Friday, 5 February 2016

Nuthatching a Plan

Hopefully I'll run out of puns soon; they're beginning to annoy even me. That said, nuthatch is a glaring omission from my patch-list this year so I came up with a plan to change that. Having the day off, I also planned to sit and take some proper photos rather than chancing an encounter on the fly.

Here is a simple trick to create a feeder to both attract birds, but also give yourself a good chance of photographing them in natural circumstances. For me, there's nothing worse than seeing an artificial bird feeder in a photograph:

  1. Drill out a staked fence post so that it will hold a reasonable amount of seed. I used a 32mm drill bit and made a hollow about 30cm long.
  2. Make sure you drill right through to the back at the top so that you can fill with seed.
  3. Tack 4mm wire mesh over the hollowed area
  4. With a smaller drill bit (I used both 12mm and 18mm here) drill through the top of the post a few times at various angles and pitches. You will insert your natural looking perches through these holes.
This is the finished feeder in situ:

 This morning I filled the feeder, set a mossy perch and left it to attract the birds. In the meantime I walked the short river loop from the village. The river was quiet and the fields were empty; there was very little activity at all. A nice pair of missile thrush rattled at me from a telegraph wire and I crept up on a little egret, which was spooked by something unseen and took to the air.

After lunch I returned to my feeding station and set up a simple bag hide 5 metres from where I hoped to catch nuthatch. Within minutes, my target showed up and was joined by marsh tit, coal tit and blue tit in taking sunflower seeds one by one to devour in the surrounding branches.

No comments:

Post a Comment