Marsh Tit – 2003-07 breeding

Poecile palustris dresseri – Titw’r WernBreeding resident

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed6539
Breeding probable6172
Breeding possible4634
No of tetrads occupied172 (of 478)145 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads36%29.6%

The Marsh Tit has a glossy black cap and bib and lacks a wing bar. It is mostly found in deciduous woodland, nesting in natural holes, usually in trees.

The county breeding population was estimated to lie in the range of 500 – 700 pairs at the close of the 1984-88 survey. This was based on an estimated average density of three to four pairs per occupied tetrad, which attempted to allow for there being a wide variation between the number to be found in the largest blocks of deciduous woodland and lesser numbers in smaller areas of occupied suitable habitat. Since then Marsh Tit populations have declined both in the UK and across Europe, probably due to poor productivity and competition with other tit species.

The 2003-07 Pembrokeshire survey revealed a 16% decrease in distribution, compared to the BBS’s 12% decrease between the years of 2000 and 2005. The Pembrokeshire BAP Bird Survey of 2003 found a range of densities equivalent to 0.8–8 pairs per square km where this species was found.

Although the area covered was too small to be taken as representative of the county as a whole, it did illustrate that the approach resulting in the 1984-88 estimate was reasonably based. If the 16% decrease is applied to this estimate, it suggests a county breeding population of between 440 and 590 pairs at the end of 2007.

More about the Marsh Tit in Pembrokeshire