Last year I was disappointed when the two Long-Tailed Tits nests I found were also found by predators. That meant there was no carnival procession of adults with caterpillars heading into hidden nests made of petals, lichen and spiders’ webs and filled with feathers. The husks of their empty nests were a sad sight.
In 2020 it was completely different and I had a wonderful time:
This year I have high hopes, as I’ve found another two nests. One has an adult in, which looked out at me, from the circular hole in the stretchy nest bag hidden in the brambles. I beat a hasty retreat.
As I watch the other nest from far away, I can see the adults going backwards and forwards. The eggs must have hatched.
The adults hover over the brambles before diving down into cover, with mouthfuls of insects.
Then they emerge and flutter off, wobbling in the air, tails dragging behind them. There’s something very beautiful about this pose:
I watch the two adults come out, take their photographs and let my camera dangle. It’s heavy holding it up all the time. Then another adult emerges from the bushes hiding the nest. Of course. How could I forget? It’s an aunt or an uncle which is helping feed the next generation.
What a thrill. I’ll just have to hope that the predators aren’t as observant as they were last year.