Saturday, 17 October 2009

Another Winter Garden Visitor Returns.

Such a kerfuffle this morning in the bushes just over the fence near the feeders. At first I thought it was just the House Sparrows catching up on the morning gossip. A short while later I spied a couple of Long Tailed Tits flitting near one of the feeders apparently having an argument with the Goldfinches. For quite a while after that I could see a group of about six LTTs dashing about the branches. Never staying in one place for more than a couple of seconds. All the time they were there the other small birds had to keep shuffling about to get out of the way. The Goldies sat on the highest branches keeping well out of it. While the LTTs were there not one bird came down to the feeders though there were many hanging about waiting for their breakfast.

Long Tailed Tits

This time I only managed a few grainy shots of the LTTs but now they have returned there should be more opportunities in the future and hopefully some video of them later in the year.

I don't know whether the Heron still visits the pond but I have set up a wildlife camera which I hope will capture a shot of anything which does. The pond is hard to see from the kitchen and the few visitors I have seen are away as soon as they spot any movement. The camera works on movement detection day or night and uses IR flash at night to take b/w photos.

Here the camera is temporarily set up while I find the best position for it and work out how to make it secure enough to leave out all the time. It is battery operated and should run for 30 days before they need changing.


It does detect movement, even some distance away as this capture of Bobby shows. Also interesting are the reflections in the windows. Now I understand why so many birds fly into them at certain times of day.


No doubt it will capture some strange creatures but hopefully not too many like this. ;)



  1. It's lovely to see the Long-tailed tits back again, I had a few come to the feeders in my garden a couple of times recently and I hope they will become my regular visitors.

  2. The set up seems fine, Excuse my ignorance but where do LTTs go in summer? Also how much video can one upload to You tube and what format does it accept? Sorry to be a pain.

  3. It is Lynmiranda. They spend such a short time each visit it is easy to miss them.

  4. Hi Adrian. Not a pain at all.

    2nd things first:
    As many files as you wish.
    Maximun size per video 2GB or 10 minutes running time.
    Acceptable formats
    * Windows Media Video(.AVI)
    * .3GP (mobile phones)
    * .WMV (windows)
    * .MOV (mac)
    * .MP4 (iPod/PSP)
    * .MPEG
    * .FLV (Adobe Flash)
    * .MKV (h.264)
    See here:

    1st things 2nd: LTTs don't go very far and can be seen in small groups in trees and tall hedges around the fields. They only seem to visits the garden when natural food is harder to find, here anyway.

    Hope that helps. John

  5. Still waiting for the LTT's to return here. I wonder how they'll get on with my Goldfinches?

  6. That wildlife camera looks like it is working just fine, John! Does it operate on batteries?


  7. The views from your new camera are great and I really like the pond. btw if the camera catches all movement how do you deal with windy days?

  8. Hi Keith. That's the thing about nature watching - always a waiting game. I can't work out how serious the action between LTTs and Goldies was. Probably the bustling LTTs straying too close at feeding time. Normally I'd expect them at the other end of Birdy Bistro with the peanuts and fat balls.

  9. Yes Wilma. It uses four D size (UM-1, R20) cells which last about a month. I use rechargeable. It can have, at a price, its own solar charged rechargeable battery which would be useful out in the field. Its view is a bit on the wide angle side for small creatures.

  10. Hi Mick. Maybe I should have said it detects animal movement as it has two IR detectors to spot changes in heat sources. There were plants waving in a strong wind yesterday and they didn't trigger it but it did catch a couple of birds on the little waterfall when I fixed it nearby.

  11. Thanks for all that John, will persevere with the movie tomorrow.

  12. What a lovely garden John. The water of the pond is so reflective; I imagine there was no wind that day.

    Lovely to have the LTTs visiting and hopefully they'll stay around.

    Looking forward to see what your new camera set up captures :D

  13. A kerfuffle of feathers with much flapping of wings! Good gracious, Birdy Bistro is more than full to capacity. I think Autumn Watch, which seems to be so popular over there, should set up camp in your back garden! They wouldn't even need to bring their cameras...

    And now we get to see some action around the pond! That should be interesting. Is the bush part of your camouflage outfit as you try to move around incognito? ;)

  14. Good luck with the video Adrian. Have fun.

  15. Hi Tricia. They say the camera never lies but it depends on the camera viewpoint :) Most of the garden is grass. It was reasonably calm when that photo was taken.

  16. Hi Glo. The photo was chosen carefully so as not to scare away my regular readers ;)

    Birdy Bistro does get very crowded at times, especially first thing in the mornings.

    I hope we get to see some action round the pond. A while ago there was a TV interview with a man who had set up quite a complex camera system to capture bats drinking from his pond, which they do without landing. A shot of something like that would be wonderful though I would be quite happy with a kingfisher or Heron which I have glimpsed here in the past.

  17. Well, after the little taster we had in a reflection some time ago the slightly more revealing photo wasn't toooo! much of a shock...I jest ;)

    That is a good sized pond you have there John and I guess must take quite a bit of maintenance, did you dig it all out yourself originally, it must have been quite a task!

    I love it when the LTTs return, I plan to keep more of a careful watch this next few days to see if mine are back yet, as you say they come and go so quickly!

  18. Hi Jan. The pond is not dug out at all, just a lined hefty wooden surround. It was built some years ago when a friend and I were interested in radio control model boats so it didn't need to be deep. When that idea fell through I added the plants and have been surprised how well it has done. It gets minimal maintenance.

    The only time I needed a deep hole the local grave digger did that. It took him hardly any time at all to dig down about 4 foot.

  19. Love your pond John and your picture of the LTT are wonderful..never seen on before. Nice shots.

  20. Thought you might like to see where Nic's hedgehog has ended up!

  21. Thank you Crista. It is always nice to see the LTTs return with their Humpty Dumpty bodies and long tails.

  22. Hi Glo. Terrific picture. Thanks for the link. There are really spectacular photographs on that site.


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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