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

Marsh Tit – 1994

Poecile palustris dresseri – Titw’r WernBreeding resident

1984-88
Breeding confirmed65
Breeding probable61
Breeding possible46
No of tetrads occupied172 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads36%

Mathew (1894) described Marsh Tits as common residents which were very numerous around his home at Stone Hall, although it should be borne in mind that Willow Tits were not separated from Marsh Tits until 1897. Regarded by Lockley et al. (1949) as a “fairly common resident, even in the exposed west”, today Marsh Tits breed in deciduous woodland throughout Pembrokeshire, and hence their distribution is patchy. They were twice found occupying old Willow Tit nest holes during the Breeding Birds Survey of 1984-1988, an ability that has permitted them to extend their range into willow and alder carr. An estimate of three to four pairs per tetrad in some woodland plots gives a probable total breeding population of about 500-700 pairs.

They usually seem not to wander far outside the breeding range, but have nevertheless reached the islands, with singles at Skomer on 8 November 1961 and 23-31 October 1989, and at Skokholm on 12 October 1988.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the Marsh Tit in Pembrokeshire

Marsh Tit – 1980s winter

Poecile palustris dresseri – Titw’r WernBreeding resident

The BTO winter atlas showed that Marsh Tits were present in the majority of 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84.

The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 8 birds.

However, it should be noted that the figures show a high correlation with the number of recording cards returned (therefore related to recording effort) for each 10km square. 

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Marsh Tit in Pembrokeshire

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

Marsh Tit

Poecile palustris dresseri – Titw’r WernBreeding resident

Marsh Tit – 2003-07 breeding

Poecile palustris dresseri – Titw’r Wern – Breeding resident Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 65 39 Breeding probable 61 72 Breeding possible 46 34 No of tetrads occupied 172 (of 478) 145 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 36% 29.6% The Marsh Tit has a glossy black cap and bib and lacks a […]

Marsh Tit – 1994

Poecile palustris dresseri – Titw’r Wern – Breeding resident 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 65 Breeding probable 61 Breeding possible 46 No of tetrads occupied 172 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 36% Mathew (1894) described Marsh Tits as common residents which were very numerous around his home at Stone Hall, although it should be borne in mind […]

Marsh Tit – 1980s winter

Poecile palustris dresseri – Titw’r Wern – Breeding resident The BTO winter atlas showed that Marsh Tits were present in the majority of 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 8 birds. However, it should […]

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 […]