Pointing a longer lens into your garden provides some good birdlife photo opportunities.

If there's one thing Covid-19 lockdowns have done it's make you work harder for photo shoot ideas.

Photographing the natural world is challenging and good fun. None more so that garden birds.

While they are confident and bold, they are also wily. They'll be off at the briefest sight of trouble.

That means you have to be on your speediest form to catch them in pixels.

Here's a small gallery of my recent efforts:

I use a consistent setup to photograph wildlife. And by that I mean, working out where I know the birds will settle. That way, I can pre-focus and set up exposure for most conditions.

I use a 75-300mm zoom lens. It's not long enough in some cases. An extra 100mm of focal length would do me well.

But I can manage. I have a makeshift hide at the bottom of my garden. Or, I shoot through an open bedroom window.

To capture the photos, I tend to use shutter priority. That way, I can keep shutter speed cracked up to 1/500 sec at least.

You need that because birds move fast. There will be times when they move as you take the shot...

We have lift off

So, that faster shutter speed provides the chance for some great shots.

Sometimes, they land on the end of your lens:

A Sparrow landed right in front of me

Which is great, that makes grabbing the shot much easier.

But what about when they are in the air?

A gull sails past


This gull went sailing past my window. He circled around a few times which gave me chance to try a few shots. Shutter speed was key, of course. But I tweaked exposure compensation to allow for the sky in the background.

Birds in flight are tricky. I've tried a few times and you can get some hilarious results.

Anyway...

If you are stuck for a project idea, slot your longer lens on and give it a go.
You'll need plenty of patience. Birds hop and and flit around all over the place. But the results you can get are worth the effort.