We’ve been using a lot of fat balls in the bird feeders over the last few weeks, but we’ve hardly see a bird on them. Even if we had it’s normally blue tits, great tits and long-tailed tits, and they aren’t exactly big birds or voracious feeders.
Starlings will eat them but we haven’t had any around recently and the only other bird I’ve seen on their was a blackbird, which didn’t stay long and obviously didn’t feel comfortable.
Now, I haven’t been able to photograph the offenders because they are wary of humans sneaking up, but I can tell you that we have discovered the cause – jackdaws!
We have a lot of jackdaws about, and I do like them, but they are a nuisance when helping themselves to the food of the free range pigs and poultry. At the moment they are gathering to eat the debris from lambing – some of it spilt food and some of it considerably less wholesome.
As a child I used to watch them for hours, as they nested in a hollow tree in the garden, always hoping I might end up rescuing an abandoned juvenile and teach it to talk. It never happened.
However, if they are going to add acrobatic fat ball theft to their many scavenging activities I may have to start reviewing my attitude.
Second mystery of the day is the black spot in the pictures I took. I thought the first one I noticed was a blurred jackdaw as one flew past just as I pressed the button, but it appeared on others. Then I decided that it must be dirt on the lens, but after the application of sophisticated cleaning techniques (my handkerchief) it didn’t go. I then used spit and a handkerchief. Still no result.
(That whirring sound you hear is generations of lens designers and proper photographers spinning in their graves.) I know I’m supposed to use proper cleaning equipment, it’s just that I never seem to have it when I need it. But I do always have a handkerchief…
The internet provided the likely answer – dust on the sensor. All I need to do is dismantle the camera (you can find details of how to do that on the internet too), clean the sensor and put it all back together.
Plastic, electronics, small screws, me, big fingers, screwdriver…
What could possibly go wrong?
In the top picture you can’t see the spot because it is hidden by the hedge, but that isn’t a technique you can use all the time.
(Mostly written on Thursday, finished on Friday)