During the coronavirus lockdown in Wales over the winter of 2020/2021 my wife Liz and I decided to set up some bird feeding stations in our backyard, primarily to allow us to enjoy watching the smaller birds from the comfort of our conservatory.
It took a few days for the robins, tits and sparrows to get the idea that these feeders were a safe source of food, but once they had overcome their initial nervousness there was no stopping them.
So I took the opportunity to set my camera up close to the neareast conservatory window to try and catch some of the action.
Now I'm no wildlife cameraman, and my initial attempts were poor to say the least, but as I persevered things got a little better as I learned some tricks.
The first thing I learned was that these little birds move fast!
This meant that the camera's attempts at autofocus couldn't keep up, so a switch to manual focussing, pre-focused on the feeder's perch gave more consistent results.
The birds also proved to be rather flightly, and every time I moved to set my camera recording video they would quickly fly away, only to return once I was out of sight.
My answer to this problem was to download the Canon remote shooting app which allowed me to see what the camera was seeing, and to start and stop recording video while remaining out of sight of the nervous birds.
This video of a brightly coloured robin taking seeds from our feeder is one of my first successful attempts at garden bird video using these techniques, and I hope to catch a few more species as my proficiency increases.
Filename - robin seed feeder video 01
Camera - Canon EOS 6DMK2
Lens - 100-400mm zoom @ 400mm
Exposure - Aperture and ISO selected to give a 1/60 sec shutter speed
Filters - None.
Location - My back yard, North Wales
This clip - HD 720p, 30fps (1080p HD format also available)
Clip duration - 16 seconds
All content copyright © Howard Litherland 2009-2021 unless otherwise stated.