Trails and Tribulations

So the saga of the new trail cam continues. Two days on from the last post and I do at least have a few more bird photos – still none that are great quality, but at least I’m getting greater quantities of the duff ones, so I guess that’s an improvement! Here are a couple of the stunning examples so far:

Blackcap Sparrow

Somehow I’d thought we’d just stick the camera out and it would miraculously take perfect, in-focus shots of everything. Of course that doesn’t happen. First the camera was too far away from the subjects, then too close. Then there were twigs in the way, then it was too dark. Yesterday’s attempts were hampered by constant rain. Today the sun is out, but the wind is blowing a gale. We had the camera pointed at a bird feeder, which even from the sofa I could see was lurching around on the branch. The result – in the half hour the camera was out, 197 photos of flailing suet feeder, of which only 8 actually had a bird in!

I have been forced to take drastic action and read the manual. Whilst I grudgingly admit that the manual has some good points, there now just seems to be even more things to consider – infra-red levels, motion sensitivity, shutter speed etc. None of which will come as a surprise to anyone else no doubt, but for a technophobe like me it all feels a bit daunting.

The good news at least is that the birds aren’t at all phased by the camera, even if I am. They are happily flying around it no matter how close it is to their food – maybe I can just get them to take the photos – birdie selfies? We’ve also got lots of recordings of birdsong, so nothing wrong with the sound.

But finally after many trials and even more errors, I have managed to get a few half decent videos.  They’re only short and they’re far from perfect, but they’ve got recognisable birds! This is the highlight so far, a pair of Long-tailed Tits on the suet block.

I suppose the moral of this particular post is patience. I’m trying to console myself with the thought that if I get all the most brilliant shots in the first weekend, there’ll never be any need to put the camera out again. At least this way I’ve got months (oh god) of anticipation waiting for that perfect shot.

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