Last week we got a bit of sunshine here in Neubrücke, so I couldn’t miss the chance to photograph birds at my feeder. Regular visitors including the tits package (Great, Blue, Willow) were showing well as ever and a flock of Long-tailed Tits even came passing by.
There was this odd bird in the flock of Long-tailed Tits that showed up near the feeder. It has completely white head suggesting subspecies A. c.caudatus of N Europe. However, Neubrücke is far out of its range. After a bit of research, I found that hybrids between subspecies of Long-tailed Tit can actually be found in many places. Judging from the amount of pinkish hue on the underparts and some faint dark smudges on the head, I concluded that this individual is most likely a hybrid between ‘caudatus’ and ‘europeus’ which is the main subspecies in this area.
Here’s a photo of the subspecies A. c. europeus. Looking very much similar to the subspecies that I’m familiar with in Japan.
Male Blue Tits, my favourite. The birds looked especially stunning under the sun. Who would ever be able to resist from taking photos of them?
What a lovely combination of colours!
Even the slightly duller female looks as stunning as her mate under the sun.
Still looking stunning even while perching at the feeder.
And the poor Marsh Tits were least photographed as usual despite being the most regular visitors and most showy. They look as cute as any other tits from the front view though.
But otherwise quite less charming…..
The last species in the package is this colourful Great Tit. The winter sun really brought out the best colours of the plumage. From what I’ve observed, male birds seemed to be more dominant at the feeder. As a result, I got more photos of the males than the females.
I still haven’t got a quite satisfying photo of the female yet. This one is pretty close but it doesn’t show the distinctly narrower black line on the underparts which is the best feature to tell female apart from the male.
Actually, I almost forgot that this is a lifer to me. Now that the Asian subspecies P. (m.) minor has become a full species under the name Japanese Tit, I could finally add the name Great Tit into my list.