Marsh Tit – 1894

Parus palustris – A common resident, very numerous around Stone Hall.

Curiously enough, Mr. Dix was never able to detect it in his remote corner of the county. We have noticed that all the species of Tit are greedily fond of the oily seeds of the sun-flower. One beautiful summer when we had quite a plantation of these gaudy blooms we observed numerous Tits apparently searching them, as we thought, for insects all day long, and, as we knew them to be full of earwigs, we considered that they were hunting for these insects, and, like the Robins, regarded them as special dainties, but on looking closely at the flowers, we found that the seeds were what the little birds were coming for, nor did they cease to visit the plants as long as there was a single seed remaining.

A pair of Marsh Tits once had their nest in a hole in a willow tree a few yards from our house. Standing close by the tree and keeping perfectly still, we kept watch upon the Tits when they were feeding their young. Although we had our shoulder within a few inches of the entrance to their nest they passed in and out quite fearlessly, one or other of the parent birds arriving about once a minute with food. The number of the young within, and the minuteness of each meal, some tiny spider or caterpillar, were the occasions of this frequency, and it also bore witness to the abundant supply of insect life close at hand.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Marsh Tit in Pembrokeshire