Friday, 28 September 2007

Mr House Sparrow

Last Sunday I was out with my camera trying to catch some photos of my visiting birds and captured the painted lady butterfly and bee and was so thrilled with these shots that I completely forgot I had some photos of House Sparrows until now.

How like a parrot I now remember thinking this male house sparrow looked. How comical it looked too, with a mouthful of sunflower hearts, as it was startled by the mechanical snapping sounds of my camera quite close to it! Looking through my photos I have now come to the conclusion that this very ordinary common little bird has quite an endearing character. I have always taken its visits to my garden for granted – how lucky we are to see it.

The photos above were taken in my garden on September 23rd 2007.

12 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

If you are using a digital camera, you probably have a setting to remove the fake mechanical sound when you press the shutter. Then it won't startle away any wildlife that you're photographing.

shirl said...

Hi there, Pam

Thanks, I do use a digital SLR camera. I would need to look up the manual to see about silencing the shutter sound.

In this instance however I have to say I deliberately set it to continuous shooting knowing it would make sounds to get the bird to look in my direction. I have some great shots of the quick darting coal tit with this technique as it stopped briefly on a perch :-)

I really enjoy photographing the wildlife in my garden and that is exactly how this blog began - trying to get photos of the European robin for my friend in Australia :-)

Dean ( mostlymacro blog ) said...

Enjoy them while you can Shirl. They are declining at an alarming rate, as are many "once common" species.

Great blog, BTW.

shirl said...

Hello Dean

Yes thanks, we do, especially when we still have them visit in fairly large groups.

This serious decline of house sparrow numbers is really quite sad as it used to be seen everywhere from parks to retail park car parks as well as in our gardens :-(

Thanks for you comment - I have just visited your blog and you have a lot of interesting wildlife photos :-)

st said...

I read a article, which blames unleaded petrol for the decline in sparrows. More than the lack of housing/cats and far to many low/no maintance gardens.
As most birds drink from puddles etc on the ground. Residues from the petrol/combustion process end up floating on the surface of the water. With the sparrows absorbing large quantities of toxins.
By the way you have a beautiful garden.

Catherine said...

All beautiful photos and flowers, I love the sedum Im not familar with that one...love the second pic
also a big fan of Heuchara's..you have some pretty ones...
Cat

shirl said...

Hello Steve,

I must be honest and say I have never heard of any association with unleaded petrol and the decline in numbers of house sparrows. Thank-you for bringing this to my attention.

My search has found this report by the BTO:
http://www.bto.org/gbw/PDFs/BT_INSERTS/HOUSPINSERT.pdf I wonder if you have seen this?

shirl said...

Hi again, Cat

Thank-you these were the plants that caught my eye that morning for my post ‘A Beautiful Day’. I am looking forward to seeing if the butterflies and bees come to the sedum in my hanging basket :-)

Yes, I do beleive once you grow one heuchera you will be a fan forever :-D

Pete said...

i do like House Sparrows they have such character

shirl said...

Hi again, Pete :-)

They do don’t they and so do the blackbirds who have started chasing each other around the plants once again!

birdtablenews said...

Hi shirley, I love the photo of the house sparrow. I really think they are my favourite bird. We have quite a few in our garden. I feed them every day. I've just written about them on my blog. About why house sparrows have declined.

A survey has been done and it seems that often it is the second or third broods that don't survive, because of lack of food later in the year.

I love your photos and videos. How do you get your videos and photos so clear. Do you use adobi for your photos? I'm struggling with my photos and videos but will get there in the end.

the comment by Pam about the fact that you can remove the mechanical sound when you press the shutter is really helpful to me.
Am going to take another look at the photos of flowers now. Best. Birdy Trish.

shirl said...

Hi again, Trish :-)

Your post on the house sparrow was very interesting. It is a lovely little bird and it would be very sad if we were to loose it from our gardens :-)

My videos are clearer in the winter when there are fewer colours – I have noticed that when they are processed on the internet the colour green can get quite pixelated. Too much movement is a problem too so videos of birds eating are usually okay. However if I leave the camera out to catch the birds I cannot adjust any focusing so it can be hit and miss.

I take many photos before I chose the ones to use. I love using the close-up lens with my camera but I am not so happy with the original lens. I will be honest and say I mostly point and shoot (so it’s the camera that does the work) but I am trying to remember the settings etc to adjust for different conditions. I don’t use adobi but always use Photoshop to crop my photos and when doing this I can select the part of the photo that I want to show. I am not at all proficient with Photoshop but I have tried the ‘unsharp mask’ on a few occasions but I tend to prefer softer images.

Yes, the comment from Pam was very useful when you don’t want to disturb the wildlife. It is always interesting to get ideas from others isn’t it :-D