Charismatic Cresties!

One of my most favourite species to photograph whenever I come to Scotland, are the Crested Tits. These punk versions of our more commonly seen species are only found up here in Scotland, in the pine forests, and they are just wonderful to photograph. Fast and animated, they are really difficult to keep up with as they flit from one perch to another, alighting briefly for food.

We headed to a feeding station on the Black Isle, run by Black Isle Nature Photography . It is a beautiful site, with lovely light and lots of scope for different types of photography. The whole area was covered in amazing branches, draped with the most gorgeous moss and lichen… perfect for setting up as perches!

Something I wanted to try this time, was to get some footage of them on my Bushnell trail cameras. Using the NatureView model with the close-up lenses, I set a few cameras on different positions to see what I could capture. The ‘problem’ is, that for every crested tit, there are 20 coal tits, vying for attention! Your trail cam card fills up very quickly!

The most successful set-up was on a mossy branch, which I loaded with fat bar and seeds. I set the Bushnell with a 25cm lens, knowing, if I could get the positioning  and focus correctly , would give me a crested tit full frame! It took a bit of jiggling around and repositioning, before I started to capture the kind of footage I had envisaged.

This is a montage of best clips… and I allowed a coal tit to also make an appearance!

I then took some stills from the video clips. This trail cam is just brilliant for capturing small species such as this and the quality, in good light, is fantastic!

Obviously, I also had my camera with me and you can’t help but keep clicking away as these little guys pose for a fraction of a second before flitting off to compete with the coal tits. I took lots of images, as you can imagine. Here are some of my favourites…

I know the tits in my garden love the  CJ Wildlife fat bars, so I had taken one along with me. They absolutely loved it, so I took some pictures of them feeding on it, to send to the company… not a species they would  often have images of, eating their products!

We reluctantly left the site as the light began to fail… but I think we might have to sneak back later in the week, as it is pretty addictive!