Crested tits in Snowy Woodlands

With more snow falling overnight, we were all up early to head back to the crested tit site. The skies were clearing and the forecast was good… we couldn’t quite believe our luck. Parking up, we headed up through the woodland on paths where the snow was well above my walking boots! With not a breath of wind, the powdery snow balanced in huge heaps on every branch and the air was crisp and calm. It was totally stunning and I felt as if I was actually in the alps. When I booked this little photography escape last year, I didn’t dare dream it would snow… now I was in the most stunning landscape and the snow was almost knee deep in places!


The birds were hungry and, as we placed some feeders, they were almost on them before we could move away. Coal tits are the dominant species here, but it was not long before our target species made an appearance; the crested tit. Very similar in size and manner to a blue tit, these little punks of the tit world have an impressive crest, which is almost permanently raised. When they do lower it, it transforms their appearance dramatically and they assume the more familiar tit profile. They are incredibly fast and you have just a matter of a fraction of a second to capture a shot as they alight on a perch and then on to grab a morsel of food.

The reflection from the snow and constantly changing  light conditions meant there were lots of varied photographic opportunities. We were able to try different perches and set-ups to encourage the cresties to come down to be photographed!


They really are such beautiful birds and, if you can get the light right on them, you can see that they have a beautiful red eye…


We spent all day moving around in the woods watching, enjoying and photographing and, as the light began to fade, we took the opportunity to get a few silhouette shots. Positioning yourself so the setting sun is behind your perch, gives the opportunity to capture some more unusual shots….


With the cold really seeping into my multi layers of clothing, we decided to call it a day and head back home. For a while, we just walked in silence down the snowy path, soaking up the atmosphere, the fading light casting the most incredible light over the area…photographs really don’t do it justice… what a truly fantastic day in the company of these charismatic little birds.


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