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Wildlife - magpie, collared dove, herring gull, sparrow

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More Birds of the Garden Table

The camera I used to photograph the birds is an Olympus Camedia C5050 Zoom - full review at dpreview.com. (Indeed, with few exceptions all of the photographs on this website were taken using it.) I also have an Olympus 1.45X tele conversion lens which gets me a little closer to my subject. The challenge is to have the birds in position when the light is good but the sun is not too strong, nor from the wrong direction. I always use a tripod.

Of course, I'm also shooting through a double-glazed window, which doesn't help.

close up of magpie
Magpie
The magpie has a bit of a menacing and guilty look about it. It makes repeated journeys to the food bowl, grabbing food, flying off with it, then quickly returning for more.

 

magpie on fence
Magpie on Fence
Like I say, not a bird to mess with if your a sparrow or blue tit.

 

magpie at water saucer
Magpie
Although it is the second largest of the birds which come into the garden, the magpie is very wary, and tends to do a 'smash and grab' raid, that is, it doesn't hang around. It especially enjoys a drink of water.

 

magpie with a grape in its bill
Magpie with Grape
Having taken a grape, the magpie puzzled about how to eat it.

 

collared dove on fence
Collared Dove
The collared doves are very timid. They sit for ages on the fence deciding whether to come into the garden. They're new to our garden and are, I think, getting a little more confident.
 
collared dove at food bowl
Collared Dove
Even after landing on the table this dove was uncertain about staring to feed. We have had three together in the the garden - possibly a pair with a young one.
 
seagull at water saucer
Seagull

The seagull (herring gull) is the king of the garden. Even the magpie clears off when the gull arrives. Like the magpie the gull often comes for a drink of water - though it will eat just about anything that's available. It seems to be able to spot cheese from a great distance!

seagull swallowing water
Seagull Drinking
The gull has to lean its head to one side to get its bill into the water dish. Then its lifts it head upright to swallow, using gravity.

 

a family group of sparrows
Family Group of Sparrows
The sparrows are most at home in our garden, but they are the among most difficult to photograph. They're small and never sit still!!

 

young sparrow on lattice
Young Sparrow

A cute little ball of feathers. This one began venturing into the garden on its on.

Grey Squirrel
Squirrels are increasing in numbers, but not in our area, probably because cats are too numerous. This one was a visitor a couple of winters ago. Here it is photographed in the bird feeder which is fixed to the top of the washing line post.

 

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This is my own personal record of wildlife in my back garden. You can find out more about wildlife in the city at http://www.citywildlife.org.uk

See also: The Birds of Sussex

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