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20 Apr 2019 15:15 #101 by munchymagic
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Bumble wrote:



Talking of bearded dragons, my son has one and has provided it with a holiday home at mine. It's a nice little thing, but I'm just a bit squeamish about feeding it hoppers and stuff.


Looks a pretty young one that you have there Bumble.

We had ours for years, he was given to us by my missus's mate because when she found out that her sister was going to use him to breed with hers she got furious as she would make a lot of money and virtually insisted we have him and the full kit.

He was massive and so was the cage, the problem was though that apparently you have to handle them more as youngsters to get them used to people, they hadn't done this with Munch though so he would go all grumpy if you picked him up then he would change colour and all his spikes would come out and stab you, I was amazed how sharp they are.

He sadly died the other year - he was a grumpy bugger but I don't half miss him :(
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20 Apr 2019 15:23 #102 by Bumble
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Yeah, this one is around 6 month old now, thankfully he has been well handled and is very content to snuggle in to your neck or sit on your shoulder.

When son got him he wouldn't eat any veg or fruit at all but now eats kale and rocket ok. His main diet in grade 5 hoppers and things that look like mealworms but aren't though, and it's amazing how fast he moves to catch them.

He's in a four foot tank and at the moment which is big enough at least for now,
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24 Apr 2019 13:12 - 24 Apr 2019 13:12 #103 by munchymagic
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I have spent most of today so far watching a Song Thrush clean up my fruit bushes of slugs and snails to feed his young in the Conifer, I would say clean up but he has been making a right mess with pulling up leaves looking for food and then a dozen Sparrows seen what he was up to and were curious what he was doing and were cleaning up anything he had left - really good to watch.

Only one of the four nests I can have a look in though, fortunately three are reasonably high up but a daft pair of Blackbirds stuck a nest up in Ivy against the fence, about four feet up in full view and I have a cat.

I had a peep earlier and there were three birds staring at me with beady eyes wanting fed, luckily they were fully grown and looked ready to leave the nest.
Last edit: 24 Apr 2019 13:12 by munchymagic.
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25 Apr 2019 11:05 #104 by Zebby
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Well on my way back in house from feeding my birds I thought I would dead head a couple of plants and tidy a few strawberry plants and just about shite myself when something flew out of a window box with strawberry plants in under kitchen window didn't get to see the bird but there's a nest with 7 eggs they look like Great tit eggs...quickly withdrew

Be just and fear not
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25 Apr 2019 16:51 #105 by munchymagic
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Nice one - don't think I have had anything so exotic as nesting in the two gardens that I have had.

Wood Pigeon, Robin, Blue Tit, Blackbird and Song Thrush are about it but I have found some weird looking nests in the garden so you never know.

Garden full of fledglings at the minute and the cat keeps wanting out so I let him out the front door instead just to be safe.

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25 Apr 2019 19:04 #106 by Zebby
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Have you got a bell on its collar munchy I know they can hold the bell with Thier foot but it does slow them down a bit...I have learned to live with the odd cat in garden after running battles with them for years I suppose,at least they keep rodents down if not else

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25 Apr 2019 20:03 #107 by munchymagic
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Zebby wrote: Have you got a bell on its collar munchy I know they can hold the bell with Thier foot but it does slow them down a bit...I have learned to live with the odd cat in garden after running battles with them for years I suppose,at least they keep rodents down if not else


Yeah pal, got one on his flea collar - the flea collar is shite as always but it doesn't matter as he gets those tablets from the vets but the bell is of great assistance to the birds - he is an old boy however and I laughed the other day as he was laying out sunning himself and a butterfly kept landing on him and he would try to catch it whilst swatting it off - happened at least twenty times, the butterfly lived :)
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05 May 2019 20:13 #108 by newcarlislefan
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Lovely sight tonight in the garden. A pair of blue tits back to the nest box after 5 or 6 years away.
We did have 2 very old adopted moggies and one has died and the other is on his last paws and they've been putting the birds off.
I think now they fancy their chances and have set up home again.
And in our town garden for the first time their are goldfinches nesting up in a sycamore. What a beautiful little bird they are and seem to be doing well around here. That flash of yellow is enough to cheer you up on a bad day.
And high up tonight as I was looking up for the buzzards was a red kite. Unbelievable that they have made it right into the town centre now.
Never saw one as a kid and around these parts they are becoming almost common.
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06 May 2019 10:31 #109 by yoonited
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There's a story in The Mail claiming swallows still haven't arrived in some areas, I've had them around for three weeks now.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6993621...e-swallows-gone.html

I wonder what they're managing to feed on as the flying insect population seems to have been decimated over recent years. I remember when, during the summer months, you had to wash your car frequently as the windscreen, lights and front number plate would get covered in dead flies. Hardly ever see a dead fly on my car these days.

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06 May 2019 10:46 - 06 May 2019 10:47 #110 by newcarlislefan
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In Cumbria in and around Bassenthwaite a fortnight ago the swallows had arrived. Not many but a few. There were a lot above Overwater but not many in the fields just yet.
In Bedford town centre we don't get swallows unfortunately but the swifts haven't arrived yet and they are normally here by now.
The swifts are great in the evening. Sitting in the garden with an ale watching them tear about screaming and swooping just above the garden walls or flying high above almost out of sight.
Sometimes stay out until late waiting for the last one to call it a night.
Hopefully they might appear tonight but I've a feeling this colder spell might be holding them back so might be later in the week before they appear here.
Last edit: 06 May 2019 10:47 by newcarlislefan.
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06 May 2019 12:03 #111 by munchymagic
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I seen my first Swift of the year three days back as I always make a note of the first sighting, there was only one and this was just before dusk.

Must have been on its way further north though as I haven't seen one since.
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07 May 2019 11:59 #112 by thesilentone
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They arrived around the 17th April, however numbers are much less than normal.

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13 May 2019 15:17 #113 by munchymagic
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Plenty of Swifts around now which is good to see.

Just discovered nest number six - Starlings this time, making a hell of a racket and shitting all over my bathroom window the little sods.

There is a Great Tit as well hawking around the nesting box, it went inside for a look but haven't seen it for a couple of days.

The neighbour will gan radge, she hates birds and the sounds they make so I am public enemy number one as I attract them by daring to have trees - she hates trees even more because it attracts the 'pests'.

See what I have to put up with - have you ever heard of such a miserable [censored], who doesn't love to see and hear birds and listening to the wind rustling through the trees.

It isn't like it has any impact on her property apart from in her eyes I am attracting what I see as natural beauty and she sees them as vermin.

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24 Jun 2019 21:44 #114 by newcarlislefan
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Up on the fells last week but spent most of my time lower down captivated by the Curlew.
Took a hundred or more photos but they are just so hard to capture. Very nervous and stayed well away. The photo I posted is the best I managed!!
Can't begin to explain how wonderful and moving it is to see and hear them in the high places.
Very few left sadly in the South of England so a real pleasure and privilege to spend some glorious evening in their company.
Better pics of the buzzard between Orthwaite and Longlands who was not at all happy with me being about and flew very close towards me a couple of times.
One of the TV transmitters in the background on 1 photo. Not sure if it's the Sandale one or the Caldbeck one.
Back to the Curlews, I urge any of you on here to get out and hear them if you can. They are really struggling inland and may one day no longer provide their haunting soundtrack to the landscape.
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25 Jun 2019 18:37 #115 by Zebby
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As a kid often used to go down engine lonning down to the river Eden and follow it up to grinsdale Curlew a plenty along with Redshank and Greenshank also lapwings,fields full of them great days used to find nests all over the place of all sorts of birds a little wooded area had Tawney owls there was a post a kestrel used to use to strip its prey used to sit and watch it regularly great days but the curlew was always a big favourite of mine

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25 Jun 2019 21:40 #116 by newcarlislefan
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Lonning. What a great word that is. I'd never heard of it until very recently.
I'd never actually seen or heard a Curlew until I walked over the Buttertubs pass between Swaledale and Wensleydale around 20 years ago. It just stopped me dead in my tracks.
Certainly never seen or heard one in Lincolnshire when I was growing up. My dad said he can remember hearing corncrakes but that's a bird I've never seen or heard.
I was reading just a week or two back that only around 250 pairs of Curlews are left in the whole South of England and there are none left at all in the South East of England.
There was an interesting thread on here a while ago about Chris Packham and I'm, generally speaking, not really in favour of killing birds or animals.
But, I've watched the Curlew a little bit recently and the pair I've been keeping an eye on spends a good amount of time trying to scare away the crows and even a few Ravens.
There are so many crows around the nesting area that you feel that it's a battle they'll struggle to win.
I know that they have numerous threats but just in animal terms the crows, ravens, foxes and badgers all take the eggs and the young.
We have lots of crows, ravens, foxes and badgers and very few Curlew. I think that in a landscape created by man, certainly in the past few hundred years, we have a responsibiltiy to get involved and give the Curlew a hand.
Talking to the farmers back home in Lincolnshire and up in Cumbria there were local crow shoots, for example, from time to time, when numbers got too high.
I think that in specific, targeted sights where Curlew nest and breed we should be helping them out and I think reducing the population of their predators would be the lesser of two evils.
They are disappearing rapidly and we could one day in the not too distant future lose them altogether, which in my eyes, would be an absolute tragedy.
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25 Jun 2019 22:15 #117 by munchymagic
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A pair live in that field over the bridge at Cummersdale NCF - fill your boots pal as last time I ventured up there they neigh on dived bombed us the angry sods giving us grief with their menacing beaks.

Hitchcock surely based his film Birds around an encounter with a Curlew.

You might also see an Otter up there and a Yellow Wagtail.
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26 Jun 2019 00:27 #118 by BlueBanana
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Havnt seen the otters on the caldew this year. Having said that i Havnt walked to work this year either. Used to regularly see them under the 1st bridge into DH, when i was on earlies. Around about 4.45am. My favourite animal, used to set off for work 10 mins early just to watch them fishing & generally having fun.
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26 Jun 2019 06:17 #119 by Bluefox1963
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I seen a otter on the Eden a couple of months back down by engine lonning
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10 Jul 2019 08:53 #120 by newcarlislefan
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Managed to get a few hours in on the fells before the game and on the way down saw this little beauty.
Never seen a red squirrel before I started being up in Cumbria more and what a sight to gladden the heart.
Couldn't get a very good shot of the tail as it was scampering about but really surprised to see it such a light colour - almost cream.
Beautiful little thing.
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16 Jul 2019 19:27 #121 by Alan
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Was on Grange Fell Borrowdale yesterday and the marsh between Kings How and Grange Fell area was teeming with these Butterflies
Any ideas ?


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16 Jul 2019 19:37 #122 by kells
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Possibly small pearl-bordered fritillary?
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16 Jul 2019 19:43 #123 by Alan
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kells wrote: Possibly small pearl-bordered fritillary?


Nice one fits the description perfectly .
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16 Jul 2019 19:48 #124 by Alan
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The joys of only having a 10 -18 camera lens with you a zoom in on Red Deer on Grange Fell .
If you can see it you can also make out its regular track just above it to the left.
:-D

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21 Jul 2019 11:44 #125 by kells
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Finally snapped two of my elusive visitors!

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04 Aug 2019 19:46 - 04 Aug 2019 19:57 #126 by Alan
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Good to see us being invaded by Painted Ladies this summer .

This one enjoying a bit of Honister sunshine .
Last edit: 04 Aug 2019 19:57 by Alan.
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04 Aug 2019 20:01 #127 by Bumble
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I've been having a bit of a moan, everyone saying about the painted ladies and I hadn't seen one despite having two budlia bushes in flower. That all changed this morning though, when I had four arrive, they are nice to see. Still like the peacocks the best but nice to have a few different ones.

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04 Aug 2019 20:08 #128 by Zebby
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This week has seen a massive increase in butterflies and moths in my garden..but today for first time had a flock of 10-12 siskins flitting about the bottom of garden for ages I think feeding off birch trees which there is a couple among the mountain ash trees was lovely to see

Be just and fear not
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04 Aug 2019 21:24 - 04 Aug 2019 21:34 #129 by Bumble
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Ta CCU, I kept getting a black screen when I pressed the photo icon for some reason, was just deciding whether to write in the code or bin it :)

Lovely little birds siskins, one of my favourites.
Last edit: 04 Aug 2019 21:34 by Bumble.

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04 Aug 2019 22:34 #130 by Zebby
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Bumble wrote:



Ta CCU, I kept getting a black screen when I pressed the photo icon for some reason, was just deciding whether to write in the code or bin it :)

Lovely little birds siskins, one of my favourites.


Yup stunning little birds flit about in very similar fashion to blue tits and not much bigger ..that looks like a hen bumble the cocks aren even more green with a black crown..well chuffed to have them in garden not bad considering the M62 runs along the bottom of garden

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04 Aug 2019 22:38 #131 by Alan
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Peacocks are a stunning butterfly and they too are plentyful this summer .
Took this with sony camera phone
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04 Aug 2019 23:12 #132 by Zebby
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That is stunning I must admit I'm not up on butterflies all I have is a garden full of cabbage whites seen a pale blue one yesterday nothing as exotic looking as that ..if out walking I'm usually to busy looking at birds and probably miss them fab photos Alan

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29 Aug 2019 20:41 #133 by Alan
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Work has had to be curtailed due to these bonny little Swallow chicks making this their starter home.
Can't be too far away from the off as there's a lot of flapping and vocals are increasing by the day :-D
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29 Aug 2019 21:39 #134 by Zebby
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Yup look ready to jump Alan amazing to think in just another month those youngsters will be heading off to Africa for the winter

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29 Aug 2019 22:58 #135 by Happyblue
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The decline of small birds has been a travesty , domesticated Cats are a huge cause of this , along with the decline of other wild life is so sad to see, I've actually sectioned off a small area of my Garden and let it grow wild , It's full of life and when it's flowers its actually very pretty. In Newcastle they are allowing small sections greenery to grow wild to promotes this life .

Owners like the stadium, full of Sh!T
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29 Aug 2019 23:05 #136 by CCU
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Was it Hull where the local council have planted wild flowers on the central reservation of dual carriageways and the like?

More places should do it...

Win or Lose, Up The Blues!
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29 Aug 2019 23:05 #137 by munchymagic
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Happyblue wrote: The decline of small birds has been a travesty , domesticated Cats are a huge cause of this , along with the decline of other wild life is so sad to see, I've actually sectioned off a small area of my Garden and let it grow wild , It's full of life and when it's flowers its actually very pretty. In Newcastle they are allowing small sections greenery to grow wild to promotes this life .


My garden is so wild that if I were to cut it down then around several species of various wildlife would cease to exist and I would have camera crews round here with David Bellamy going radge.

I need one of those adverts on the tv where if you give me a tenner a month then Billy the Bullfinch will send you a letter letting you know how he is.
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29 Aug 2019 23:27 #138 by Zebby
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Happyblue wrote: The decline of small birds has been a travesty , domesticated Cats are a huge cause of this , along with the decline of other wild life is so sad to see, I've actually sectioned off a small area of my Garden and let it grow wild , It's full of life and when it's flowers its actually very pretty. In Newcastle they are allowing small sections greenery to grow wild to promotes this life .


Nice to hear Happy we can all do a little bit even a window box can attract insects and birds i had birds nesting among strawberry plants in a window box under kitchen window this year..it's such a shame when I see gardens paved over or that bloody artificial grass your wild area will bring so much to your garden im going to bury a half barrel at end of one of my borders to create a small pond to attract frogs who in turn I'm hoping will gobble up snails and slugs that the hedgehogs miss and nibble my hostas

I bet your wild area grows bigger in years to come

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29 Aug 2019 23:38 #139 by Zebby
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CCU wrote: Was it Hull where the local council have planted wild flowers on the central reservation of dual carriageways and the like?

More places should do it...

www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-england-48772448

plantlife.love-wildflowers.org.uk/roadvergecampaign

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30 Sep 2019 23:45 #140 by Alan
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Any thoughts on this staged winner of the calender comp this year.

Bit unfair on the many who put the hours in to get their shots maybe the beeb should have mentioned the entries studio type location before the votes where cast.
It's a corker of a photo but not exactly in the spirit of things.

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01 Oct 2019 14:30 #141 by Bumble
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I think a lot of folk would realise it was staged.

How often do you see an apple hollowed out like that. . . . sitting on perfectly green moss, that doesn't have brown dead vegetation mixed in with it? How likely would it be to get eye contact with a mouse on the floor, a chance shot would have had a much higher viewpoint, you would have been shooting looking down on the back.

The biggest problem with allowing a photo like this is that it needed a registered handler for the mice. Not some one most folk have access to, and it would be sad if it encourages folk to bring in wild animals to photograph.

It would be difficult to ban studio shots, if things were staged to look more natural than this photo it would be difficult to prove it was staged, particularly when the photograph has so little background to it.

It would be difficult to draw the line, can you still use a hide, feed the subject to encourage them to be in the right place, in the end what is completely natural?

In the end there were 12 photos, most would have been staged in one way or another but they were all faboulous shots, each so good, that in the end it's only personal preference that chooses the winner.
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01 Oct 2019 15:22 #142 by Zebby
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Next year I'll get the Siberian tiger rug from in front of the fire and get my daughter to run around the garden with it and take a few snaps,maybe something artistic like taking a dump in the bird bath :)

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01 Oct 2019 16:43 #143 by Unrepentant blue
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Don't really buy into the idea that domestic cats are really that much of a problem when it comes to the reduction of bird numbers.
The devastating loss of food due to the massive reduction of insects must dwarf the cat issue.

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01 Oct 2019 16:43 #144 by Unrepentant blue
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Don't really buy into the idea that domestic cats are really that much of a problem when it comes to the reduction of bird numbers.
The devastating loss of food due to the massive reduction of insects must dwarf the cat issue.

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01 Oct 2019 20:16 #145 by Alan
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Bumble wrote: I think a lot of folk would realise it was staged.

How often do you see an apple hollowed out like that. . . . sitting on perfectly green moss, that doesn't have brown dead vegetation mixed in with it? How likely would it be to get eye contact with a mouse on the floor, a chance shot would have had a much higher viewpoint, you would have been shooting looking down on the back.

The biggest problem with allowing a photo like this is that it needed a registered handler for the mice. Not some one most folk have access to, and it would be sad if it encourages folk to bring in wild animals to photograph.

It would be difficult to ban studio shots, if things were staged to look more natural than this photo it would be difficult to prove it was staged, particularly when the photograph has so little background to it.

It would be difficult to draw the line, can you still use a hide, feed the subject to encourage them to be in the right place, in the end what is completely natural?

In the end there were 12 photos, most would have been staged in one way or another but they were all faboulous shots, each so good, that in the end it's only personal preference that chooses the winner.



Bumble can you recommend a lense size for wildlife shots from distance thinking of renting one later this month.
Going into Martindale hoping to capture Red Deer and in particular Stags Rutting.

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01 Oct 2019 20:51 #146 by cousinscotty
Replied by cousinscotty on topic Nature quiz.

Alan wrote: Bumble can you recommend a lense size for wildlife shots from distance thinking of renting one later this month.
Going into Martindale hoping to capture Red Deer and in particular Stags Rutting.


Need to bear in mind that it's not just the lens you'll need but all the paraphernalia that goes with it - sturdy tripod (buy cheap = wobble), filters, remote control cowie to fire the shutter, lens hood. There's maybe folk on here would lend you some stuff - you never know... (I'm micro 4/3rds so my stuff probably wouldn't be any good to you)
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02 Oct 2019 08:22 #147 by heilkmoon
Replied by heilkmoon on topic Nature quiz.

Unrepentant blue wrote: Don't really buy into the idea that domestic cats are really that much of a problem when it comes to the reduction of bird numbers.
The devastating loss of food due to the massive reduction of insects must dwarf the cat issue.


Looks like the RSPB agree...

www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advic...using-bird-declines/
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02 Oct 2019 08:23 #148 by Bumble
Replied by Bumble on topic Nature quiz.
With all camera equipment it's a trade off, between what you can afford and carry to what's best for the job.

I can't remember what make of gear you use but if it's Canon , they do a 100-400 zoom lens that would be ideal for what you need.

All my lenses are F2.8 because, taking fast action in dark stadium you need the extra light a 2.8 gives you, but I think an f4 would be fine for your needs, you will have better light and the F4 models are lighter to carry.

You won't need a tripod for deer rutting but a monopod could be helpful. I use a monopod on my big lens at football. It's not really to avoid camera shake, because my lenses compensate for that and I have my camera on fast setting that cuts out most shake anyway. I use it just because holding that lens with no monopod for an hour and a half kills my shoulders and arms, F2.8s are beast to handhold.
So get hold of a monopod if you can, they take up no room to carry. Tripods are heavy and a bit restrictive on this type of shoot (essential for macro work though). Something like the 100-400 F4 canon isn't that heavy and can be handheld.

Don't get too near, and don't forget you are a very vunerable target. Attacking a cameraman is great kuodos for a stag showing off to his hinds. Sometimes sitting behind a camera can give you a false sense of security, try and plan to sit behind a wall or where there is some protection if things get heated.

I use Lensesforhire if I need a special lens, dearer than some but always been decent quality.
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02 Oct 2019 08:55 #149 by carwash
Replied by carwash on topic Nature quiz.

Unrepentant blue wrote: Don't really buy into the idea that domestic cats are really that much of a problem when it comes to the reduction of bird numbers.
The devastating loss of food due to the massive reduction of insects must dwarf the cat issue.


My now sadly departed cat brought me a dead blackcap. I still don't know how he did it as I've still never seen a live one in my garden.

The insect decline is a huge worry and a puzzle. I do my little bit by keeping my garden wild but managed but flying insect numbers have collapsed from a few years ago. I've started the autumn filling up of the bird feeder and the tits are practically queuing up for food handouts.
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02 Oct 2019 09:30 #150 by Waltero
Replied by Waltero on topic Nature quiz.
I'll be sorting out my feeders anyday now as the robin has reappeared after his summer hols, no doubt staking his claim

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