Penduline Tit.

10th November 2013
When news broke of a male Penduline Tit showing at Uskmouth nature reserve near Newport I couldn't decide whether to go or not. These are beautiful little birds and quite rare in the UK and although their range is spreading, unless you are prepared to go to one of the Kent reserves, Dungeness or Stodmarsh you are not going to see one. With this in mind I decided to try my luck and I left early Saturday morning in the pouring rain. The weather forecast was, however, predicting sunny spells later in the morning.
I arrived at the reserve in the rain and there were about fifteen birders there, the bird had called but had not been seen. I waited outside the reserve centre for about an hour before the bird flew over us and dropped down into the reed bed, I didn't have a view so I decided to walk away to the side of the reed bed and just wait. The rain had eased considerably by now and blue sky was breaking through. Shortly after the bird started to feed on the bull rushes, vigorously pulling them apart searching for seeds. The reed mace started off looking like a large sausage but by the time the bird had finished it looked like a candy floss.
This lovely little bird put on a great show, mostly being obscured by the reeds but from time to time showing right out in the open. The crowd had grown rapidly to about fifty and it was then I decided there was too much noise and movement, so I called it a day, being quite contented with the shots I had managed.
There was a report later that the bird had flown away from the reed bed, so I'm glad I decided to go early and not leave it until Sunday when the weather forecast was much more favourable.
Please see Rare Birds, Penduline Tit.