Poecile montanus - Feb 15th 07   

Willow tit was described as a "locally common resident" in the 1996 edition of "The Birds of Berkshire" but in the latest county report it has moved to "uncommon". Now generally confined to the west of the county there were just forty-six records in the 2003 report from eighteen sites
The environs of Combe wood are a great place to catch up with this cracking tit. A leisurely walk up from the church had a skittish marsh tit about half way up and then the characteristic nasal scolding call as the byway opened out at its summit. This is a reliable spot used by most bird racers (who will be disappointed if they have to walk all the way to the wood for the tick) - there were at least three to be heard on the walk through the wood itself on this blustery February morning

is generally not far away at Combe and you will have a good chance of being able to compare both the call and the field marks of this tricky pair

is more likely to be seen near than any other site in the county - with birds probably drifting out of their breeding site in Wiltshire. While not a certainty by any means there were twenty-five Berkshire records of Corvus corax in 2003 (as many as the previous ten years put together)
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