Tuesday, 18 August 2009

I'll Just Take a Few for Later

In the Spring I was fascinated watching Coal Tits visit the feeders very frequently to take a Sunflower seed and fly off with it. They were coming and going at such a fast rate it would have been impossible for them to have eaten them all. If they had eaten the number of seeds they were making off with they would have ended up the fattest birds in the country instead of being one of the smallest.

After an absence of a month or more they are back again, once more making off with as many seeds as they can find.

Watch out - I'm coming in.
Coal Tit

I hope nobody is watching me.
Coal Tit

This one will do nicely.
Coal Tit with Sunflower Seed

So will this one.
Coal Tit with Sunflower Seed

And a few more for luck....
(slowed down as they are so fast)

In fact they do not eat them all nor are they so clumsy that they drop so many they have to keep coming back. Coal Tits are known to store seed for eating at a later date so my little visitors are restocking their larder. They ignore the Sunflower hearts and the kibbled Sunflower seeds but make straight for the black Sunflower seeds.

While the Coal Tit was busy harvesting a male Chaffinch stood waiting his turn for the hanging seed feeder.

Male Chaffinch

Bees and hoverflies continued to visit the Sunflower. I think this may be Bombus Pascuorum but on the other hand I could be wrong.

Bee and Hoverflies

A Large White Butterfly was finding plenty of nectar on a chives flower.

Large White Butterfly

The leaves of the Sunflower were beginning to look like a lace patchwork in places so I had a look underneath to see what was satisfying its hunger.

A Small White Butterfly caterpillar?

Green Caterpillar

At the end of the day one small area of cloud was catching the light of a fading Sun.

Clouds at Sunset


  1. And I, for one, am very glad you did save some John. Coal Tits are lovely little birds and yes, they do move at speed. Excellent picture of the Large White on the Chive and that's some hungry caterpillar.

    Lovely sunset - testament to your having my sun! Lol Although it's shining down at the moment and I must get out into it!

  2. Hi again John, great series of coal tit pics! I love to see this little bird too and thoroughly enjoyed your video :-)

    Loved all your other photos also, a great mix of visitors and action from your garden… wonderful expression on the chaffinch! Have a good day :-D

  3. I continue to be entranced by your always beautiful pics! Very, very rarely see the little coloured birds around here anymore. So sad... I think they've all been chased away by the larger birds and perhaps pets. We had a lot of small ones here when we moved in over 20 years ago. The largest I ever see now would be the bigger plain grey honeyeaters. Although we do get the Rosellas etc passing through from time to time. Sigh........

  4. Great posting as usual John
    Keep up the good work

  5. Wow wonderful post today John. Your shots of the Chickadee are stunning. I love the sunflower too...all so nice.

  6. Thank you Tricia.
    It is great to see the Coal Tits return to the feeders.
    The Large White was so reoccupied it didn't notice me move where I could get a good view. They usually fly away just as the camera starts to focus.
    Hope the Sun has stayed out for you.

  7. Thank you Shirl.
    It is good to have them back.
    I will admit I was pleased with the expression on the Chaffinch. It often pays to take many shots as one usually stands out from the rest.
    I hope you are managing to have some decent weather.

  8. Thank you kindly Pam. I didn't used to get many of the colourful small birds until I fixed up more feeders and changed the food mix I was using. It took a few months but eventually they became regulars.

  9. Hi again Tricia - of course reoccupied should have been preoccupied!! I must learn to thump the keys harder. I still miss the old keyboards with keys that gave a positive click.

  10. Thank you again Prof. A B Y for your kind comment.

  11. Thank you Crista. Pleased you enjoyed this entry. It was a nice change to have sunny weather to bring out the colours and have half a chance of some sharp pictures.

  12. Cracking shots of the Coal Tit John. I'd love to have some visit here, and that Chaffinch is in fine feather. So colourful.

  13. Thanks Keith. The lighting seemed to be just right for about an hour yesterday. It makes such a difference to the resultant colours.

  14. Lovely pictures, John. We're all saying they fill up the larder.
    I bet the CT is laughing behind our back and saying it just sowing the larder.

    Anyway, John, I've awarded you a Kreativ Blogger Award; just check out this post:

  15. A lovely varied post John with great photos and video. You have reminded me that I haven't seen 'my' Coal Tits for quite some time, mind you we have had so many outings lately that I haven't been keeping such a close eye on the garden :)
    I was very interested that you have observed the CTs go for the black Sunflower seeds, that is fascinating as I thought most of the birds favoured the Sunflower hearts. I do usually put both out so will make sure I continue to do so.

    Your sky photo is beautiful.

  16. Truly clear and beautifully detailed photos. It's so interesting to see birds that do not frequent my garden. Watching your videos has encouraged me to take a closer look at the intricacies of bird behaviour around here. That male chaffinch has a wonderful quizzical expression. I even pictured it with a pelican bib, but I won't go there...

    Really enjoyable photos and write up, finished off with a 'tickled pink' sky... ;)

  17. Thank you Glo. I also like to read about and see birds in different countries. It is only sine I started photographing my feathered visitors that I have noticed the differences in their behaviours. I don't think Mr. Chaffinch would have appreciated a pelican bib :)

  18. Hi Yoke. Thank you for your kind comment and for the award. It was a very kind thought.

  19. Hi Jan. Thank you. The Coal Tits here disappeared for quite a long while and have only recently reappeared. I had almost forgotten about them. Shame on me! I have noticed in the past that the CTs seem to prefer the whole black Sunflower seeds, here anyway.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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