Maybe I'm getting old - but I'm increasingly enjoying sitting and watching the birds in our garden. We live in a small rural village and there is all manner of wildlife in the area. We hear owls hooting at night. In summer we watch the bats flit hither and indeed thither across our garden, and you can't drive a few hundred yards before seeing some unfortunate created splattered across the road.
In addition to the natural wildlife we hear cows moo and sheep baa. So all in all we're in the centre of a swathe of busy none-human creatures. For a long time we've had a simple peanut feeder in the garden for the birds. It was only mildly popular. A few weeks ago my wife bought a Gardman Feeding Station and I set it up in our garden.
It has taken a few weeks for the birds to get used to the idea. But now we have a feeding station that's become very popular among lots of different birds. I placed the feeding station next to a fence and some shrubbery. This allows birds a more covert approach to the feeding station and avoid attacks by the local sparrowhawk. So far we've had no fatalities surrounding the feeding station. And the many local rooks haven't discovered the feeding station so our garden's smaller birds have free run.
Due to the placement of the feeding station it's visible from our lounge and dining room, plus the two bedrooms above them. Our children now start their day watching the busy avian traffic on the feeder. At breakfast time they'll tell us what they've seen. Though it this often runs into childish amusement at the word "tit".
I have a really good view for taking photographs from several rooms and so have been doing so. My Fujifilm X-T1 mirrorless camera and 55-200mm zoom lens do a great job. I do suffer a little from the feeding station being in shade - but I'd rather make a safe place for the birds than try to optimize the whole thing for my shutter speeds.
The images on this page have all been cropped. While the 55-200mm lens is superb it isn't exactly the ideal for shooting small birds. What I'd really like to use is the newly released Fujifilm 100-400mm lens. I don't have £1400 spare though. I'm not into this bird watching for the sake of photography. I just find it relaxing to watch all the noisy little garden visitors and help their families grow during the winter.
It is particularly pleasing that our children have become just as interested and can often be found at the window watching the latest activity on the feeding station.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy some of these photos which are all from today.