More Marsh Tits

A brisk walk ‘up the top’ from the village through Firle Plantation on Sunday revealed a couple of Marsh Tits in the wood – only my third record for Firle, and very soon after the second. It makes me wonder whether we might, in fact, have a small resident population after all.

I don’t spend much time in the plantation, and most of my records for the woodland are made up of birds I’ve heard from the coach road – Buzzards, Jays, woodpeckers and so on. It means a lot of the quieter smallfry are probably missed, and while I’ve assumed that’s mainly the common warblers and tits, it may well include one or two local scarcities.

Oddly enough, another tit that I’ve come to think of as fairly scarce in the village seems to be firmly established now – Coal Tits can be heard singing and giving liquid contact calls from all around the Ram and nearby parkland on most mornings. Was I somehow missing them before, or have we been colonised?

Also in the plantation on the same day as the Marsh Tits, one of the last Willow Warblers, several Chiffchaffs and one or more Treecreepers. The latter species was also singing strongly on the corner of the Old Coach Road, near Place Farm, and has been heard regularly around the cricket pitch and pub car park in recent weeks.

In the village, Grey Wagtails maintain a daily presence – mainly in ones and twos, but four flew over the garden together the previous weekend (20 Sept), during a day of heavy visible migration that included thousands of House Martins. Numbers of the latter have certainly diminished, but there were still birds in the nest at the Post Office a few days ago.

The uncommon gull

And while we see plenty of Herring Gulls around Firle – usually out on the arable fields or flying overhead, en route between Arlington Reservoir and the Ouse – one particular bird deserves special mention.

The last couple of mornings I’ve disturbed him or her from the cricket pitch, and it appears it the same almost tail-less bird that’s been around the village for weeks – sometimes sat on a chimney in the centre of the village.

It seems to be able to fly pretty well, despite its mangled behind, so I wonder why it doesn’t fly off to roost at Arlington with the others, and why it’s always on its tod.

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One thought on “More Marsh Tits

  1. Pingback: One small paddock, four species of gull « Firle birds

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