Bearded Tits At Leighton Moss

The Bearded Tit is somewhat misnamed. It is not really a Tit at all – it is not related to our familiar Tits such as Blue, Great, Coal, Long-tailed etc. Its other preferred name is Bearded Reedling. Still wrong in my view. Moustached, maybe, but Bearded?

However the Reedling part gives a clue to the bird’s habitat - it is a reedbed specialist. They can sometimes be seen on our trips to reserves containing extensive reedbeds such as Minsmere, Blacktoft Sands, and Leighton Moss. However they are usually difficult to see as they often skulk low in the reedbeds.

October is possibly the best time to see the Bearded Tits at Leighton Moss. That is when the birds change their diet from eating insects to eating seeds, and to do this they require grit. At Leighton Moss the RSPB supplies grit on small trays located just outside the reedbeds to entice the birds out.

And it works! The photos here were taken at Leighton Moss this year from the Public Causeway. Within a few minutes a single male arrived at the grit followed shortly by a male and female pair. The two males can be individually identified from the different coloured rings on their legs.

[click on a photo for a larger view]

IMG_0015%20Bearded%20Tit_w.JPG
IMG_0029%20Bearded%20Tit_w.JPG
IMG_0030%20Bearded%20Tit_w.JPG
IMG_0034%20Bearded%20Tit_w.JPG
IMG_0042%20Bearded%20Tit_w.JPG
IMG_0050%20Bearded%20Tit_w.JPG
IMG_0070%20Bearded%20Tits_w.JPG
IMG_0103%20Bearded%20Tits_w.JPG
IMG_0118%20Bearded%20Tits_w.JPG
IMG_0121%20Bearded%20Tits_w.JPG
IMG_0139%20Bearded%20Tits_w.JPG

November 2016

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License