Bird of the week
We miss the golden hue of yellowhammers when they disappear from the tops of our hawthorn hedges, and the glorious song of the skylark, but what do we lose if willow tits disappear? If only willow tits were colourful or tuneful then perhaps we would mourn their passing. It is unfortunate to be a small, brown bird with an unremarkable song — we have lost more than 90 per cent of our willow tits in the past 50 years. In south-east England the species has virtually disappeared. A birdwatcher in almost any part of the country will be very pleased to see one. Willow tits will sometimes turn up in a flock of mixed tits and even at garden feeders. Unfortunately, a willow tit is very similar to the more numerous marsh tit so it will be hard to prove that you have seen one — especially to a sceptical, birdwatching friend.
The red-listed willow tit is now a rare sight for British birdwatchers