Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Feeding the 'Birds'

Having stocked up on bird seed, peanuts etc and a new feeder, my son has taken over the duties of topping up the feeders, putting out fresh water etc for the birds. In the first few snowy days, before our supplies were replenished, we most frequently saw the blackbirds, feasting on berries in the garden, with occasional visits from the robin. The seed and nuts have encouraged the appearance of the usual varieties of tits, including - as often happens in winter, my favourites the long-tailed tits.

My son has enjoyed watching them, although he did complain about the selectivity of the Great Tits which pecked from the seeder, and discarded on the ground, any seeds which were not their preference.

The behaviour of a Coal Tit amused me. He visited the feeder, flew to a hanging basket, which we had neglected to take down, stabbed his beak through the mossy lining and flew back to the feeder. At first, I though he was wiping his beak, although most tits do this by twitching their beaks from side to side across a twig. I sat in the conservatory for closer inspection and found him to be 'planting' seeds for us. Whether 'squirrel-like' for another day, or because he preferred others I had no idea - although it seemed too much energy to waste merely to dispose of unwanted seeds.

My son was complaining about the waste of  dropped seeds but I pointed out that birds which do not naturally perch on, or cling to a feeder, would gobble them up! Our son bought a compact camera on Boxing Day - really intended for his Scouting trip to Sweden, but also intended to capture action shots of himself and mountain-biking mates. He was experimenting with the zoom and speed - being concerned that the focus might not be quick enough for speeding bikes. He popped out into the garden to test it out on flitting birds. The shots below were his first attempts. Clearly, we needn't have been concerned about any seeds being wasted!!!


  1. I love long-tailed tits! They are so beautiful and about once a year we get a massive flock land in our tree outside the living room window. Great shots and keep up the good work x x

  2. From one bird lover and breeder,love the piccies,we spend a lot time looking at our bird feeders too.We haven't seen the long tail tits in our garden,so far.
    Jeanie x