20160119-_ND47550 Blue tit-BBC Town Moor-Newcastle-KaleelZibe.com

A blue tit forages for insects in the dead leaves

 

IMG_0358 Kaleel looking baffled at where all the wildlife has gone

Looking thoroughly stumped a few days earlier: all the wildlife had vanished. Like the train companies say: wrong kind of snow.

As part of my #bbctownmoor project, I popped out yesterday to take advantage of the fine weather – an oasis of a day in the seemingly endless winter gloom. I’m taking photos of all sorts of things for the BBC project, from the cows and the Hoppings fair to the runners and the wildlife. Yesterday’s trip followed an unsuccessful foray a few days earlier when it snowed and everything was frankly hiding. In truth I was hoping for foxes (I could smell them), but frankly I was open to finding anything with fur or feathers, so was delighted when I heard some blue tits singing. Actually singing in January! Music to my ears. I spent a little time with a pair of tits (ahem), who were happily searching for insects in the dead leaves of the trees bordering part of the Moor. A couple of wrens struck up song too, which was nice to hear. I then started looking for other common birds like great tits, robins and blackbirds, but what really took my attention was the high pitched triple whistle of long-tailed tits nearby. I started out being stealthy in the woodland, but then realised that the two birds working their way through the foliage looking for insect morsels couldn’t have cared less that I was crashing around nearby. Good job really, because keeping up with these tiny creatures as they flit from branch to branch never staying still is impossible without cracking a few twigs underfoot: speed rather than stealth. Long-tailed tits often travel around in large groups of 10-20 or even 30 or more, but it was lovely to even see just two. As I trogged through the woods I even got a distant snap of a great spotted woodpecker playing hide & seek. A good day with the camera. Anyway, I’ll shut up now and let the photos do the talking.

20160119-_ND47603 Long-tailed tit-BBC Town Moor-Newcastle-KaleelZibe.com

Long-tailed tit looking gorgeous. A rare still moment!

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An acrobatic blue tit

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Singing in January: lovely

20160119-_ND47587 Long-tailed tit-BBC Town Moor-Newcastle-KaleelZibe.com

Long-tailed tit: cute fur ball with a tail.

20160119-_ND47544 Blue tit-BBC Town Moor-Newcastle-KaleelZibe.com

There must be some decent insect life in these dead old leaves

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Up periscope for a look at the idiot in wellies pointing a camera

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Light as a (ball of) feathers on the top of the trees

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A curious pose continues the curved line of the branch

20160119-_ND47484 Great tit-BBC Town Moor-Newcastle-KaleelZibe.com

A great tit. Far from my best great tit shot, but the only one of the day

20160119-_ND47527 Great spotted woodpecker-BBC Town Moor-Newcastle-KaleelZibe.com

A record shot of a great spotted woodpecker. I thought it was funny how it played hide & seek with me for a while before disappearing

20160119-_ND47561 Blue tit-BBC Town Moor-Newcastle-KaleelZibe.com

Can’t get better than being face to face with a tit