I have put together a small collection of some of my favourite images of common garden birds. These have all been taken from my own garden where I live in Ipswich. It is here that I first developed my design ideas for the miniHide. The opportunities to really get to know a local area are obviously very good. It is also a very convenient area to test new photographic techniques and really get to know how your camera operates under all conditions. I would thoroughly recommend anyone interested in wildlife photography to consider a miniHide if they have even a modest sized garden.
For me at least, not living in a mansion with extensive grounds, I find that lenses around 300mm are more useful than 5-600mm. I still like to use my 500mm and have enticed birds to perch at least 3.5 metres from the hide as this is the minimum focusing distance of the 500mm. There is still a huge area that needs covering from 0 – 3.5 metres. I do not have a 70-200mm but think this would be very versatile and offer greater creativity than a fixed sense. I do have a 100mm macro and am enjoying exploring the possibilities of this affordable lens. I shall be trying to attract butterflies and dragonflies within very close range over the coming summer.
No one knows your own garden better than you do yourself. There is a huge interest in wildlife gardening and there is no end to peoples imagination when it comes to attracting wildlife. Ponds, nest boxes, hedgehog house are just some of the more popular features you can add. Bird and hedgehog feeding is not only very popular it is often vital for a species survival. With the continuing destruction and mismanagement of most rural habitats the urban environment will play an ever increasing importance for many species.
The ability to manage your own garden and create new habitats is a terrific advantage. The lack of financial pressures to produce is also very welcome. However there are limitations and the most obvious is the limited size of individual plots. Although collectively our gardens are huge very often the habitats are fragmented. Gardens are also very diverse with as many management regimes as there are households.