Sunday, 27 June 2010

In the air

Now that the parents have less baby duties they have been swooping and gliding all round the stables and the trees. I managed to get a few shots of them in flight.

The photography bit.  Same camera and lens as previously described, a Canon DSLR with Sigma 18-200mm zoom.  I manually focussed on the very top of our apple tree and tried to judge when the swallows flew at that distance.  I took lots of pictures, many of which were out of focus.  I was pleased with how many came out well.

Fledging

Well nearly. All the swallow babies left the nest today but they only went as far as one of the drinkers in the stables.


Just in time for the England World Cup match.

Our farrier told us a very nice story yesterday about a swallow fledging.  Like us a couple had been watching their swallows and were surprised when all but one of the swallows in their stables had fledged.  The fledgelings kept coming back to encourage the last to leave the nest.  When at last it looked like something was wrong the couple went up a ladder to have a look.  The last baby was trapped in the nest by some horse hair making up the nest.  A few gentle snips to the horse hair with some nail clippers and a very eager bird flew away.

Pigeon babies

Yes, plural. Where we thought there was just one egg and one chick... there are two.


Saturday, 26 June 2010

Better camera

I've been out with my stills camera to take some better pictures.  The chicks are large enough to see easily from the ground.  I have seen 5 good healthy looking babies in that nest.
Shelley has seen the Pigeon baby which is somewhere under mum in the following picture.
For those photographically minded, the camera is a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi which is the same as the Canon 400D.  Using a Sigma 18-200mm zoom.  Auto exposure and auto focus using the built in flash.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Gape

You can see the gape of one of the chicks in the next picture. We think there are 4 or 5 chicks.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Confirmation of chicks

You can't tell from the still images because they are too low quality however if you compare the following two you can see the middle of the nest is different. That is a chicks head moving from side to side.


I'm already planning for next year to get some better quality cameras.

Friday, 11 June 2010

In and out

Both the parents have been in and out at regular intervals. Occasionally sitting on the nest. Still haven't seen enough to identify that what is there is a chick but all the signs are good.

Movement

I can't see the chicks yet but there is movement in this empty looking nest.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Eager

We've been eagerly watching the nest because on our calculation the chicks should be due this week. So far we still can't see any.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Pigeons

The swallows are just sitting on the nest. We are awaiting some more activity from them. Other birds have been active. We have had some pigeons trying to build a nest in the stables. They kept starting to build a nest in the hay put out for the horses. This kept getting disturbed so I put up a shelf for them.

Within a day of the shelf going up the pigeons had not only found it but had built the nest.

I had put a few sticks up there as a helping hand and they just piled more on top.
As you can see this position appears to suit everyone.

This is the other one of the pair of pigeons. Sitting just a few yards away.


While I had the camera out I tried to get some pictures of the swallows in flight. A little tricky and this is the sort of thing I've ended up with today.