Sunday, 30 April 2017

I LOVE A CHAT

A few days ago I managed to get a couple of pic's of this male Stonechat as he was watching for insects. They're well into their breeding program now being one of the first birds to pair up in early March.

male stonechat

on his perch looking for insects
What a handsome chap.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

A GREAT START TO THE DAY

This morning saw me first watching then managing to photograph the returning Redstarts. It's great to see these birds back on the farm and we hope they'll take up residence in one of our boxes.

male redstart

female redstart
No rings on their legs so unless they fell off, this pair can't be any of the chicks ringed at the farm last year.


male redstart

female showing the characteristic red tail.
Our Swallow still hasn't been joined by any females he's been here a while now but he's still flying around singing loudly and living in hope. Me and the Wife have named him lonesome George.

lonesome George
He's sometimes joined by the odd Meadow pipit or two.

meadow pipit

or two! (think this is the same one)
Good morning and great to see the Redstarts back.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

THREE GENERA OF WARBLER

Went over to Llandegfedd Reservoir today fairly quiet birdwise but I did manage to photograph three genera of warbler in the form of Willow (phylloscopus) Blackcap (sylvia) and Reed (acrocephalus) .

willow warbler

phylloscopus trochilus
blackcap

sylvia atricapilla


reed warbler

acrocephalus scirpaceus
There were quite a few of the commoner species on show and also the Great Crested Grebes which are always a joy to photograph.

great crested grebe

podiceps cristatus (sorry couldn't resist)
An enjoyable morning even though things were a tad quiet.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

CAMOUFLAGE MUD

Went around our nest box colony yesterday, we had a few of the local birds taking up residence in the boxes with Blue and Great tits taking up five boxes between them.

blue tit

great tit

 This is inside one of the nest boxes that has one egg covered over, the female will often do this if she leaves the nest to feed.

inside the nest box

We have a few Coal tits about the farm and are hoping that a pair of them will take up residence in one of the boxes.

coal tit

lets hope this one finds one of our boxes to it's liking
We also came across one of our boxes that had been taken up by a pair of Nuthatches. These birds put mud around the entrance holes of their nest sites this one has done a very artistic collage of different coloured mud a bit like army camouflage.

camo mud
inside the nuthatch box with five eggs

Could this be our artistic Nuthatch?

nuthatch
We also had a couple of damaged boxes think this one had been attacked by a squirrel

one of the damaged boxes


Altogether 39 boxes checked two Nuthatches with eggs 5 other's with eggs which are Blue and Great tits and 9 other nests started.

Stephen the nest finder Carter also found this Blackbird nest amongst the gorse.

blackbird nest
I've also had this pair of Stock Doves hanging around this old box but as of yet have not decided to use it.

stock doves

A pretty good day was had and I saw my first Wheatear and Tree pipit of the spring so was well pleased.
A big thank you to Mr. Nest Finder -  Stephen Carter good job Sir lets hope for many more in the weeks ahead. 

Friday, 14 April 2017

WHERE'S OUR GREENFINCHES GONE?

Reading the BTO Garden Bird Survey 2016 it states on there that Greenfinch numbers have plummeted dramatically.
The main reason behind this is Trichomonosis  a parasite disease and one of the main causes of this (according to the experts) is our dirty feeders.
I've always had really good numbers of Greenfinches at my feeders but this year I haven't had any which is a bit of a worry. I do clean my feeders perhaps not as often as I should but not to have a single Greenfinch visit my feeders must show that the BTO survey is pretty accurate.

I don't know what the answer is to stop the Greenfinch decline but it would be a massive shame to lose one of our charismatic and beautiful garden visitors.



male greenfinch

female greenfinch
close up


male and juvenile Greenfinch on my clean feeder
Lets hope that the experts can find a cure for this Trichomonosis  and our Greenfinches can bounce back.  

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

TRICKY WILLOW

Willow Warbler came back to the farm today but stayed quite high up in the trees and was tricky to photograph.

willow warbler



Very busy amongst the branches the little bleeders don't stay still for very long.

Also photographed this Nuthatch at my feeders.

nuthatch
Very busy now with the resident birds already well into their breeding programmes and our summer migrants arriving daily, who knows what will turn up.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

ONE SWALLOW AND ALL THAT!

This Swallow was the first one back on territory yesterday. I had a fly by on Thursday but this one is the first to arrive out of the couple of pairs we have nesting every year in our sheds and a very welcome sight it was as well and it also brought with it some beautiful sunny weather.

first one back


swallow


swallow

Meadow pipits are also now everywhere and have been displaying over the last couple of weeks and possibly could already be on eggs.

meadow pipit
We also get Tree pipits up here but with its bold stripes on it's flanks and very long hind claw on it's foot this clearly is a Meadow.