Monday, February 15, 2010

Tufted Tiddlywinks and the breadcrumb fairy...

Today, AGAIN, it snowed, snowed, snowed...and it's still snowing now! It’s very pretty out there, but maybe not quite as pretty as it was 4 snows ago……. Anyway, all this snow makes for great sledding, so a few days ago I took Matty and his friend sledding at Pine Hill Lakes Park. I was hoping the breadcrumb fairy had shown up again and left crumbs under the big pine tree by the parking lot so I could photograph some of the birds. There were no breadcrumbs tucked under the tree that afternoon--but there were buns…big and fluffy, and covered with sesame seeds…and lots of them! So our local breadcrumb fairy was not a one-shot deal. Somebody was taking care of the Pine Hill Lakes birds on the sly!


20 or 30 large buns had been left under the tree for the birds.

Birds were flying in left and right to nip off small pieces of bread and pose for a photo, so I plopped down in the snow just under the boughs and sat still (thank goodness for Spyder snow pants and coats...warm and waterproof!). The birds soon became accustomed to me as a nonstop procession of titmice, juncos, cardinals, white-throated sparrows, chickadees, and even a Red-bellied Woodpecker and a very cute Carolina Wren took turns grabbing a bite to eat. In the distance I could hear screams of excitement as kids raced down the snowy slopes, but here, under the pine boughs still heavy with snow, it was very quiet and still. Now and then tiny bird sounds would drift down through the branches as feathers whisked against pine needles, knocking clumps of snow to the ground. Of course, when the Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, and the Red-bellied Woodpecker arrived it wasn't quiet. They announced themselves regularly with their wonderful songs...


This Tufted Titmouse was very friendly. He studied me for a
while before grabbing a bit of bread and flying up in the tree to eat it.


My cousin, Curg, calls these guys Tufted Tiddlywinks. (Hi, Curg!)


...for some reason that really seems to fit, so Mr. T Tiddlywinks it is!


After about 45 minutes my battery died. Grrrr…. It had only one bar of charge when I left the house, so I was lucky to get 45 minutes out of it. The last time I photographed the breadcrumb birds I filled up the card and didn't have a replacement with me. Well...Matty's school was just called off for tomorrow, so another snow day awaits us. Yeah! I bet we will go sledding again.

38 comments:

Colleen said...

I love tufted titmice. So cute! And your photos are always amazing!
Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier and for your comment!

Elaine said...

These photos are supurb! I love the Tufted Tiddlywinks. You really, really need to have a second battery for your camera. There is nothing worse than to have your battery run down or your card full when there are more wonderful things that need to be photographed. Have a great day "sledding" tomorrow.

Sherry and Russ Sutherby said...

Truly amazing "bird's eye" view.

Susan W. said...

Those are the best titmouse photos I've ever seen! Wow!

yen said...

gorgeous, two thumbs up. perfect exposure and composition.

Roy said...

These images of the TT are beautiful Kelly.

Toni said...

Love your titmouse photos. Say a special thanks to the breadcrumb fairy. :–)

Kyna said...

Hehe, love Mr. Tiddlywinks! :D

Laure Ferlita said...

I am enchanted by the idea of a breadcrumb faerie!! What a warm and compassionate person!

Love those photos of Mr. T. Tiddlywinks too!

Jayne said...

What wonderful photos of such a fun little bird!

Wanda said...

Your photos really show the delicate softness of those feathers, Kelly! It did snow allll day didn't it!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love tufted tiddlywinks too!!!
So nice that other people are feeding the birds as well. Looks like a lovely buffet for them!

Diane said...

Iloved these pictures and my heart goes out to the "bird feeder" whose heart must be almost as big as yours! Great shots and in this snow, great effort!

Linda Yarrow said...

Lovely pictures, such a sweet little bird:-)

Montanagirl said...

Fabulous photos of the Titmouse! Wow, lucky you. Get that battery charged and get to work, girl! Am waiting anxiously for your next post.

Warren Baker said...

Superb titmouse photo's Kelly. A delightful little bird!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Just great TT shots! I am surprised you didn't find a hungry raccoon or possum under that pine considering the amount of available food.

Hey, I just received a 4 gig memory card for Christmas (the biggest one my Nikon model will handle) and I always carry a spare battery.

I still haven't had my fill of snow. IMHO, this has been the best two week of winter!

JKoenig said...

I am always amazed when I look at closeup pictures of birds how beautiful and soft looking their feathers are. It almost looks like fur that was just recently brushed out just perfectly.

You have really captured the one of the beauties of creation in your pictures. It makes you want to touch them to see if they are really as soft as they look.

Such great pictures!

holdingmoments said...

Excellent pictures Kelly. Love their little tufts.

And isn't it great that some people care enough to leave food out for the birds when the weather gets tough.

ShySongbird said...

Beautiful photos Kelly, what a pretty little bird! We too have a breadcrumb fairy. On one of our regular walks there is always seed and breadcrumbs left in the same spot along a little lane, it has been going on for years, such a nice idea I think.

James Owens said...

Marvelous. Incredile clarity and detail -- some of the best bird photos I've seen....

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kelly, I am catching up...Love your Valentine Crane painting. Gorgeous!!!

Love your birds especially that Tufted Tiddlewinks.. ha ha

Hugs,
Betsy

Bill S. said...

Fantastic pictures of the tufted. I will need to find one of these little guys sometime.

The Early Birder said...

I'm very envious..laying in the snow..waiting and watching the local wildlife come to you.
For me it's "rain, rain go away and come back some other day"!!
Stay safe my friend. FAB.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

I love these little birds...we currently have some who are attacking our windows and I have to put something up outside so they don't hurt themselves. Still, if I creep in slowly, I get a close-up view of the little guys, which is fun.

Tina said...

Great name for a really cute bird..I wished I had a fourth of their energy..always zipping and zooming to and from the feeders. I can understand you pain about all this snow..we again had snow and now they are talking about another storm coming next Monday..ahhhhhh..I like white but this is getting to be too much!

Dave Lewis said...

Most excellent shots my lil Peanut!
I'm glad you enjoyed your snowy day!

Heather said...

Will the snow ever stop?! I heard on the news that Cincy got 8" yesterday (Monday). Is that true?! We seem to be getting spurts of an inch or 2 per day, and it's snowing right now. Enjoy it, and hope you get some more breadcrumb fairy shots!

Jain said...

These are magnificent photos, perhaps the best I've seen of a Titmouse!

Elva Paulson said...

What terrific tufted titmouse photos!!!! Lovely.

I grew up in Wisconsin and miss snow ... but maybe I don't miss as much snow as you have been getting.

Elaine said...

Kelly, I have a friendship award for you on my blog. I always enjoy visiting with you and seeing your lovely photos and paintings.

JeniQ said...

Kelly your pictures are as always amazing. I saw Ricks pictures of you guys sledding looks like FUN!!!

Phil said...

Love those cool blue legs. Great shots Kelly.

Shelley said...

Your tufted titmouse has hypnotized me with his beauty! Fabulous photos!!!

Robin said...

He's so cute! I love these birds. We always had a lot of them in VA.

Kelly said...

Wow! Thanks, everyone. I was so happy when this fellow flew in so close. I was holding my breath through all the shots. I couldn't wait to get home to see how they looked. Sometimes when photographing, I feel what I see through the lens is unique. I had that feeling with this guy. I'm so glad I was under that tree when he flew in...

E said...

Beautiful birds, Kelly, great stories.
So tender and wise. Love it. Hugs

RuthieJ said...

Another of my favorite birdies -- but haven't seen one for years around here. I'm surprised you didn't put a few bun crumbs on your lap to get up close & personal with that Tufted Tiddlywinks! Next time Kelly.....