Photographing wintering birds

Winter is hard time for birds. They have to get enough to eat to survive long nights. Sometimes trees are covered with ice and it can be very difficult to find food. In this weather many birds are visiting feeders. I have had three feeding places in different places around Parikkala. On one feeder in a forest there were different kind of food for woodpeckers and tits, some bought from shop but some self-made. I also had a feeder outside my class-window where we could watch birds also with students. But there weren’t many birds as there were bigger feeders quite close. But still there were a couple of Nuthatches and of course quite a few Great and Blue Tits. But on the feeder that was in front of my hide there were plenty of birds, so I had a good opportunity to photograph them.

Bird-photography must be made so that birds are not disturbed. They get used to camera-sounds quite easily but all movements must be avoided. My Tragopan-hide is green so I had to make a white cover to make it usable in winter too. I also made a small stool that can be used inside the hide.

On the forest-feeder I had also Long-tailed Tits visiting which was very nice. Three different flocks were seen there so it was easy to get pictures of them. Also a Treecreeper was visiting our feeders for the first time.

Several pairs of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a couple of Grey-headed and White-backed Woodpeckers were there too. While chasing each other and drumming, they also visited the feeder quite often.

Bright late winter days were good for practising passerine flight-pictures. Wings of tits weren’t completely stopped with 1/8000 shutterspeed!