“See, see, see!” They called. “See, see, see!” So I looked and I did see.

The long-tailed tits were back.

With their teddy bear faces. tiny beaks, happy sounding call and unfeasible tail, the long-tailed tits were finally back in my garden – and now they’ve brought their young with them, teaching them the ropes.

Every day throughout the autumn, winter and the early spring a troupe of long-tailed tits had been in my garden, spreading their own unique brand of delight every time I saw them. Then breeding season began and they disappeared entirely. My garden may be a great place to feed and spend the day, but its no place to roost or raise fledglings, unfortunately. There’s far too many pet cats that use my garden on their highways, so I’m used now to seeing less of birds during the breeding months.

Oh, but now my lovely long-tailed tits are back! Back and making repeated visits during the day. Later they visited the other garden feeder, by the willow tree.

They’re a raggle-taggle looking bunch right now, with adults in moult and juveniles looking fluffy still, but to me they’re as beautiful a sight as any bird of paradise in all its pomp. Welcome back to my garden and my days, long-tailed tits. When happiness shows up, make it as comfortable as possible.