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Rare Bearded Tits breeding for the first time at Martin Mere

Posted on 22 Jun 2019

Staff and volunteers at Martin Mere are celebrating after it has been confirmed that Bearded Tits are breeding at the site for the first time in our history. It’s also been confirmed that this breeding is a first in Lancashire, away from Leighton Moss/Barrow Scout area.

Reserve staff were delighted to find at least two breeding pairs on the reserve, both of which are currently sat on eggs. All being well, we should be seeing fledglings around the Reedbed in mid-July. Reserve Manager Louise said “The Bearded Tits are amazing birds and we are so excited to have breeding birds here - hopefully this will be the first of many successful breeding seasons at Martin Mere.”

Visitors are encouraged to explore the Reedbed Walk, accessed through the Harrier Hide, and to listen out for the distinctive ‘ping, ping, ping’ calls of the Bearded Tits as they feed amongst the reeds. Their nests are particularly intricate being made out of reeds and suspended amongst the stems. The birds themselves are bright orange and despite what their name might suggest, the males have a striking black moustache rather than a beard.

The Reedbed Walk was created at the centre 15 years ago and has matured and now supports a wide range of species. On your walk, listen out for Cetti’s Warblers, Little Grebes, Cuckoo and Water Rails. The centre is open every day 9.30am-6pm and there are 9 hides around the reserve perfect for bird watching, as well as plenty of walks in beautiful surroundings. Plan your visit today.

(Photo thanks to Colin Edwards)