Crested Tit bringing caterpillars to a nest full of chicks.
No interactions present.
One of the kids I teach came in today and said he saw one of these in his garden, just outside Liverpool. I always thought these were very much a Scottish bird. What's the odds on him being right? He's normally very good at identification!
Just go out there and do it!!!
I would think that it is highly unlikely that your student was correct in this case.
There have been a few (very few) records from England, most of which are thought to have been birds from the continent. At this time of year adult tits can be fairly scruffy as a result of the effort of feeding a large brood of young, it is more likely that the bird seen was a Blue Tit, Great Tit or Coal Tit which gave the appearance of having a crest due to out of position feathers.
Roy's right about the species' scarcity in England.
How about this for a rather useless claim to fame. I have actually held (and photographed) one of the few English crested tits! Sadly, this was in the skin collection at the Great North Museum at the Hancock (Newcastle upon Tyne). It is one of two records of the species for Durham; the one I was holding was shot at Sunderland Moor in the early Victorian period. Amazing record.
I have a feeling that you're right. I was thinking along the same lines myself as most nesting birds look a little ragged at this time of year. Child would have none of it though and swears it was crested. I've shown him your reply and he's now thinking twice!
Lat/Lng: 57.2, -3.7
OS grid ref: NH9817