Sunday, 27 March 2016

Penduline Tits: are they breeding in the UK?

In the twenty-five years Linda and I have been birding together, we've seen / videoed / photographed Penduline Tits at Titchwell, Minsmere, Dungeness and Strumpshaw Fen. We've also seen (and heard!) plenty in France at reserves such as Baie de la Canche, Marquenterre and Sailly Bray. (Photos below!)

Over the past few months there have been lots of UK records from places as far apart as Cleveland, Devon, Gloucestershire and Essex (as well as Norfolk, of course!) Doesn't it seem likely that these delightful little birds will soon be added to the list of regular breeders, along with other recent colonisers such as Spoonbills, Great White Egrets and Cranes? May they already be here!?

The best way to prove breeding would be to locate the characteristic nests of the species, of course: but even in places where Pendulines are known to breed, the nests aren't easy to see...

What other colonists can we expect in the next few years? My money would be on Purple Heron, Cattle Egret and Little Bittern, with the outside possibility of Common Rosefinch and Red-backed Shrike re-establishing a toe-hold!







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