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Garden Bird Photography

by Mark Gillett - Centre Organiser Digital Imaging Eastern

"We moved to Suffolk 4 years ago and one of the benefits of our new house was a larger garden with views across an open field at the back (which we don’t own, sadly!)

We were determined to create a haven for wildlife and we have made a number of changes and improvements around the garden."

 

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"This included digging out an existing wildlife pond which had become overgrown with irises, so this year we’re hoping for a much more diverse mix of pond life, insects and dragon flies.

We have also placed feeders near to our fruit trees which attracts a number of different species of birds

My main photographic interests lie mostly with nature and landscape subjects so with the current restrictions my emphasis has shifted to photography around our garden, and bird photography in particular."

 

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"The feeders are all close to the fruit trees which are in the middle of our garden so, even with a 100mm-400mm (200mm-800mm equivalent) lens, I needed to find a way of getting closer to the birds than our conservatory.

I tried positioning the camera close to the feeders and using the remote shooting facility on my Olympus OM-D E-M1ii Camera using an iPad but found that sometimes there was a lag when focusing on a bird which meant that I often missed the shot."

 

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"I had been thinking about options for a hide and came across the Nitehawk Pop-up Camouflage Hide on Amazon for only £50 and decided it was worth a punt.

For the price I am quite impressed with the quality and there are camera points on 3 sides.  There is also enough height to sit upright on a stool and it would probably cope with 2 people using it at the same time.

The birds seem unfazed by its presence, and I move it slightly each week when I cut the grass."

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"The photographs of the birds accompanying this article are a representative sample of the different species we see – Robin, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, and Goldfinch.

We also get House Sparrows, Pied Wagtails, Great Tits, Starlings, Blackbirds, and a pair of Jays.

We have a Barn Owl that hunts in the meadow at the rear of the house and my challenge is to capture a shot of this before this year is out.

My other challenges are to finalise my panel for LRPS assessment, refine my technique with long lens photography and master ‘bird in flight’ photography as well as mastering the use of extension tubes for close-up photography."

 

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