One of the less well known attractions of Bosherston lily ponds is that at several locations the birds have now become tame enough to be fed from the hand. We took a bag of mixed seed with us and within a few minutes of standing with a tempting arm outstretched we were surrounded by birds. The boldest by far were the Great Tits, who were the first on the scene and would often sit for a good few seconds on the hand whilst they chose which seed to take.

23991 - Great Tit, Bosherston Lily Ponds

Next up were the Blue Tits. They tended to hold back until at least three had gathered on nearby branches, at which point they made a quick smash and grab sortie one after the other.

23990 - Blue Tit, Bosherston Lily Ponds

My favourites though were the Robins that had developed a completely different technique altogether. Instead of flying directly to the hand they would sit in a bush and sing to attract our attention. This inevitably led us to move our hands closer, at which point they would simply step off their perch and onto the hand or alternatively reach over and pick up a seed. Utterly charming. In complete contrast the Chaffinches couldn’t quite get up the courage to make the leap into the human world, instead spending their time fluttering around in a state of constant indecision. They would probably have been better off following the lead of the Dunnocks and at one point even a Nuthatch who were hopping around our feet eating any dropped food.

If you ever the get the chance to visit Bosherston then don’t forget to take a bit of seed with you. To feel how light these small birds really are and the strength in their tiny feet is a unique opportunity not to be missed.


holdingmoments · March 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Beautiful captures of one of life's most incredible moments Adam. An experience like no other.

Sally in WA · March 12, 2011 at 3:11 am

Simply amazing! I am left speechless reading this.

FAB · March 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm

What a delightful experience.

J · March 14, 2011 at 12:10 am

Lovely to hold these tiny lives in one's hands, isn't it?! The great tits are similarly bold in Singleton Park, and robins will flutter quickly onto one's hand to grab a morsel, before shooting straight off. I tried putting some food on my head, and (barely) felt a great tit jump down onto my bald patch for a peanut!

Adam Tilt · March 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

Keith – Certainly was.

Sally – Glad you enjoyed reading. Really was amazing.

Frank – Thanks.

Jeremy – Definitely is. Never thought of going for the head feeding method. Maybe something to try next time!

M. Reka · March 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm

What a beautiful experience, really great shots 🙂
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