It all started when I noticed a new visitor to my bird feeders: very shiny black crown, chic grey, peachy tummy. Then, The Guardian carried this item about the decline in Willow tit numbers, with a photo that looked just like what I'd seen. Ooh, thrilling! I wonder if that's what mine was?
The article referred to the State of the UK's Birds report which I'd just posted on MoreNews.
Next: Consult the experts, Andrew and Peter. Response: not Willow but more likely Marsh tit - they look much the same but Willow's crown is 'sooty' and mine's was definitely as shiny as a black top hat. What a thrill though! (For me - but maybe it's just I'm such a novice at this, perhaps they're quite common.) Peter sent me this link to the most delightful story about the willow tits at Carlton Marsh Nature Reserve in Suffolk.
But then, Izzy Fry's delightful blog about her new woodland hide, included the words, 'The feeders had only been up for about 5 minutes when a flock of Blue tits and Great tits arrived! And soon after that the other tit species (including Marsh tit!) ...'
So, if Izzy's excited, it's OK for me!
Photo: Barn owl
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