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Crested Tit

Crested Tit

Loch Garten RSPB, Highland, UK. 16 January 2016
EOS 7D mk II & 400mmf4DO. 1/400 sec f5.6 ISO 3200

After a business trip to Aberdeen, I was able to spend the following weekend in Speyside. It was the middle of winter and pretty cold with snow on the ground and ice on the lochs. Benefitting from prior information, I knew there was a good chance of Crested Tits coming to food in the RSPB Loch Garten car park. This was one of main targets for this trip so I spent most of the few daylight hours there are this far north so close to the winter solstice. Although cold, it was fairly bright but even so I found myself having to use ISO 3200 to get a reasonably fast shutter speed.

For this visit, I came prepared with a good stock of sunflower seeds and the magic ingredient - peanut butter over which the numerous Coal Tits went absolutely berserk, even taking it from my fingers! Unfortunately there was only one, possibly two Crested Tits coming to the car park during my stay and so there was a considerable wait between visits.

Nevertheless, I took loads of shots, most at very close range, using the car as a hide. This photo is probably my favourite due to the birds pose, despite the broken end to the twig which detracts slightly from the overall effect. I think this visit benefitted from being before the main bird photography winter season really gets underway, and I was able to position my car more or less where I wanted. In February, it might well have been a different story.

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