National Willow Tit Survey 2019-20

Willow Tit at Pennington Flash (c) Martyn Jones
Do you see Willow Tits on your local patch? Here in western Greater Manchester they are uncommon, but not really difficult to see, with their distinctive call, and they do come readily to bird feeders. But they are absent from most parts of the country, and are the second-fastest declining species in the UK, lost in large parts of southern and eastern England. Needless to say, they are Red-listed.

The RSPB in conjunction with the Rare Breeding Birds Panel are organising a national survey 2019-20, with Simon Wotton, at the RSPB being the contact.

You can ask for the tetrad (2km x 2km OS square) into which your local patch falls, and all that is required is the checking of suitable habitats in that square twice between mid February and mid April, playing a recording, which is supplied, every 200m. Full directions, a map and the recording are supplied. For those not quite up to speed with new technology, you can now download the records to a smart phone.

A PDF form to record the Willow Tits called “WT Survey Form 2019-2020” and a PDF entitled “WT Survey methods Information Sheet” can be obtained from Joan Disley - please either ask or email for these forms.

Judith Smith