Hello and long-tailed tits!

Just wanted to drop by and say "Hello" I am a very amateur bird watcher,with  love of all wild life, I live in Belfast Northern Ireland and I think like many watching my birds on our feeders has been a pleasure and God sent through lock down.

I am one of the few people who absolutely love the corvid family of birds and have two Magpies  that come when called to be fed, unlike many I think mine do a lot to protect the song birds nesting as they alarm call and chase off cats and other predators and very aggressively during nesting season.

I am in a very urban setting right next to train tracks. 

I do have a question, I always see a flock of long tailed tits flying past my garden they often land in the tree but never come down to the feeders or table, I have a mix of seeds, nuts and meal worms live and dried sometimes locusts ( we keep reptiles) often other scraps cheese, fruit etc , have a traditional bird feeder and a large table  and scatter feed too, but the long tailed tits never stop to feed how can I encourage them in to the garden.? 

Thank you and sorry for the long post, look forward to speaking with you all.

  • Hi Cian and welcome to the forum
    Like you I love me garden visitors and train tracks not to far from my house either .
    I get lots of different visitors including LTTs or as we call them lollipops.

    They tend to land and feed on suet blocks in my garden if thats of any help to you.

    Hope you enjoy the forum as there are lots of very lovely and helpful people on here.

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • Hi Cian, and welcome :o)
    I agree with Linda, the LTT's we got at our old house loved suet, but I didn't do slabs, I did the nuggets, and a couple of our blackbirds learnt to feed from that feeder too. Always lovely to see them :o)
  • Hello Cian and welcome to the community forum;   sounds like you have a lovely variety of birds in your garden including the delightful long tailed tits.    I would suggest making some homemade pastry (no salt)  Take a read of this thread where I had them eating out of my hand  !    plain flour, lard  (half fat to flour),   add small amount of mild cheddar,  suet pellets if you have them, maybe a few sunflower hearts or crushed peanuts and bind together with just enough water but it mustn't be sticky;   add more flour if the pastry feels sticky.    You can put pieces of the pastry on to shrubs or twigs and you can place larger amounts of it in a fat-ball or fat-cake feeder.    Long tailed tits love raw pastry.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • As the others say, they are especially attracted to fatty foods, like suet, pastry, etc., but they much prefer to take it while hanging from a feeder or twig. I have seen them on tables but not often and they won't stay but will just grab a seed to eat elsewhere, whereas several at once will go to a hanging feeder and stay for much longer periods.

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    Nige   Flickr

  • Thank you so much for the welcome and the advise, I will try them all. They sound like such happy will souls. We have coal, great and blue tits all at the feeders they tend to just hit and run. Although we have a very bold coal tit called tuffty who raids the feeders while I am filling them
  • Hello Cian, and welcome to the forum.

    I think you'll find here we've no malice to corvids, they're a valuable part of nature and do a very good clearing up job. As for being urban, a good many of us are stuck in the urban environment, and under the current lockdown, trapped.

    I'm from near Birmingham in England and surrounded by an unwanted and most definitely unloved railway project, HS2, which has destroyed a lot of the countryside around my urban dwelling, with heaps more yet to be destroyed!

    Woodland I used to play in as a child, has been totally flattened and the roads to my nearest reserve, now unusable due to regular weekend road closures for preparatory HS2 works!

    Anyway, less of the doom and gloom, LTT's have been quite prevalent in the garden here this last year, and seem to prefer the suet pellet feeder, which always puts a smile on Mrs PR's face, but then the menacing magpies we had also put a smile on her face. It was interesting watching how protective they were to the young family, and how they bullied some species, and tried with others, but were thwarted, particularly the grey squirrels who fought back and the gentile crows that just looked over to them an peace was instantly restored.

    We're quite lucky here, our house is very old (being built during the time when most households grew their own food), and as a result, has quite a long garden, so we're lucky with our garden visitors, which are regularly documented here.

    I look forward to seeing your postings, stay safe.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Thank you for the reply. I am glad about the feelings towards Corvids they are my favourite family of birds, and I love seeing our pair bringing their off strong to the garden to feed. Your garden sounds lovely and I am jealous so many people get to enjoy long tailed tits..
  • In reply to Cianweeun:

    Cianweeun said:
    Thank you for the reply. I am glad about the feelings towards Corvids they are my favourite family of birds, and I love seeing our pair bringing their off strong to the garden to feed. Your garden sounds lovely and I am jealous so many people get to enjoy long tailed tits..

    You're welcome.

    I've just posted some photos of the garden with the recent (pitiful) snow fall, that should help you grasp the style and shape. The houses at the back were built on a small field back in the late 70's, whereas ours was built circa 1920.

    You might like to look at my magpie thread from last year: "Menacing Magpie for hire!"

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Ha thank you so much for that link, loved looking at them. They make me smile.
  • I'm relatively new to bird watching, mainly the garden and sometimes when out walking. The long tailed tits tend to feed off the fat balls that are suspended in a tree and the seed feeder that is very close to a bush. Hope that helps.
    Viv
    Wolverhampton