Monday, 13 December 2010

Some winter visitors...

They came for the second time last weekend. The Long Tailed Tits, like a band of cheeky child pickpockets, pushing away the Blues and Coals and even making our valiant Robin hop into the hedge a while.

Such beautiful little birds, delicate in their pinkie greys and blacks, long twitching tails and heads bobbing. They flocked the new feeder station eight, nine, ten of them, pecking the balls of seeded fat, flying to and from the peanuts, a quick snacking feast along the way to wherever they were flying.

Only the second time they’ve raided, at least when I’ve been around to see, both times early morning. Each a ball of feathers on a stick, little thieving vagabonds, reminding me of the ghosts of birds with the delicacy of their colouring. Like tiny Japanese silk paintings somehow, deftly inked with a few seemingly simple strokes, all the colours of a winter's afternoon sky.

Winter birds, wintry in their look and nature. Here two minutes, maybe three, and gone leaving me smiling and reaching for my coffee cup, longing for the time they'll sneak back beneath the radar and fly in again.


  1. We had some in the garden just before the snow melted. Not seen them since spring if I recall. The most delicate birds you will ever see. Beautiful proportions. Disney couldn't have made them any cuter. Do I gush too much? They may be my favourites.

  2. No Ian you gush about right. I am in total agreement with you. How have I lived my life and seen these most beautiful of birds so infrequently?

  3. I love them. Sometimes a group visit our feeders.

  4. Della Jayne Roberts commented on Facebook:

    Della wrote "Being woken up by Cockatoos and parrots here in Canberra .... :O)"

  5. Catherine Halls-Jukes commented on Facebook:

    Catherine wrote "I like, but why is my bird feeder empty, not of food, but birds ????????? I'll just enjoy yours instead !"

  6. There was a lovely little piece I read about them last year in one of the broadsheets describing them as "lollipops" and "A little ball on a stick" before going on to describe how loyal they are to each other and how they look out for one another which increased my respect for them no end.

    I spent a fair few hours over our snowy Christmastide last year trying to get a snap of the clutch of them that took to one of our feeders at about the same time every afternoon, so I can only admire the shot you've attached here.

    I'm with ianmac on this - lovely creatures but I think Goldfinches are still my personal No.1

  7. Alan Spence e-mailed:

    A lovely bird, but in harsh winters they are prone to a high level of mortality.