Sunday, July 12, 2009

Out of Nowhere


We came across these long-tailed tits when we were walking along a footpath that passed through a dense thicket of small trees. Suddenly a party of six – probably all fledglings from the same nest – were all around us, acrobatically searching every leave and twig. And then they were gone, as suddenly as they’d arrived. I’m very taken by these charming little birds, that have begun to visit our garden in winter. Incidentally, in the bottom picture the bird is on an elm twig, identifiable by the leaves and the corky ridges on the bark. Dutch elm disease may have done for mature English elms that once graced hedgerows in the landscape but the young trees don't succumb the disease until they are a few years old – so scrub elm is still a good feeding habitat for many birds.

9 comments:

  1. Great photos, Phil, of a very endearing species.

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  2. Excellent images, not easy to capture on camera.

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  3. Great shots Phil of a great little bird.
    I love the way their little hunting parties move from tree to tree searching for food.
    Like you mentioned; one minute there, then gone.

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  4. Fabulous photos there Phil. Haven't seen my local Long-tailed Tits for quite a while.

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  5. Thanks Dean and Adrian, they really are very approachable birds but never stay still for very long...

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  6. Hi Keith, in winter here we often get mixed flocks of blue,great and long-tailed tits, often with a tree creeper added for good measure, giving all the local trees a thorough going-over.

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  7. Thanks Emma, I once had the good fortune to find a l-tt nest, a wonderfully elastic construction of spider silk, lichen and feathers, woven into a gorse bush. Even better, many years ago I came face to face with six fledglings, newly emerged from the nest, all lined up on a single twig...and I didn't have a camera with me!

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  8. Hi John, I tend to see them most often in early winter, often in quite large flocks of a dozen or more.

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