News – Page 6

Halloween Pain

“Who’s that knocking on the door?
Go away or I’ll call the law!”
“Aww come on Missis, give us a treat,
We’ve been to every house on the street!
No one will play our little game,
Come on now or we’ll smash a pane!”
” You just do and you will see
A nice old lady I will not be”
Silence reigned for a little while
Then Billy Jones gave a wicked smile.
He picked up a stone and threw it through
Landing on Rover as he ate his stew!
Gladys froze and her eyes turned to steel
Cause whenever Rover yelped his pain she could feel.
She opened the door and let him out,
In a flash she heard a piercing shout!
“I’m sorry Missis I’ll pay for the glass,
Just get your dog off my ass!”

Jean K Cave 2018

Gedling Artists Festive Fair

There has been a change of location for this year’s Gedling Artists Festive Fair; we will be at St Judes Church, Woodborough Road, NG3 5EJ, due to the amount of talented artists and crafters taking part this year. We have doubled our numbers making this the biggest event we have ever done with jewellery, metalwork, embroidery, childrens clothes, leather goods and silk painting being some of the many beautiful goods on offer.

Woodborough’s own Suzanne Hough of Knitten will be selling some of her beautifully hand knitted cosy scarves, cowls and fashion accessories , the softest yarns and subtle colours make each piece unique and an ideal Christmas gift for someone special.

So a date for your diary, 17th November doors open at 10.00am, there is free parking and Frabjous events will be providing a delicious selection of refreshments to purchase. Pop along to find a handmade treasure.


The Tuesday Evening Badminton Club at Woodborough Village Hall are looking to recruit a couple of new players. There’s no need to feel intimidated – the standard is not very high! We play most Tuesdays from about 8.15pm to around 9.30pm.

If you would like to give it a go, please ring Andrew on 07948 729577 and leave a message containg your name and phone number – men, women, young and not-so-young are all welcome.


Jean Powley

Marsh Tit by John Harding

Willow Tit by

Marsh Tit / Willow Tit

These two species are notoriously difficult to distinguish, so much so, that before the late 19th century, only Marsh Tit was being recorded in the UK, despite both occurring. This error wasn’t corrected until some German ornithologists visited the British Museum in 1897 and observed that one of the birds in the collection was more like the continental Willow Tit. A few years later, it was eventually agreed that the specimen was indeed a separate species and that both Marsh and Willow Tit occur in Britain. Marsh Tits are by far the more likely of the two in many areas but if you have Willow Tits in the vicinity they can be tricky to tell apart, and both can visit garden feeders.

Both birds are the same size as a Blue Tit. The backs are a uniform brown and they are buff coloured below. Both have white cheeks. There are a few very subtle differences, all of which are hard to evaluate in the field, and several of which are variable so can’t be relied upon. The most reliable feature is that Marsh Tits have white cutting edges to the inner part of their beaks, whereas Willow Tits have all-black cutting edges – certainly not an easy feature to see on a small, active bird! Marsh Tits tend to have glossy black caps, whilst the Willow Tit’s black cap is duller and stretches further down in to the back of the neck. The Willow Tit has some pale-edged wing feathers, creating a pale panel, though worn Marsh Tits can show a similar pattern.

One certain way of telling each bird apart is by their call. The call of the Marsh Tit is sneezy ‘pitchou, pitchou’ and the call of the Willow Tit is a very nasal, drawn out ‘chay,chay.’  If you don’t hear any call, it’s worth trying to get a photo. Otherwise it may be impossible to determine the identity with 100% confidence.

The birds also differ in a number of ways ecologically. The Willow Tit prefers coniferous woodland or damper conditions with birch, alder and willow for nesting. It is a hardy bird and can be found in more northerly areas of the country and higher altitudes than the Marsh Tit. Each year it will always build a new nest whereas the Marsh Tit will always use existing cavities in trees for nesting. The Marsh Tit, despite its name, prefers drier habitats and is found in lowland broad-leaved woodland. Of course, there can also be an overlap of territories which makes identifying them even more confusing.

These two birds do have one thing in common and that is they are both red-listed and have suffered serious declines since the 1970’s. If you are lucky enough to get either of them visit your bird feeders, they will most likely be subordinate to the Great Tit and Blue Tit.

Jean Powley

Jean is a voluntary Ambassador for the British Trust for Ornithology’s Garden BirdWatch scheme in Nottinghamshire. If you enjoy watching birds and other wildlife which visit your garden, Garden BirdWatch may be perfect for you. If you would like a free information pack about the scheme, contact Jean at or visit