Friday, 4 February 2011

Who'll be first?

While it's impossible to say with any accuracy which garden bird individuals regularly visit the feeding station I have set up outside my office window, it is fair to say it has a limited catchment area. I was fascinated, then, when I initially put out this tube of fat and seeds, to see which species would be attracted to it first. It was always a safe bet it would be a Blue Tit – they're more numerous and more gregarious and they need to eat often – but would I be proven wrong and how long would it take. Well, it was a Blue Tit, but the surprise for me was how long it took for the new food source to be 'accepted'. It hung for two days surrounded by offerings of peanuts, sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, apple slices and nets of fat balls before luring in its first diner. The other interesting observation was that the Great Tits showed absolutely no interest in being first, simply flying past seemingly preferring the reassurance of their smaller cousins going in ahead of them. Front that point, of course, it became something of a free-for-all.

Canon 1DS MkII, 1/200 sec, f8, 400mm at ISO 1,000

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