The RSPB team at Langford Lowfields were delighted to discover that bearded tits had bred on the reserve for the very first time. This is also the first time the birds have been recorded as breeding in Nottinghamshire, and with just 630 pairs of bearded tits in the UK, this a fantastic achievement for the area.
Bearded tits are charming and highly striking birds, with distinct facial markings that give them the impression of having beards or moustaches. They make a distinctive 'pinging' noise, so are often heard before being seen. They like to build their nests in reedbeds, a threatened habitat nationally and an uncommon habitat in Nottinghamshire.
However, the RSPB team at Langford Lowfields have been working hard, in partnership with Tarmac, to create a reedbed haven for the bearded tits and other amazing wildlife. A long-standing partnership of more than 20 years has seen the creation of a unique wetland environment providing the perfect home for a range of reed-dwelling birds. The wetland will continue to grow as newly restored areas of the active quarry site are completed.
This year RSPB staff and volunteers planted an incredible 12,000 reed seedlings by hand, and created secret pools hidden in the reeds, which bearded tits love. A visitor to the reserve was the first to notice that the birds were breeding and two juveniles have since been spotted on site.
Joe Harris, Site Manager at RSPB Langford Lowfields, said: "This is an amazing success story. Working in close partnership with Tarmac, we are transforming Langford Lowfields into an incredible home for nature. Having bearded tits not only return to the reserve, but also choose to breed here, is testament to the hard work of all involved and we are extremely grateful for everyone's help."
Tim Deal, Estate Manager (Central East) at Tarmac said: "Our partnership with the RSPB has enabled us to create a superb wetland habitat at Langford Lowfields and it's fantastic to see the continued evolution of the site and the biodiversity benefits it brings."