Wednesday, 28 November 2007

The Coal Tit and Chickadee

Thanks to garden bloggers in America I am discovering new birds that visit gardens there and how similar some are to our European birds. I have to say I have found this very interesting. The Carolina Chickadee was brought to my attention after I published a post with photos of our Coal Tit taken in my garden shown in the first photo below. You can see the likeness yourself...






The Carolina Chickadee shown in the second photo above was taken from Wikipedia and as in the public domain. You can read more about the Chickadee here .

Today has been very wet and typically it is a day that the bird feeders are busy in my garden. However, I have noticed a lot of interest at my pond recently too. Although I have two standing bird baths and a ground saucer with pebbles often the birds bounce down from the rocks to the log bridge I put in my pond so they could drink from it. I always smile when I see them use it.

Over a week ago I set up my video camera, inside at a window, positioned to catch the wrens that have been visiting the edges of my pond. I left it running but never spotted the wren visit. However surprise, surprise I saw the Coal Tit not once but twice coming down for a drink. I don’t usually see it do this and it did look out of scale especially when you see it with the Blackbird in the second clip below.


Coal tit at pond, video 0:19 with background music, try 480p quality.


Garden birds at pond, video 0:24 with background music, try 480p quality.


I didn’t have time then to look through my tape but again, surprise, surprise when I did I found I actually caught the wren too! Now this is a tiny bird and it does disappear below the branch to either drink or find food. If you watch closely it almost plays peek-a-boo with the camera before it jumps up on to the rock and flies off again. You can see why I have difficulty catching it with my camera – it is so very quick and shy.


Wren feed at pond, video 0:23 with background music, try 480p quality.


Tomorrow is predicted to be our only dry day of the week so I might place my video camera outside and at a different angle and zoomed in to see if I could catch the wren visiting the branch at my pond. I also need to get some planting and tidying up done!

I haven’t been out in the garden in what seems like ages. I had a look at my marmalade heucheras today (the ones that I divided) and I am pleased to say that for the moment they are looking quite happy and appear to be growing well. I’ll try and get some photos tomorrow. I should really try to capture more of the garden tomorrow both in stills and video as although we are almost into December it is still looking quite interesting.


The videos shown above were taken in my garden on November 12th 2007.

5 comments:

Fen said...

Hi Shirl,
I know what I'd be doing, making a mini hide to get some shots of the wren and coaltits. Small ponds are amazing places to get great birds shots (sorry bird passion taking over)

Great videos by the way look forward to seeing the zoomed in versions, Mike.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your vidoes are such fun to see. Virtual birding for me. :)

The IOU, Ornithological Union here in the states, is finishing a study that has taken 15 years to make name changes to American birds to fit in with European birds. So our chickadees might become tits etc etc. It is a hot debate in the birding world here.

I wish they would leave the names alone. We aren't a part of Europe. Sometimes I think the IOU might be in kahoots with the publishing industry. Just think of all those books that would have to change the names of the birds. Of course they change names of a few species every once in awhile due to the DNA testing that is available now.

shirl said...

Hi again, Mike :-)

I have thought on making up a temp hide but it appears to me that the birds have routes through my plants to get from feeder to feeder and even if I leave the video on the tripod it seems to unsettle them.

To catch the wren under that branch there is no good clear view as I have a pine tree in the way. I will keep trying though but I only put the video camera out when it is dry outside and we have rain expected for a few days :-(

Thanks! I hope I get video close-ups soon :-D

shirl said...

Hi again, Lisa :-)

Thanks! I never thought of my videos like that :-D

I can imagine changing bird names to fall in line with other countries would be a very hot debate! I am not a knowledgeable birder but I like the fact that we have different names for birds - thats what makes them our birds :-D

Plant names are always changing over here which is a pain too. Perhaps we can go too far in making names 'worldwide'.

I would be interested to hear the outcome of the IOU debate.

Trisha said...

Hi Shirl, Have just seen your video of birds at your pond. What a lovely pond you've got. What lovely video of the birds. It's lovely to see birds in the garden isn't it? I think I take my garden birds a bit for granted. They arrive every day and empty the bird feeders, but trying to get photos is so difficult! They don't stay still. I'm enjoying ging through your diary. Lots to look at. Trisha