I saw that this Tuesday was going to be a good day and so with a little opening in my workload to match this day I booked a day’s holiday and also booked a morning in the relatively new photography bird hides run by Tom Robinson just outside of Bourne.
I got set up at the hide on a cold frosty morning and along with another photographer from Lincoln, Keith we quickly settled down to see what was going to appear on the different, interchangeable perches that were in front of the half-hexagonal bird hide at differing distances. There were a couple of turf topped feeding table with apples and nuts already down to tempt the birds in for us to see and hopefully snap with tour cameras, the reflection pool was frozen over so not much action on that today.
Personally I was hoping to get some decent images of Jay, these according to Tom were calling regular at the moment; it turned out they were very, very nervous and no sooner they landed on the furthest away turf feeding station they were off and in my over 4 hours in the hide all I got of these lovely birds was distant and in shadow photos like the one below.
The Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Robins, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Dunnocks, Blue and Long Tailed Tits were calling into feed on the various stations pretty regularly as was one then two Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
The Woodpeckers did not want to play at first because they hid at the back of the perch with nuts on for them or they were seen in shadow and not in the direct sunlight which is obviously better for photography but eventually one bird appeared in the sun!
The real fun though came on three separate occasions with a cracking Sparrowhawk (juvenile male?) coming in for its brekkie too!
One perch Tom has put in front of the hide is a lovely moss coloured one that is directly above a wire cage with small feeders hanging within it and lots of small branches all over and around it for protection for the smaller birds feeding in the cage and the Sparrowhawk landed on this moss covered perch with the sole aim of getting to the finches feeding in the ‘safe-cage’ this is where the best pics of the day came, three of which are below.
Eventually the time for me to leave came and I decided to go to a spot in Bourne Woods car park that I have had my lunch break in many a time when working in Bakkavor in Bourne some years back. I always carry a little seed to put put when using my car as an impromptu bird hide, this time using the bird table that is on the right of the car park (a slightly quieter area) and awaited the target two species, that being Nuthatch and Marsh Tit.
Very soon the birds began to arrive at the seed on the bird table, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit and Marsh Tit plus at least 4 Nuthatch. Best pics at this spot from my drivers seat are below.
So it turned out to be a great day in the sun with perfect light for those who like to photo’s of birds like me! If you are interested in learning more about Tom’s hides, he also has a raptor and Tawny Owl hide and working on even more please go to his facebook page - Tom's Hide Facebook page or his website - Bourne Wildlife Hides
I may be trying the Tawny Owl hide out in the future.
On the way home I saw a Red Kite close to Old Somerby - possibly the same bird? - and managed a few shots before it drifted away in the wind, I had to tweak the image on my pc as it was against the light.