Twitchers Revisited

Was there a Twitchers thread before the apocalypse? Can’t remember.

I’m fortunate enough to have a pair of Robins building a nest in an overgrown Clematis in my garden. They are very entertaining to watch as they dance around the garden bringing foliage and grass cuttings back to the construction site. I now also know the culprit for the particularly loud ‘squeaky wheel’ birdsong every morning. It was the female Robin advertising herself to the local male Robins.

My question concerns photography. How to safely photograph the nest without upsetting the Robins? I have a reasonably good DSLR Nikon D40 with an 18-55mm lens.


I’d imagine a longer reach lens tbh.
I use a 100 to 300 on my canon dslr for such situations.

You need something longer (don’t we all). Look for something in excess of 200mm. 300mm would be better. You can get a Nikon 70-300 for about £80 new, which if it fits your camera is a bloody bargain.

Thrush building a nest outside my window. And a wren building one at neck height in my garden. Quite beguiling watching them. There’s a couple of robins nesting in bushes and they are always in the garden.

It’s a proper racket first thing. Add a noisy owl and it can keep you awake!

Wife thinks it’s funny me watching. I love the sound… relaxing.


Song Thrush are Jedi in my garden. Blackbirds and Starlings are fumbling apprentice when it comes to worm location.

Ok, so a longer lens is needed. With any luck, photos to follow.

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Talking of Robins, one from last year.

He’s still around. This morning I forgot to feed him and he came into the kitchen and sat on the working surface giving me a right blocking.


Lot’s of stupid young male blackbirds around at the moment, even my 2 15yo arthritic moggies are having a go at them.

Heard our first cuckoo of the year while walking on the edge of Dartmoor this evening.

Live meal worms?

Or did dried ones work?

Dried ones.

He started off dive bombing me while I was gardening, picking up bugs. Then I put the meal worms in the container next to me. After a while he nipped in, grabbed a few worms left and after about 3 months landed on my hand and stayed for a couple of minutes, turning his back on me if he got worried.

Now his mate comes too, hovering for ages as she gets up courage. They grab mouthfuls of worms and go back to their nests.

I’m assuming the sexes as the first is bigger and brighter.


The reason they do this is because they used to follow wild boar through the forest as the boar disturbed the ground providing a good source of grubs and insects.

When you dig the garden over you’re doing the same, although you can think they’re just being friendly. Nice photos.

The bigger one is probably the female. She needs a little more bulk to incubate her eggs. The best way to tell is to watch the pair and see who feeds who. The male feeds the female.

Just taken this. Sense of depth has gone but that’s through my lounge window and the nest is about three metres away between the blue feeder and the orange one you can just see under the ivy.
The culprit is in its usual high perch in the tree behind, banging its heart out (since the very early hours) repeatedly.
It’s there (or one is) every year. Noisy bugger.

Here’s a bit of help from my wife who has just texted me back this. Apologies it’s spoils the fun for those who like where’s Wally type puzzles :wink: it’s a Saturday if you are reading this late… we do get up on work days! :

“Woke me at 7am!!!”

Here’s a tricky one for you twitchers out there, identify a bird I never saw by by truly bad description of its song. It was on the shores of Loch Etive (near Glencoe) last weekend. the song lasted about 10 to 20 seconds a go and sounded like a slightly higher picthed version of one of those clackers you used to run against your bike spokes as a kid.

Answers on a post card please:)

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Grasshopper Warbler

That was bloody quick. A very distinctive song and although it was obviously very close there was no way I could spot it.

You rarely can. VERY elusive, but easily found as they can sing like this all night (and less so during the day)

It sang for ages along with a cuckoo higher up the hill. That bugger kept going all bloody night!


Savi’s Warbler is similar, but no chance that there was one of those in Scotland

It was definitely the Grasshopper Warbler, unforgettable song. Looked at its distribution, right on the edge of it in Glencoe. Mind you Loch Etive is sheltered and has grassland and recently felled and new forestry plantations, ideal habitat looking at the guides. I’ll be buying bins next:)