Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sunday 9th March 2008. Another Woodland Birds' day at Scrag with 4 students plus myself in the hide. The weather was a bit changeable and we had a few claps of thunder and heavy showers but otherwise fairly bright conditions. The nuthatch came down sporadically and Sandy White and Gen Spragget managed to get good portrait shots. I was a little disappointed with the woodpeckers as they were a little jumpy and with the disturbance of 4 photographers in the hide were not staying on their perches for long. The Marsh tits, however, were behaving very well and I think Gen got the best shot she has managed up to now.
One very good bit of news was that the niger seed feeder opposite the hide that has been stocked for around 4 months is now regularly being visited by 2 goldfinches. I'm very happy with this as they have been alluding me for a long time. I really enjoy luring birds in over time and then managing to place them on perfect perches for photography. In this case I will introduce a teasel head laced with sprinkled niger seed. The goldfinches will simply start feeding on the teasel heads as it is one of their natural food sources and then I can withdraw the feeder. This way I can guarantee the finches will automatically use the teasel instead of the feeder. Introduce a hide in the right spot and then it is just a question of time!
I'm very grateful to Keith Dunning and Alan Ross-Fry for helping me carry the dismantled deer shooting chair up to the badger sett area; this has genuinely saved me a couple of hours of heavy lifting, so all I need to do now is replace the rotten seat and strengthen the whole structure before putting it into the exact spot for the best badger viewing.

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