Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary: 20 Nov 1919

In the next diary entry, Viola examines a bird in a Cypress tree near Touch. The passage is a lovely example of what to do if you see a bird but are not quite sure which one. The answer? Make some notes!

Viola is certain that the bird she saw in the tree is a tit of some sort. She thinks that the bird is a great tit, but can’t be certain. By jotting down a description of the bird, Viola would have been able to come home and try to solve the mystery. She writes:

He was greeny yellow beneath and dark blue and blue-grey above with a dark blue head with a dark patch on top

So is the tit Viola witnessed a great tit? By examining her description, it’s safe to assume that is either a great tit or blue tit.

The great tit and blue tit are two of our most recognisable garden birds. They are both easily distinguishable when observing them in the wild, but they are actually quite similar in colour. The blue tit, however, has a much lighter tones with a bright white face, blue eye stripe and blue crest.

Have a read of Viola’s description a look and the pictures. What do you think she has spotted? (We think it’s a great tit…)

Transcript

Nov 20th 1919. Cypress Tree on Avenue Touch.

Saw a tit. Don’t know what kind but I’ve an

idea that he was a great tit. He skipped over

the branches peering under the bark, several

times even hanging upside down underneath the branch

He was looking for insects I suppose. He was greeny

yellow beneath and dark blue and blue-grey above

with a dark blue head with a dark patch on

top.

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