Friday, 19 September 2008

No longer babies

Well, here they are, caught basking in the orange glow of the setting sun. They sit together in my Pear tree, comfortable in their 'togetherness'. Are they brothers, sisters or one of each? LOL ... although I have to admit, whenever I look at them I can't help but think "Laurel and Hardy". Whatever they are, they have been a joy to watch and I feel most privileged to have been able to observe their start in life.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Leaving the Nest

JOY OF JOYS!!!

I looked in on the nest this morning and saw .... MUM!!! Then something moved a couple of yards away, and that's when I saw the youngster. Trying to walk along a branch, moving his wings much as tight rope walker uses his arms to keep his balance. I didn't want to get to close for fear of scaring him, and climbing my usual tree would have surely done that. The blasted sun was behind him, which made photo's difficult but, thanks to Spot Metering, I managed this passable photo of the young Pigeon contemplating the height of his perch, and the hardness of the ground below.

The movie, though small and dark, shows the awkward and clumsy manner he moves around, much like a human baby taking it's first steps. Tentative mini-flights from one branch to another, with tricky landings that almost have him toppling head first off the branch. I also love the way he sits on the branch 'twitching' his shoulders up and down almost as if practicing to fly in his mind.

I could have watched for hours but I was already late to the office, so had no choice but to leave mum and her youngster to their adventures. No doubt there'll be no sign of them when I get home this evening. I would have loved to have stayed long enough to try and record his first flight, but it wasn't to be. It's been a fascinating few weeks watching this chappy grow from an egg and I feel very privileged. I intend to make a web page on my site about the Wood Pigeons to which I shall add more pictures and video

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Only One

It's almost over now. This evening I looked out and the nest looked emptier than usual. Though it was nearly dark I grabbed my camera and went aloft. Sure enough, there is only one baby now. Looking very sad and lonely (though I suspect that's just me attaching a human emotion to a bird).

As he/she looked out forlornly over my neighbours garden, I fired off a few shots. The result is far from good as I had to use maximum aperture (f4.5 on full zoom) and maximum film speed (ISO3200). Still, it is one of those shots I'd like to have regardless of it's quality.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Pencil Drawing

If you're a previous visitor to my web site or this blog, then you will know that I'm a very late starter when it comes to painting and drawing. Sometimes my amateurish efforts leave me feeling that I'm making little progress, but at other times I feel as if I've really taken a big stride forwards.

This drawing of two Wine Glasses is one of those occassions when I feel as if I've done a reasonable job, and I'm very pleased. The drawing was copied from a photograph that was set as the August Drawing Project in my Art Forum for Beginners. If you don't think you can draw, but feel that you'd like to, then drop in and say hello. We're a very small group of like-minded individuals who get a lot of pleasure from helping and encouraging each other. It's not necessary to be good at art, to enjoy it. Have-a-go!!!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Day 11

Today I tried a new vantage point. Much more precarious than up the nearby tree that I have been using so far.This time I placed my step ladder about 10 feet from the base of the pigeons tree and balanced as near the top as I could. Not the best of situations for taking good photo's but I'm not disappointed with the shots I got.

The wing feathers are now quite progressed. In fact, in the last photo, one of the fledglings moved to the edge of the nest. I thought he might be getting ready to try his first flight, but he soon moved back inside again. Seeing 'all' of him for the first time, I was really surprised at how big he is already.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Day 8.

Not a lot of activity but I was lucky enough to catch them awake. I love the way they are top'n'tailed, facing in opposite directions. Is that a look-out strategy I wonder, or just because they fit better like that? There's certainly not much room for mum in that nest. I understand the fledglings don't leave their nest until about 28 days after hatching. It's amazing to consider just how big they will be by then.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Day 7

Day 7 and it's amazing how fast these chappies are growing. I'm struggling to get any meaningful pictures because they spend all their time screwed into little fluffy balls. However, as can be seen from the first of these shots, they are very alert. I walked to within a few feet of the tree and made a sort of clicking-clucking sound to attract their attention. Mum already had her beady eye on me, but it was a hoot to see one of the youngsters pop his head up to see what or who was disturbing his siesta.

From my higher perch, the second shot (into the nest) shows that the young are now too big for Mum to sit on, and she has to perch on the edge of the nest. It's also interesting to see that the 'balls of fluff' are showing a good covering of feathers already.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Having fun with art.

Any of you who have visited my blog in the past will know about the Picture Puzzle run by my Art Forum. For the rest of you, this is what it's about. We take a picture, which could be a famous painting or a photograph, and digitally slice it into squares. These squares are then distributed to various members who each then paint their own square. The painted squares are returned back, and the picture is gradually reassembled. The members do not know what the completed picture will be until it starts to finally take shape. It's a great way of sharing your art with your friends, and it's fascinating to see the different artists styles sitting next to each other in the same picture. The attached picture is the current 'puzzle'. If you're interested to know what it is, pop back from time to time and watch it unfold.

Day 4

Finally, a few photo's.
If ever there were grounds to chop a branch out of a tree, it must the one that stands dead-centre of all my photo's. Virtually ALL the action takes place behind that stem. Anyway, out of the hundreds of shots taken so far (God bless digital camera's), here are 5 that haven't come out too bad.


Thursday, 4 September 2008

A Happy Event - Day 1

Yes, we have a happy event. When I checked the nest this morning I saw a hungry little head on a very long neck making his need for food plainly clear. Though already late for the office, I grabbed my camera and rushed up to my perch. By then Mum had half-covered him with her wing and it was hard to see anything other than her sitting on her nest as usual. Light was awful and focusing is difficult at the best of times, so I failed to get a good photo, however, enlarging one of my shots did reveal the first evidence of a fledgling.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

ANY TIME NOW!!!

Though I don't know how old the eggs were when I first discovered them, that was on Aug 16th .... 18 days ago. According to most references I've found, the incubation period is around 17/18 days. Even assuming the eggs had only just been laid moments before I found them, we have to be right on the brink of a happy event. I'd like to report that I'm pacing up and down my perch like a pregnant dad, but one step in either direction isn't a very recommendable move.

Stand by for an announcement very soon.