Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Today I found myself out on the Langshaw Estate with an opportunity to photograph a few common birds.  There were quite a lot of chaffinches around and I was able to take a good number of clear photographs.  Whilst taking the above photograph I heard an unusual call and looked up into the tree above.
There, in broad daylight, was a Siskin (Carduelis spinus).  These birds are natives which are frequently seen in Scotland and Ireland.  They are a rarity in the Midlands.  This one was a female as it was missing the black cap and small black chin bib of the male.  As I watched I noticed another, and another.
Looking to the nearby feeders, there was a pair of Siskins feeding.  I had a 300 mm lens on my camera, which was not a lot of use, since I was about 2 meters away from the birds.  I had to stand well back to take a photograph of the feeders.  The birds were not disturbed by noise and continued to feed for some time,
As time progressed, more birds joined in the feeding.  They were a mixture of males, females and juveniles.  To be so closely associated, they must have been nesting nearby quite recently.  I have not seen these birds before and it was a real treat to be able to stand so close to watch them feeding and flitting about in the trees.

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