Wapping Wild life – Graham (Norton) the Great Tit

One of the challenges of beginning to bird spot is that the more you look, the greater you realise your own ignorance. Having seen flashes of blue and yellow flying past, I was pretty certain we were being visited by blue tits. When I see something in the trees or on the feeders I’ve been dashing to grab my camera and telephoto lens, and hopefully also remember (perhaps ironically) to put a memory card in. One day, looking through the viewfinder I realised that in addition to the robins and blue tits, we were being visited by another tit.
I consulted drawings from reputable sourced and thought I had narrowed it down to a coal tit, a willow tit or a great tit. I then however looked at photos and discovered that the photos didn’t really look anything like the drawings. I’ve continued researching and I think this bird(s) is a great tit, though given there are 11 sub species of great tit, I assume other tits may have other subspecies which leads to confusion.
My photos aren’t great- I shoot through dirty double glazing and also have a relatively slow (both small aperture and focus speed) lens, which makes getting good photos problematic, but I am working on this. I also need some reliable way of setting the white balance in these photos (which affects how the colours look), as my camera seems to struggle on auto, particularly when it’s a bit miserable and there’s lots of green in frame.
The other issue is that as the squirrel patrols the feeders, the smaller birds tend to be confined to tactical strafes of the feeders, so are rarely still for long periods. I may try relocating my freestanding feeder away from the nuts to see if this lets a more harmonious relationship develop. Great Tits are also I discover quite aggressive to other birds, so spacing feeders out, might not be a bad thing.
In respect to observed behaviours, this bird prefers peanuts to seed, but that might be a result of the design of our feeders. Whereas the robins and blue tits are very keen on mealworms (in the freestanding feeder) the great tit seems keener on nuts and to a lesser extent seed (which is also underneath the mealworms). However, observation continues.
(Note that he is named for alliteration, not offence!)



On the lookout whilst having a snack



Interrogating a monkeynut (unsuccesfully)



Hints of green and yellow in a rare moment on the ground



Taking off



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