Last few pics from Leighton Moss - final morning

Weather is defying the gloomy forecast and turned out quite pleasant today with no wind or rain except a few minor droplets for very brief period.    After taking the full frame camera/300mm plus 2 x converter yesterday and finding the birds were far too close to get in focus,  I removed the converter today - but probably needed it   LOL    

Very cropped shots for the Bearded Tits (yes I will refer to them as Tits even if they are not members of the Tit family !  )     

Will put up more pics of other birds shortly ..............

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Regards, Hazel 

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

  • Oh well done, Hazel. Those are cracking shots of the Bearded R***l***s. You gotta love the Mexican style moustaches of the males.

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    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • Thanks Tony,  to be honest it was one of those cases when I thought the pics would have been better looking at the camera preview screen so was a bit disappointed when I got them up on the computer.   No excuses except I'm way out of practice with the camera these last few months and the first time I have used the 300mm lens and full frame camera since we moved house back in July.    Anyway,  glad you liked them and I'll add a few more shots of other species.   I concentrated on the smaller birds having the limit of 300mm and full frame camera.

    I always love the Marsh Tits as I've only seen them at LM.

    Robins next (or Paul won't forgive me  lol )       sadly I didn't receive my postal order for kilo waxworms before we left on Friday so only had sunhearts/suet 

    Dunnock 

    Blue Tit

    Mute swan having a good preen 

    House sparrow (f)

    Mr House Sparrow

    Bank Vole

    only a rubbish record shot as a Shrew made a very fleeting appearance just before the Vole 

    A water shrew methinks....    record shot of it taking some mealworm suet 

    Bullfinches were outside the front reception area 

    where did Beardie come from   lol      looks like he's saying "that's all folks"      !! 

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • Fabulous photos all of them Hazy, love the Beardies of course sitting in their familiar pose, and the Marsh Tit too is a bird I don't see around here. The Robin has a very red chest and the Bullfinch too is full of colour. Glad the weather has been kind to you.

    Lot to learn

  • Good to see the Beardies are still showing well. Nice to see the voles and shrews (rarely see shrews) found somewhere to hide from the high water levels and have come back. I find the Robins will come for suet nibbles and will perch on the container and help themselves, so you shouldn't miss out too much without the waxworms. The weather wasn't meant to be good here either, but after a misty morning, there was even a bit of blue sky and sunshine at lunchtime.

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    Nige   Flickr

  • Gorgeous photos of gorgeous birds--thanks Hazel! Those Beardies are wonderful and it was very kind of them to show so well. The males do look like they are wearing comedy moustaches, possibly of the stick-on kind. The other bird pics are lovely as well, despite you being out of practice! Like Nigel, I expect the Robins will be happy with suet nibbles and I hope you continue to have improved weather for pics.

    Kind regards, 

    Ann

  • Superb set Hazel, gotta love the gymnastic split position of the beardies. I wonder do any other birds "drumsticks" work to that effect?! Hope the weather stays kind for you :o)
  • Very nice pictures Hazel, and glad your able to get out with the camera.

    Jim

    My Pictures

  • Wonderful set of shots, Hazel. I've never seen a Bearded Tit, so your stunning photos are a treat.

    My bird photos HERE

  • Many thanks everyone; didn't get any photos today as it drizzled all day long and the Bearded Tits don't like rain  !     :( Was still nice to walk around the reserve feeding the small birds, especially as it was a lot quieter with kids back at school and rain ! Hopefully I can get some pics tomorrow for you.    We did see Walter the Rail and the Bank Vole again :)

    Some interesting facts for you about the Beardies (which I have highlighted certain sections for you) , thanks to one of the L.Moss experts and former senior Warden who forwarded this info to me.  I'm sure he won't mind me adding part of the fact sheet here.    If you do encounter Bearded Tits at L.Moss then it is helpful if you could gather the ring colour codes and forward them on to staff or use the email address on the signs by the grit trays.           

    "Why do they need grit? Because in winter they mainly feed on reed seed and they need grit in the gizzard to grind up the hard seeds. A German study showed that on the average a Bearded Tit needs 600 very small stones in winter in the gizzard ( one bird had 850 stones), but in spring when they feed on insects they averaged only 32 stones.     Sharp builders sand is used on the trays.       Most birds only visit the trays on 3-5 days, but one visited on at least 24 days. Often they grit for a few days then stop and come back again 10-15 days later.     LM  oldest bird was 7 years and 93 days which was a national record.   They stay together as a pair right throughout the year, most other species split up for the winter. They start gritting in late September, reaching a peak in late October/early November then decline with only a few gritting by January "

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    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • Thanks for the info Hazy, interesting reading. I have a feeling that other birds also have to have grit in the gizzard to grind up the seeds they eat, I'm thinking of the sparrows I see on the road picking up the gravel, and also wonder about the caged budgies eating what was it, cuttlefish shell I think, maybe doing the same job?

    Lot to learn