Birds from the Sofa

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.

© Dave Whenham
This chap has appeared before – as part of my 365-2018 project

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.

One from my “Birds from the Sofa” Collection
Song Thrush

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.

© Dave Whenham
Female Blackbird

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.

Robin – one of two I’ve seen regularly this winter

I jokingly referred to one image as being part of my “Birds from the Sofa Collection” and the tag has stuck.

The other Robin who generally visits in the afternoon
Braving the snow

365-2018: YTD Update (Feb 2018)

Well, the coming of the Siberian winter also heralded the end of the second month of my 365, picture-a-day challenge.  Adding in my 63-2017 project today (March 3rd) saw my 125th consecutive image and looking at the stats almost 90% have been posted on the day too during 2018, a much improved performance of the 2017 figures.

© Dave Whenham
Mosaic courtesy of BigHugeLabs

Being a minor geek I’ve looked at a few numbers and determined that 65% of the images year to date have been urban which is unsurprising given my reduced mobility. Only six (10%) of the images fall naturally into the landscape genre which is my favoured subject and I cannot see that percentage changing for a few months yet. That said well over 80% of the images have been taken outdoors which does please me somewhat.

Camera-wise the Nikon D800E and Fuji X-T20 shared top honours with twenty images each. Overall though the Fujis’ did just take the top spot largely because of the eminently pocketable Fuji X100t which capture 17% of the total. The Mavic Pro drone finally made an appearance as did the iPhone 7 each with a single image in the collection.

All of the images are of course on Flickr –

Here however is a slideshow of some of the images from February:

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The Last Laugh?

I get teased from time to time, hopefully it’s by way of good natured banter, about the fact that I have several camera bodies. That is partly because I run two systems, Fuji and Nikon, and partly because a couple of the bodies have no real financial value so are hardly worth selling. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Wednesday though, I had the last laugh when I used all four of my main cameras in one day plus my mobile phone camera for good measure. In terms of images 2 and 3 both could have been taken with either camera BUT I would have had to change lenses in a blizzard which would not have been wise, hence why I took both in the first place.

  1. Nikon D7100 with 300mm f4 lens

© Dave Whenham

  1. Fuji X-T20 with 18-55 “kit” lens

© Dave Whenham

  1. Nikon D800E with 70-200 f2.8 lens
© Dave Whenham
250 “Likes” on Flickr and counting!
  1. Fuji X100t

© Dave Whenham

  1. iPhone 7

© Dave Whenham

So, there you have it. Proof that I need all these cameras!