|Willow tit (Keith Vaughton)|
|Willow tit wing with fairly understated pale panel|
As we were only about 50 m from the pipit nets, I made my way back and put on a willow tit tape. The bird instantly became alert and flitted through the scrub, moving towards the tape. We left for a few minutes, returning to find it in one of nets. Given the calls, views and attraction to the tape, separation from (the very similar) marsh tit was not really in doubt, but catching it potentially allowed conclusions to be drawn with regard to age and/or sex.
|Willow tit tail showing pale edges and indicating the length
difference between the central and outer feathers.
Demongin lists further features that are typical of willow tit. Some of these are rather subjective: the bill is more elongated than that of marsh tit; willow tit tends to lack a pale cutting edge (and if present this in on the lower mandible; the lack of a well-defined black bib, and whitish cheeks and sides of the neck are typical of willow tit (the latter are often grey-brown in marsh tit). The top photograph indicates that our bird showed all of these willow tit features.