Thursday, 4 December 2008

Show and tell

Oh dear… I can’t show any images from my garden or tell any stories from today of the visitors I believe I saw at my bird feeders last night! I watched first thing as light came up and set my videos camera on a feeder with fatcakes as darkness fell but these delightful visitors were nowhere to be seen. Ah well, maybe tomorrow…

Oh… sorry what did I think I had seen? Thanks to all who made guesses. Yes, well done Tricia and Joe, I do believe we had a fleeting glimpse of a small flock of Long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus). Yes, I am disappointed not to see them today but then again I was so very lucky to see them pass through my garden last night!


Interestingly enough, today wasn’t as cold. The heavy snowfall predicted for today didn’t appear and the snow we did have has started to thaw. Mm… I wonder if the colder temps have a bearing on whether I will see these birds again or perhaps they are miles away by now. I was very lucky to see them at all in the half light of last night! It is fascinating to think that so many birds can pass through our gardens like this and more than often we miss them completely especially at this time of year when the daylight hours are shorter.

Oh… I should say if you missed my two posts in March this year on the first, and only other, visits of these birds here you can see a photo and video.

The photo above was taken from Wikiepdia. This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License,

16 comments:

Gail said...

Glad you got to see a bird you have always wanted to see...when those kind of events happen in my life...there is never a camera nearby! Gail

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

These birds have been seen in my yard. And I absolutely adore them. So small and cute!
Brenda

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Aren't they the cutest things.

shirl said...

Hi again Gail, Brenda & Lisa :-)

Gail - Yes, I am delighted to see the brief return of the Long-tailed tit to my garden. The funny thing is that before seeing it, for the first time in March, it just looked an odd looking bird in a book that caught my attention for its appearance and no more. It is the Bullfinch that I would love to see visit my garden. However, once you see the (odd looking) Long-tailed tit for real, buzzing around the garden, you cannot help but to be absolutely captivated by it. This morning (without camera at hand) I was thrilled to see two at a peanut feeder. Perhaps I’ll get another chance to see them all yet. The camera is ready and waiting now :-D

Brenda - Gosh... I didn’t know the Long-tailed tit could be seen in Texas. I expected it to be more a British/European bird. Fantastic to hear you have had glimpses of them too :-D

Lisa - They so are! I’ve just read a description of them in one of my books as a ball and stick. That’s exactly the silhouette shape I saw the other night in the half-dark. Oh… this morning (Friday) I had another glimpse of two at a peanut feeder. Perhaps the main flock has passed by and this two are trailing behind – it is fun to speculate on what’s going on too isn’t it :-D

patientgardener said...

Long tailed tits are one of my favourite birds - they remind me of cotton wool. I often have a small group visit my garden at this time of year.

Thanks For 2 Day said...

They are adorable. I don't remember ever seeing one before--I know they're not something common in VA. Jan

Frances said...

Hi Shirl, I can feel your excitement and then disappointment from your words. The thought of birds just passing through is awe inspiring. For us it is the cedar waxwings. Usually we miss it, but a couple of times have seen them at the pond or even at the birdbath, thirty or more of them at one time. Lucky timing on it, for sure.
Frances

Cheryl said...

They are such pretty little birds Shirl....one of my favourites.....we do get them here......

shirl said...

Hi again Helen, Jan, Frances and Cheryl :-)

Helen - Oh… I can see why they are one of your favourites! Ah… it is interesting to hear they are visiting gardens across the country at the moment. I had no idea when we would see them (except in March). Enjoy your visits when you get them :-D

Jan - Oh yes… they really are. Photos just don’t do them justice either. They are lovely little characters. Yes, my books suggest they shouldn’t be in the USA but sometimes a bird’s Sat Nav goes wonky and who knows where they will turn up ;-)

Frances - Yep… you got that correctly! However I never give up hope completely… today I saw a few at midday this time and I got some video! I was thrilled to see them again. Ah… but we are still in a PC nightmare so I can’t access my video software – or much else either! You are completely right – it is lucky timing when we see birds as they pass through. Oh… cedar waxwings I would imagine they would be very special visitors in the garden especially at the pond or birdbath! I hope you see them on their next visit :-D

Cheryl - I agree they really are. Ah… I imagine they would become a favourite for anyone who sees them! Great to hear they visit you too – enjoy them when you see them :-D

Susan Tomlinson said...

How lovely! This bird looks a bit like our verdin, only without the yellow wash around the eyes. Or maybe our bushtit, but whiter and with a longer tail.

I adore the little ones--like them the best, in fact.

Thanks for the quiz and the photo.

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Shirl, For some reason my comment on your last post didnt get through - I had guessed yellowhammers - but the Long tailed tit is a delight.
I yearn for bullfinches in my garden too.
Hope you have a good weekend.
K

Colonel Brandon said...

Dear Ms. Shirl

It appears that the answer to my question as to where all the birds have gone lies within your journal! I beg you, please direct a few of such avian creatures, further south, if you may be so kind!

With all due deference & regard,
Colonel Brandon.
Nature Diary

ShySongbird said...

Hi Shirl,

Just last week as I was going in my back door after feeding the birds I suddenly heard lots of unusual twitterings. I crept back up the garden and stood transfixed at the sight and sound of a flock of Long-Tailed Tits flitting from tree to tree, it was truly magical like being in fairy land and I just stood there with a huge grin on my face. It gave me such pleasure and lifted me for the whole day. I have seen them very occasionally before from the window but to actually be amongst them was just amazing. I'm so glad you were captivated too, moments like those are priceless.

Border Reiver said...

Hi Shirl,

They should come back, L-T Tits range usually across a sizable area, so if you have them now they should come back. The problem is they flit through quite quickly, so you may miss them. And in the winter they'll be foraging further and further afield.

Lovely birds though, I have a flock come and visit once or twice a week, and today 2 male blackcaps as the weather has turned cold.

shirl said...

Hi again Karen, ShySongbird and Andrew and Hello Susan & Colonel Brandon :-)

Susan – I will have to take a look at your verdin and bush tit now! I too enjoy to see the smaller birds. Glad you enjoyed the fun. Oh… I should say what a beautiful photo you have just posted of your goldfinch :-D

Karen – Sorry, I don’t know what happened to your comment. Yellowhammers, no I have never seen them either. Ah… the Bullfinch I guess, like me, it’s the colour of the male that you would love to see. Thanks we did, wishing you a good week :-D

Colonel Brandon, Sir – One would like to oblige… but alas I have no control over our feathered friends. Until such time as your feeders are frequented I am more than agreeable to share mine with you. Kindest regards :-D

ShySongbird – Wonderful! I agree completely that it is a fantastic experience to be standing outside amongst them – for the sound alone! Yes, these moments are priceless - wishing you many more :-D

Andrew – Well, indeed they have – although I haven’t been able to see if they have visited today. Yesterday though, I saw a flock of six. What fun to watch! I agree completely their visits are so very quick – not much time at all to get photos either. Ah… the blackcap I am watching out for too at the moment. For the last two winters we have had visits. Last year only two females but they were a treat to see arriving just before Christmas. The first year we had a pair although something must have happened to the female. The male stayed a little while and then returned a few weeks later. It was much more aggressive towards other birds. The females were fine though. Yes, probably when it's cold again we may see them. I believe the ones that visit my garden possibly come from Germany. No, I can’t tell by their accent ;-)

Ewan said...

Interesting you should write this post as the other day I had a flurry of things land in my garden - a small flock of long tailed tits too, was great to see. I'll have to set up the camera and try to catch them next time (so small though!).

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