Friday, 11 January 2013

A pair of false tits in Kensington Gardens

It is getting decidedly colder as we approach the weekend. The weather people are predicting snow and freezing temperatures next week. Great. This morning's stroll around The Scrubs although pleasant was fairly unproductive with just 1 Fieldfare, 2 Redwings and maybe 3 Lesser Redpolls to show for my efforts.

Later in the afternoon I allowed myself to be diverted by emails whilst writing. It was there that I learnt of inner London's first ever Bearded Tits that were rummaging in a tiny tract of reedbed by the Serpentine in Kensington Gardens of all places. Apparently, they were first discovered in December. I'm usually not one for twitches but seeing as they were five minutes drive away it would have been rude not to have seen them.


 The female Bearded Tits
It was incredible to watch these birds at a distance of around six feet feeding unconcerned by passing parkgoers and a small battery of birders camera lenses. At one point they hopped onto the ground under the reeds in full view belying their relationship to their tit namesakes. They are currently lumped in with Parrotbills and indeed, their formal international name is Bearded Parrotbill.

The current thinking may change though because Bearded Tits seem to have no real close relatives so scientists may place them into a family of their own. Either way, it was an amazing sight to witness in central London.

4 comments:

Tricia said...

Wow - what an opportunity and to get pics as well!! Nice one!

holdingmoments said...

Amazing to see such birds in such a busy place. What a great start to the new year.

Marianne said...

What a fantastic record for central London. And you've picked a particularly brilliant title for this post :)

Nick said...

Great record for Central London! I seem to recall, from an old field guide I had when I was a kid, that bearded tits used to be called bearded reedlings.