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Back in January birdwatchers from around London were all a flutter with the sighting of a pair of Bearded Tits - the first of their species ever to be spotted in inner London.

The pair were first spotted perching on the reed beds of the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park and stayed until mid February before they headed across the Capital to Regent's Park where they stayed for a couple of days.

This is such a rare sighting as these birds are usually found in more rural and suburban areas, such as Suffolk, in large extensive reeds and would normally not take a second glance at areas as small as the ones in the parks.

However, the reed beds that we do have in Hyde and Regent's Parks are scarce habitats in the Capital and since their creation have attracted many species of bird.

This winter period has been exceptional for this species in and around London. There have been birds wintering at three locations: one male in Brent Reservoir, two in the Wetland Centre and the two females in Hyde and Regent's Parks, which were ringed at the RSPB's Rye Meads Nature Reserve in the Lea Valley. Quite often during the autumn migrating birds use a line that takes them north east to south west. If these birds had originated from a reed bed in Suffolk and were travelling as a family group that somehow became separated these birds may well be related. Though there is no easy way of telling this.

I am just overjoyed that though it was great to see them in Hyde Park to have them then turn up and use a reed bed that I helped construct in Regent's Park makes them all the more special and shows the value of this habitat.

A pair of Beared Tits on reed in Regent's Park



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