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This is my dog-run area … the dogs love to sunbathe there, and it’s especially useful for keeping my dogs safe while I’m mowing or painting … you can see the dogs’ little faces peeking through between the uprights.

In fact, before I designed and built the wooden panels I measured my dogs’ heads for exact size … so that their pointed noses poke through only a little way !


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When my dogs are indoors, the run is usually full of sparrows … about 20 in this picture.

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The far end of the garden is the area I chose for my two bird-baths.
These are enjoyed by lots of sparrows, or sometimes by one or two pigeons, and quite often, by my friend the robin.


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The robin gets VERY wet …

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Then he perches near the arch, to preen and dry out …

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But, recently, when I was trimming the pink rose bush, inherited from my mother, I noticed a newcomer preparing for a swim.

I was amazed … never before seen long-tailed tits in my gardens …

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This single new visitor, was soon joined by a friend … and then another, looking on …

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I had taken a risk by creeping quickly indoors to fetch my camera …

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The birds seemed quite bold … ignoring my clicking photography … I took lots of pictures, hoping some would come out nicely …

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Shall we dive in again ?

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Now there are four !


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The birds were posing very prettily. I prayed my camera was on a suitable exposure setting !


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They were to-ing and fro-ing, but this photo shows five .. the maximum I saw at any one time …

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They paused, obligingly, for a group photo …


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One final swim … and then they were gone …

I hadn’t seen these birds before, and not seen them since … were they just passing through, and stopping for a quick dip ?


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But, if I hadn’t been trimming the final flowers on my mother’s rose bush, I would have missed this memorable visit …

The bush is the one beyond the dog-run, on the right of the raised bed.
I hope these delightful birds return again. I’ll try to be ready with my camera !

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Comments

 

How lovely Terra. We have two feeding stations. Barry counted fourteen young tits darting about. They are really funny and they fly so fast.

1 Sep, 2015

 

This is like déjà vu......having seen some of your other photos of the birds on Facebook but, I'll say it anyway.They are lovely little birds the Long Tailed Tits but I've only ever seen them (in my old garden) in the winter time.
You're obviously doing something right in your garden, Tt...to get so many visitors.

1 Sep, 2015

 

Lucky you, very pretty.

1 Sep, 2015

 

How lovely for you to see Long Tail Tits TT such super photos too, they often visit here in numbers but I have never been able to capture the moment, Just love to see them, Your garden is looking as lovely as ever, nice to see a Conker and Truffle are keeping their eye on you!! :o)

1 Sep, 2015

 

You were extremely lucky with your camera TT...! ;o) It great to manage to capture those special pictures... I saw a hedgehog walking across the back lawn several weeks ago, rushed to get the camera.... You've guessed it - I wasn't quick enough!

2 Sep, 2015

 

Thanks everyone for your interesting comments.
Hi Paul ... déjà vu .. yes ... but you seem more of a pirate on facebook ... ha ha ...

I agree Neena, Snoop and Tracey ... that I was very lucky to get the photos !

2 Sep, 2015

 

amazing terra, never seen a long tailed tit. my best rarity is an avocet on the south devon coast.

2 Sep, 2015

 

Well, most of the time Terra but, surely you don't think I look like a pirate in my cover photo from when I was a sweet 14 year old......I look like a little angel! (And I was, of course....goes without saying!)

2 Sep, 2015

 

Brilliant photos Terra
thanks for sharing xxx

they seem to arrive out of nowhere and its such a treat when they come, and always in a small flock
they are so pretty with the tail longer than their bodies, such a delicate shade of pink .....

2 Sep, 2015

 

Oh, how lovely TT! We get Blue, Coal and Great Titsey here, but I've never seen Long Tailed. Aren't they sweet? I hope you get them back again.
I had to smile at the boys watching you from their run, just as if they can't wait for you to finishing mowing the lawn. :))

2 Sep, 2015

 

Wow Terra, how lovely ! I've never seen them in a bird bath before ! We had at least 7 in the garden and on the feeders yesterday and I think that was a quick visit ! We also had quite a few gold finches with their babies. Unfortunately, one flew into the conservatory window and died ! That was so upsetting !

2 Sep, 2015

 

How great to be able to take such lovely photos,TT! Like many others have already commented I don't think I've ever seen a Long Tailed Tit either. I've seen a few Goldfinches around here & a few other small Finches that dart so quickly through the trees that it is very difficult to make a confident ID of them!

Just a couple of days ago I saw a very big Seagull across the road from our flat! I can't ID many Seagulls but this one was enormous! We get plenty of smaller Seagulls around here, even though we must be around 100 miles from the North Sea coasts, in fact a neighbour across the road puts out bread for them most days. At 8am it quite usual to see them sweeping up & down on the roof of an small outhouse the houses over there have. When there was somebody in our block of flats throwing out bread they often swooped down across the grass in front of our balcony & often, without landing, pick up pieces of bread! Quite a sight as sometimes they almost crash into our balcony!

2 Sep, 2015

 

I am 86 miles from the sea. The Gulls come inland when there are storms at sea. They congregate on the school playing fields, looking for worms. In winter the grass is as if its been spiked.

3 Sep, 2015

 

Lovely pics, TT. Did you manage to get that close or did you use the zoom? I've only seen a few coal tits here & the usual blu & great tits.
Most unusual for me was a bird of prey perched on a post, its large feathered feet looked like feather dusters.
Your garden is looking lovely too.

3 Sep, 2015

 

Lovely birds Terra,and like Waddy,I've never had any in our garden either..lots of the others,but never these..You did well to be able to get so close :o)

3 Sep, 2015

 

Just went down these photos with my mouth open and a big silly grin - wonderful! Lets hope they pay you another visit. You won twice, once seeing them and then taking such great photos.

3 Sep, 2015

 

That bird of brey was a Buzzard Greenfingers.
Its something they do. There are too many of them now
in this country. The gamekeepers will shoot them. Gamekeepers shoot Magpies, thank goodness.
Twerps in the RSPB will be howling.

4 Sep, 2015

 

How do you know it was a buzzard Diane please?
The feathered feet puzzled me - must have been leg feathers civerung the claws.

4 Sep, 2015

 

You may well be right, Diane, they are known to sit on posts. I do remember that it was chestnut coloured on its back, front was buff, speckled & part barred, its legs were thick & yellow & heavily feathered, the talons looked mighty powerful - big enough to take a rabbit & of course, the hooked beak.
Quite a sight to see!

5 Sep, 2015

 

Thank you all for your interesting comments and 'bird stories'. The usual bird inhabitants in my garden are blackbirds, sparrows and the robin, so this fleeting visit by the long-tailed tits was remarkable.

I feel very privileged to have noticed the long-tails and to have been able to photograph them. I did zoom in a bit with the camera lens, but, to be honest, they didn't seem alarmed that I was standing quite close to them.

5 Sep, 2015

 

Buzzard then. Thought it might have been a Peregrine.

5 Sep, 2015

 

Seems my blog has turned into a birds of prey discussion. Perhaps Steragram you could write a separate blog about those ?

On the original subject of the long-tailed tits, I'm still keeping a look-out for them, but no return visit yet. I'm also listening for these lovely little birds, because they make unusual twittering sounds.

6 Sep, 2015

 

Great photos. I get visits from them sometimes( Ltt's). I believe buzzards are on the increase. There are plenty round here in Surrey anyway

7 Sep, 2015

 

I don't think I'm the best person to write about birds of prey Terra, I'm not very good with them. It was just the description of the bird sitting on the post that reminded me of a peregrine I saw round here some time ago doing the same thing, and you can't identify a bird for certain if all you know is it was sitting on a post and had big feet...

7 Sep, 2015

 

Hi Feverfew ...
thanks ... that's nice to know the ltt's visit your garden too. :o)

8 Sep, 2015

 

Always Wonderful, Terra :-)))

12 Sep, 2015

 

Hi Junna ... thank you :o) x

14 Sep, 2015

 

Sorry I missed this lovely blog. Well captured Tt. It's such a pleasure to see them.

1 Oct, 2015

 

Just reading about the long-tailed tit Terra. Apparently they have been seen in 10% more gardens this year...
http://www.bto.org/news-events/press-releases/garden-long-tailed-tits-buck-trend

29 Oct, 2015

 

Thanks Homebird ... I was lucky to see the long-tailed tits on their fleeting visit. I hope they return.

Thanks, Richard, for the link ... here are a couple of paragraphs which interested me especially...

Long-tailed Tit numbers can suddenly drop after a cold winter, or an unsuccessful breeding year. The numbers of BTO Garden BirdWatch gardens reporting Long-tailed Tits in 2014 was much lower than the five year average, so it is good news that preliminary results show them being reported from over 10% more gardens this year.

At this time of year, Long-tailed Tits start to move out of gardens. They have been carefully constructing their elaborate nests since late February, and may use gardens to find feathers with which to line them (up to 2,600 can be used!), or to take advantage of fats, small seeds and peanuts.

31 Oct, 2015

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