I've said numerous times in the past, that I ignore my garden and what visits it. I am guilty of spending time pretty much anywhere but being at home when looking for wildlife to photograph, but this past week, with the lockdown enforced from the Coronavirus pandemic, I have begun to appreciate the garden once again.
The start of March saw me on Mull running an otter workshop, followed by a fun few days back home in the company of Lyndsey, who was collecting Andy's new car from the dealership where my brother works. After she'd headed back north, with the house being so quiet I was as usual keen to get out, to find wildlife, and top of the list were adders.
There aren't many locations to see these snakes in the Midlands, but I discovered one through research some years ago, and through a lot of walking and looking, worked out where to find them, on the site. With a forecast for sunshine, I drove over, and started to scour the areas I knew for them. The male adders would have emerged from hibernation during February, and by now some of the larger females would also be out.
Confined to the house, I woke on the first morning, and looked out into the garden. It was a mess to be frank, with brambles and ivy encroaching from all sides. Armed with secateurs and gloves, I spent most of the first couple of days of the lockdown, fighting was might be called Battle Of The Brambles. I won, eventually, but my fingers suffered from the thorns and their ability to pierce any gardening glove.
Part of the problem is having the conservatory door open. Perhaps the birds are used to seeing it closed, and it looks different. Only time will tell if they get used to it. But I employed my bag-hide to help mask the shape of my camera and tripod, and it also helps hide me somewhat.
Next I needed to set up some perches, and a bit more pruning was needed to make some of the backdrops to the shots, cleaner. Then it was (and still is) a case of standing still behind the tripod, and waiting.
By far the most frequent visitor is the humble blue tit. I think there are two pairs coming in. They mostly aim for the suet balls, but are quite happy to pick from the seed mix tray or the sunflower heart feeders.