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Marsh Tit

Observed: 9th July 2012 By: Simon WalkerSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in Birds
Marsh Tit, Little Paxton, 2012-07-09 001

Well, a bird table near a hedgerow, actually. With some woodland nearby. And fresh water.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


ophrys's picture


Definite Marsh Tit. The pale cutting edge to the beak is the best clue...Willow Tits have a beak wholly dark. Then you have the glossy cap, neat bib, lack of a pale secondary panel, all good back up points.


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The Reason I Took Up Photography...

...was because it made identification so much easier! I mean, you'd have a job clocking all those details in the short time this lovely little bird was there.
Now of course the photography has become something of a monster, and has become an interest in its own right. But first and foremost it's a tool... (at least for me)

ophrys's picture


Stick at it...we need more good photos like this, rather than fuzzy pictures of Willowchiffs in the top of a tree with no visible differentiating features!!

Willow/Marsh Tit are a proper identification problem and one really to get your teeth into. A photo like this makes it easy, but, as you say, in the field it can be much more difficult. The beak criterion, by the way, is now considered the most reliable way to tell them apart, backed up by the other features. When the EYRG piece was written, I don't think the beak criterion had been worked out.


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Simon Walker's picture

Thanks for that

As long as I can see the beak, I'll know what I've got.
Interesting, that new means of identification are still being recognized.


janetav's picture


The glossy cap and smaller neck are the best clues for me in this photo, but in the field I struggle to tell marsh and willow tit apart unless they're singing. I hadn't heard the beak criterion before, that is really interesting, will look out for that in future! :o)

RoyW's picture


The 'glossiness' of the cap, and size of the neck are both unreliable features.
It is now known that Willow Tits can have glossy caps (most likely on dominant individuals, typically mature males), and the 'bull necked' appearance considered typical of Willow can be altered by stance.