Ting Ting


"Ting Ting" with a metallic ring - thats what the call of a Bearded Tit Panuris biamicus ( aka . Bearded  Reedling) , sounds like to my ears.

Today was a first for me and my birding  compadre Paul Joy , we got to see "Beardies" at Goldcliff Lagoons!

I've been really struggling for a long time to get a picture of one of them in Gwent. I have tried many times at Uskmouth and only heard or caught glimpses of them in the reeds but then these elusive little birds have vanished behind an impenetrable wall of reeds.

In Norfolk several years ago I saw a pair of them and managed to get some pictures but in Gwent I have had no luck at all.

If you had asked me this morning as I set out before dawn whether I had a chance of seeing a Bearded Tit on my Goldcliff Lagoons patch I would have laughed and said " if I thought I was going to see one today I should go and by a lottery ticket as I think I had more chance of winning that".

So, whilst walking out of the Seawall Hide ( aka Avocet Hide) Paul and I were heading back around the reserve when just as Mr Joy was about to start another of our many conversations - probably about how Nikon is better than Canon ;) - I heard a "Ting Ting" coming from the reed bed that is situated by the pond by Priors Lagoon.

I recognised the call straight away and focussed my attention on the reed bed. Suddenly two birds dropped straight in front of where we were looking.

I zoomed the camera lens in and I could not believe it, the little birds were Bearded Tits. These birds just dont make focussing on them easy and they flittered from one reed to the other. I had seconds to try and get focus to lock on and then "voila" I had a decent picture in focus.

Male Bearded Tit at Goldcliff Lagoons

Within seconds both birds were off "Ting Tinging" away from us towards the main reed bed on Priors.

We waited for a few minutes and then they were back and one of them perched up towards to the top of one of the reeds this time and I quickly grabbed a photograph before it took to the air again. This time it flew high calling as it went and then it flew off away from the lagoon.

The pair of Bearded Tits may have been on migration and just moving through the reserve as they then disappeared and went off grid.

Bearded Tit perched up on reeds near Priors Lagoon at Goldcliff Lagoons

Take off. Ting Ting and its off.

The sighting and pictures made my day today.

Another great morning at Goldcliff Lagoons to remember. I am off now to the Newsagent to buy myself that lucky lottery ticket :)


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