Introducing the Blue Tit family

This morning I looked out of the window and saw a lot of activity around the, newly replenished, suet feeder. It turned out to be an adult blue tit with three youngsters. The adult is looking rather bedraggled, as the children appear to be running it ragged. Even though they are perfectly capable of feeding, they were still begging for food – and the adult was giving it to them!

The young birds look bigger than their parents – and you can tell them apart as the young don’t have the lovely blue cap (it’s more a greyish blue) and their faces are yellow like their fronts.

Aquilegia and clematis

I got my 24-105mm lens out yesterday. I’d forgotten how glorious it is. Here are some shots of clematis and aquilegia in my garden, along with the various insects that visit.

Photo a day year 4 week 37

This week we have a fight, a flight and the end of the world…

An experiment with Illustrator patterns

This blog has turned out to be mostly photos, but I tinker with a bit of artwork too, usually created from my photos.

At lunchtime a kite flew over my house. It was too far away to get a clear shot, but I did get a good shape of the bird with wings outstretched.

Red kite silhouette photo

Red kite silhouette

So I decided to turn it into an pattern. I upped the contrast in ACR so that I could get a clean outline. Then I took it into Illustrator and used the Image Trace feature set to silhouette. I duplicated it once and ran it though the pattern maker. Once I had a swatch I was happy with I filled a rectangle with the pattern and saved as a png. I took it back into photoshop to tidy up the pattern edges.

Kite pattern made from photo in Illustrator

Kite pattern made from photo in Illustrator


We’ve got a blackbird nesting nearby I think. There are a lot of noisy altercations with the magpies and this afternoon I spotted a male with a beak full of what looked like insects. The female ate from the suet feeder, but it’s so windy she was grabbing morsels as it swung by!

Male blackbird with a beak full of food.

Male blackbird with a beak full of food.

Male blackbird stretches his wings

Male blackbird stretches his wings

Female blackbird

Female blackbird


We were walking through the woods the other day when we heard an insistent bird call – cheeping I suppose. It just went on and on – just the one note, sometimes speeding up and slowing down again. It turned out to be woodpecker chicks. Their calls were constant – only stopping momentarily when they were fed.

The parent birds were back and forth every couple of minutes or so. I even managed to get a glimpse of a chick.

Photo a day year 4 week 35

This week we have a black squirrel, a black sheep and a flying ‘Horrible’ visit to Shrewsbury…