I’m not a serious natural history photographer but do enjoy the occasional dabble as it were. Being primarily a landscape photographer my gear is centred around those need so basically 14 – 200mm focal lengths. As a result my kit choicer natural history work is very limited; basically a 105mm macro lens and a very old (and heavy) 300mm lens. I generally use the 300mm on a Nikon D7100 body to take advantage of the crop factor.
Having spent a lot of time stuck indoors for various reasons recently I’ve got in the habit of leaving the D7100 and 300mm lens combination on the coffee table in the front room. Annoys the hell out of the wife but it is at least ready for when the birds visit our front yard. Our front yard I should explain is about six feet deep and bordered by a busy pavement and the main road in and out of Elland. By no means a haven for wildlife.
Our usual visitors are Sparrows, a resident male Blackbird, a Robin and a few Starlings. In the past we’ve seen Long-tailed Tits, Goldfinches and on one memorable day a flock of Waxwings. Blue Tits, Coal Tits and Great Tits do also make an appearance although this year there have been fewer of them. One bird we rarely see is the Song Thrush although one turned up on Saturday to savour the rotting apples under the bushes.
Being so space restricted it is not possible to set up a hide in the garden. Indeed, so close are they to the front window that they are often spooked by movement inside the house. I’ve worked out that the best way to photograph them is to sit on the sofa near to the window with the camera beside me and when they appear to slowly and carefully stand up and photograph them through the window.
I jokingly referred to one image as being part of my “Birds from the Sofa Collection” and the tag has stuck.