One of the many joys I had living in the Eden Valley, Cumbria was the variety and amount of wildlife that came to the garden.
You could look out of the window at any time and there was a great chance you would see one of the many types of bird, and even more so on one of the bird feeders.
And as you can see in this small selection of photos, that variety of birds can be very wide. One minute you have a coal tit taking its turn then the next you have a bigger bird taking over like a blackbird or a beloved pigeon.
I wanted to catch them close up when they least expected it and do something different.
Most bird photography is done at a distance, through a zoom or long lens. In that way you get a lovely close up of the bird but that is it, no context of the surroundings.
If you look at these pics you will see that not only do you get the birds close up but you also get the full background behind them.
Plus as a bonus, many of the pics are of the birds in action, be that in flight or taking off. It isn’t so much about pixel count and quality but more about the fun photo and seeing things in a different perspective.
How did I do it?
For these garden camera photos I needed to get out my GoPro. This small camera is so versatile and comes in handy for many occasions when a normal camera will not do.
People think of the GoPro as an action video camera. But as an action still photo camera I find it incredible too.
I attach it to the bird feeder using a gorilla tripod and make sure it is secure. Then I change the settings to ‘timelapse’.
You can then set the camera to take a photo at the desired interval you want. I find it depends on how busy the bird feeder is.
When really busy then set to take a photo every second. Yes, that is 60 photos per minute and you end up looking through a whole lot of photos at the end, but this way you have more chance of ending up with that photo with perfect timing.
You may find that at first the birds are wary of a square bit of new plastic by their source of food. A big tip is to leave the camera turned off and in place for a day or 2 so that to the birds get used to it and it becomes part of the garden furniture to them.
Types of Birds
But as you can see here in just a few sessions on the garden camera there are a whole lot of bird varieties.
Gold finches coming en masse. Large birds like the spotted woodpecker, blackbird or thrush.
Green finches are always a lovely sight, seemingly coming in groups as if to disturb the neighbourhood.
Rarer seen birds like the nuthatch love the area as well as of course the more common sparrows.
The list of course does not stop there, but maybe I could get a part 2 underway at some point. Can easily be done here.
Not Just Birds
You may have seen my other article showing how I use the GoPro to capture all kinds of animals on my travels and walks. It is such a small camera it is easy to carry around in my pocket.
Plus, the cameras in the garden capture more than just birds. Look around carefully and you may see a vole or mouse coming for some leftovers under the birdfeeder.
Or a daft red squirrel.
It is always a joy to take a moment to enjoy the wildlife around us. Sometimes it just takes a little patience to see more of it in all its glory.
The varieties, the colours, the attitudes. Creatures to admire and enjoy.