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

Willow Tit – 1994

Parus montana – TITWR HELYG – Breeding resident

1984-88
Breeding confirmed40
Breeding probable30
Breeding possible36
No of tetrads occupied106 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads22.2%

The Willow Tit was not separated from the Marsh Tit until 1897 so it was unknown to Mathew (1894). W.M. Congreve found a nest near Haverfordwest in 1925 (Lockley et al. 1949) and Lloyd encountered the species twice in Pembrokeshire, in 1931 and 1939. They were found around the Tenby area in 1961 and by 1964 Donovan (1965) was able to note that they were widely distributed, later adding that they were to be found in boggy thickets (Condry 1970). The Breeding Birds Survey of 1984-1988 found most Willow Tits in boggy thickets, but some occurred in woodland where soft timber was present. Experience suggests an average density of two to three pairs per tetrad and a total county population of about 200-300 pairs.

Local birds appear to be sedentary, not having reached the islands, but a bird showing the plumage characteristics of the Northern race, P. m. borealis, was reported from Nevern on 16 November 1986.

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

More about the Willow Tit in Pembrokeshire

Willow Tit – 1980s winter

Parus montana – TITWR HELYG – Breeding resident

The BTO winter atlas showed that Willow 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 6 birds seen in a day.

The plotted winter distribution was slightly less widespread than that of the breeding season possibly due to a difference in observer effort, as this species is considered to be sedentary. 

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 Willow Tit in Pembrokeshire

Willow Tit

Parus montana – TITWR HELYG – Breeding resident

Willow Tit – 2003-07 breeding

Poecile montana – TITWR HELYG – Breeding resident Comparison with previous atlas: 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed 40 8 Breeding probable 30 29 Breeding possible 36 13 No of tetrads occupied 106 (of 478) 50 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads 22.2% 10.2% The Willow Tit has a black cap and bib like the Marsh Tit but […]

Willow Tit – 1994

Parus montana – TITWR HELYG – Breeding resident 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 40 Breeding probable 30 Breeding possible 36 No of tetrads occupied 106 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 22.2% The Willow Tit was not separated from the Marsh Tit until 1897 so it was unknown to Mathew (1894). W.M. Congreve found a nest near Haverfordwest […]

Willow Tit – 1980s winter

Parus montana – TITWR HELYG – Breeding resident The BTO winter atlas showed that Willow 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 6 birds seen in a day. […]

Willow Tit – 1949

Species account from the Birds of Pembrokeshire, 1949, by Lockley, Ingram and Salmon.