Willow Tit – 2003-07 breeding

Poecile montana – TITWR HELYG – Breeding resident

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed408
Breeding probable3029
Breeding possible3613
No of tetrads occupied106 (of 478)50 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads22.2%10.2%

The Willow Tit has a black cap and bib like the Marsh Tit but the cap is dull, not glossy, and it has a pale wing panel. It also has a distinctive, irascible sounding, “chay – chay” call. Willow Tits inhabit boggy thickets and damp woodland where dead and rotten branches enable them to excavate their nest holes.n

According to the BBS the Willow Tit decreased in the UK by 65% between 1994 and 2004, from what was considered to be a stable population in the 1980’s. It was estimated that there were 200 – 300 pairs in the county at the close of the 1984-88 survey, based on an estimated density of two to three pairs per occupied tetrad.

The 2003-07 survey found their Pembrokeshire distribution had decreased by 54%, suggesting there were about 120 pairs by the end of 2007. The most likely causes of decline are competition with other tit species, increasing nest predation by Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and deterioration in the quality of woodland as feeding habitat for Willow Tits (www.bto.org/birdtrends2006/wcrwilti.htm)

More about the Willow Tit in Pembrokeshire