The Abbot, thank you. He posed like a true professional.

    Thomas, thank you for your comment, much appreciated. :)

    Marcos, thank you. I'll see what I can do about other subjects lol

  23. Wow! What an amazing and inspiring capture! It is so hard to get decent shots of wildlife and these are beautiful! The bird is lovely.

  24. Thanks Ashley. This little one was too close at one point. I couldn't get him in focus lol

  25. how cool to be one with nature!

  26. Thank you Doreen; it was a great experience.

  27. There are situations where the gear limits us and there are cases when the photographer surmounts it. Like here. Patience, experience, passion, all that produced lovely shots. Congratulations.

  28. Marius, thank you for your comment, appreciate it.