I started my bird feeding a few weeks ago with just one small feeder to see how it goes, and I found quite quickly that I have a problem with magpies. Those birds are smart enough to figure out how to get the seeds even when they’re too big to perch on those little sticks by the side of the feeder – they just simply give the feeder a good knock so the seeds fall down on the ground, and then eat the spills.
This week when I was buying more bird food, I found a large-bird-proof feeder (a tube feeder with a cage, a bit like these) so I had to try it. And it seems to work – sure the magpies still visit the feeder, but now they have to rely on what the small birds spill on the ground. Although even the small birds are a little bit apprehensive about the cage, both great tits and blue tits seem to jump around it until they finally grab a seed. But the willow tit flies straight in, fearless!
I have now set up two bird feeder stations, one in the garden and another at the corner of the house by the field. Since this is my first winter in Föne, I don’t know what kind of light I will get so I’m kind of guarding myself with two options. I have a feeling that the sun will not get up above the Vallåsen mountain I have in the south so I’m not counting on any sunlight, but since both of these feeder stations are out in the open, I will have more light to work with than I had in Loos where my feeder was in the forest.
Today was my first chance to photograph the birds and at the moment it’s just pure joy. There’s an apple tree with autumn leaves that I can use as a background for the garden feeder, and I found that the field feeder provides an even better background as it’s just green grass. Only problem is that while the birds don’t mind me in the garden, they are very skittish at the field feeder. Maybe it’s because the field feeder is more open (no trees nearby, just the house and raspberry bush) or maybe it’s because I can actually sit down while shooting the garden, while I have to stand when at the field feeder.
Will be interesting to see if I get any other birds during the winter. So far it’s just a whole lot of great tits, a few blue tits and then just one nuthatch and willow tit. I probably shouldn’t even expect to see any coal or crested tits, but hopefully I get some birds that I didn’t see in Loos. But just for these blue tit pictures I got today, I’m happy already!