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January 2021 - 2nd Monthly Winner Crested Tit by Linda Cooper / The story

Updated: Feb 25, 2021


Crested Tit. RSPB Loch Garten. Early March 2020.

Canon EOS 70d, Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSMI Contemporary. Focal length 374mm; 1/1000 seconds; f/5.6; ISO 400. Al Servo. Aperture priority. Spot metering.

Crested Tits are rarely seen as they tend to stay high up in tree canopy in the Caledonian Forest in the Cairngorms, but in late winter come down to ground level for food. They are extremely active but territorial, so it’s easiest to focus on a known good feeding spot and wait for them to arrive.

There had been a couple of weeks hard frost, and on a sunny, calm, but extremely cold day I sprinkled seeds on a log and branches in the RSPB carpark, and lay very still on a tarpaulin for a couple of hours, very slowly creeping forward. But the shots of various birds were confused with the background. Eventually I stood up behind a tree and got a clean shot of this bird on a branch in the shade. Only some cropping required post processing.

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