Regular visitors to Old Moor know that, as the season changes, so does the ‘mix’ of birds seen. Although I didn’t see all of them myself, today for example I reckon there were around 45 species of bird seen on the reserve. Here’s the summary…

But there is one small bird that I haven’t recorded on the sightings for some months now and I admit I’m getting a bit worried. So my question to you is, “Have you seen a willow tit at Old Moor recently?

It’s a genuine question and, if you can reassure me and have seen one recently, please leave a comment below.

Maybe I’m missing them, but I do regularly check the two best places at Old Moor where visitors can see willow tits - in the Bird Garden (usually visiting the furthest away feeder) and the Tree Sparrow Farm (ditto).

Willow Tit (and lunch) from Keith Saunders. Thanks Keith.

Sadly, you are probably aware that the willow tit as a species is in trouble. Yet the Dearne Valley has always been considered a ‘stronghold’ for this appealing little bird. In fact, that’s the reason why our area is a focus for ‘Back from the Brink’, an ambitious conservation project that in part aims to reverse the willow tit’s decline.

If, like me, you want to know more about what’s being done to help the willow tit, then Sophie Pinder, Back from the Brink Project Officer, is giving a free talk at Old Moor next Wednesday, 9 January. Booking is essential and can be done through Old Moor's Visitor Centre. All the details can be found here.

See you there.