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Coal Tit explosion! (1 Viewer)

Ptarmi

Dick Glasgow
Is anyone else 'suffering' from an explosion in Coal Tit numbers in their garden, right now?

I have two resident pairs whose territories include part of my large garden, but I walked round my garden's 10 feeding stations, here in North Antrim, yesterday morning & counted at least 24 Coal Tits, all apparently involved in a competition to see which one of them could bury the greatest number of Sunflower Hearts!

I know these little guys migrate up to 20 miles at this time of year, but I live on the north coast of Ireland, so did these guys really fly South from Islay or Argyll?
 

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KenM

Well-known member
Is anyone else 'suffering' from an explosion in Coal Tit numbers in their garden, right now?

I have two resident pairs whose territories include part of my large garden, but I walked round my garden's 10 feeding stations, here in North Antrim, yesterday morning & counted at least 24 Coal Tits, all apparently involved in a competition to see which one of them could bury the greatest number of Sunflower Hearts!

I know these little guys migrate up to 20 miles at this time of year, but I live on the north coast of Ireland, so did these guys really fly South from Islay or Argyll?

Hi Ptarmi, can’t help you with your question other than 60 years ago Coal Tits were decidedly uncommon in my neck of the woods (NE.London), however they’re one of my regular customers to my 3 feeding stations (my maximum count for the species is normally one, occasionally two and once only three.

How do numbers compare against Blue/GreatTits, because on occasion during a feeding frenzy I can have c20 of the former, another question-how long do the hearts last in that particular feeder?

Cheers
 

aeshna5

Well-known member
Unfortunately, no! I've only seen one in my garden recently. Did have my first (male) Blackcap on my feeders for the autumn today.
 

Jacana

Will Jones
Hungary
The yellowish blush on their cheeks suggests that these are Irish birds, rather than British ones.

Migration and dispersal doesn't necessarily mean just moving south, so these birds will likely have converged on the food in your garden from all around.
 

Jon Turner

Well-known member
Yes! It's too difficult to get an accurate count, they're in and out so fast and head for the surrounding woods, only to be replaced by more. I do get them in this garden but never in the three years I've been here in these numbers. The black sunflower seed feeder is filled in the mornings and usually empty by lunchtime. If I'm feeling generous I might refill it. I might also put up some nets and see how many I can catch and ring...
Previous years I have caught mostly Blue Tits, but they are nowhere near as common this year, and Great Tits aren't either. The other species I seem to have several of is Nuthatch - they land on the feeder fuss about chucking seeds everywhere then find the one they want and head for the trees. I think there are at least 6 of them.
 

Monahawk

Well-known member
Very numerous in my garden in Co Monaghan as they often are each winter. Some are very tame, I have had them feeding from my hand in the past. I have noticed the cleaner white cheeked variety mixing with the slightly duller cheeked local variety. I wonder whether these are wanderers from Britain or possibly further from continental Europe.

Si.
 

Ptarmi

Dick Glasgow
Hi Ptarmi, can’t help you with your question other than 60 years ago Coal Tits were decidedly uncommon in my neck of the woods (NE.London), however they’re one of my regular customers to my 3 feeding stations (my maximum count for the species is normally one, occasionally two and once only three.

How do numbers compare against Blue/GreatTits, because on occasion during a feeding frenzy I can have c20 of the former, another question-how long do the hearts last in that particular feeder?

Cheers
Hi,

I have a couple of pairs of Blue Tits & 3 pairs of Great Tits, so far more Coal Tits than the others.

As for my Sunflower Hearts feeders. I have 3 & they are usually all emptied each day.

Cheers,
Dick
 

Ptarmi

Dick Glasgow
Yes! It's too difficult to get an accurate count, they're in and out so fast and head for the surrounding woods, only to be replaced by more. I do get them in this garden but never in the three years I've been here in these numbers. The black sunflower seed feeder is filled in the mornings and usually empty by lunchtime. If I'm feeling generous I might refill it. I might also put up some nets and see how many I can catch and ring...
Previous years I have caught mostly Blue Tits, but they are nowhere near as common this year, and Great Tits aren't either. The other species I seem to have several of is Nuthatch - they land on the feeder fuss about chucking seeds everywhere then find the one they want and head for the trees. I think there are at least 6 of them.
I'm lucky because my garden is surrounded by fields of sheep so I can make a fairly accurate count.

Sadly we don't have the Nuthatch over here.

This video I took recently, will give you an idea of just how busy they are.

N.B. If you watch the Goldfinch, you will see that this video was not speeded up.


Cheers,
Dick
 
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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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