Long-Tailed Tit Family

Filed in Articles on May.15, 2019

In March of this year while out in the countryside I came across a pair of Long-Tailed Tits that where building their nest in a thorny, dense hedgerow. These birds are so tiny and absolutely beautiful, they look like a little lollipop when in flight. The following images, all taken recently are just a few of my favourites from this project.

I’ve never had much luck with photographing them because they are so quick, often in groups that just arrive, and sweep through the area as quick as they arrived. So finding a nest was amazing for me. I set about placing my hide some distance away and just watched and learnt about them, their movements and habits.

I wrote a blog covering this first part and you can read this and see some of the earlier images on this link. In April I left for India for three weeks and didn’t really know what would happen to the nest on my return. The whole period of incubation was done while I was away. When I first visited the site after being away I saw that the adult birds were frantically feeding their young.

I started working from a hide once more, spending as much time there as I could watching both birds coming in roughly around 20 plus times an hour with food. You first hear their “drrrrrr” call before you see them, then they just appear always together to feed the young.

It’s beautiful to watch as one bird fly’s in and the other one hovers and waits their turn before darting in and then they both fly off together.

The nest is in a very dense hedgerow with thorns everywhere, I’ve tried to look for the location of the nest but I don’t want to disturb the young or the adult birds or leave a trail of my smell for any predators so I’ve just left it.

I did want to put a wide-angled camera and use a remote trigger to get some closer images but to be honest it would be too much disturbance, and it doesn’t feel right so I’ve not done it.

I will carry on watching and marveling at these gorgeous little birds that just never stay still for long even though now the action has died down due to the young fledgling. But they are still around and you never know they may have a second brood, fingers crossed.

As a wildlife photographer than can be no better feeling than when you find your own work then document this with your camera. This is the best advice I can give any wildlife photographer out there.


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