Sunday, 26 May 2019

NESTS


Here are some of the nests that my good friend Stephen Carter has found recently.

wood warbler
pied flycatcher

pied flycatcher


jay

goshawk

redstart

reed bunting

meadow pipit

Well done Stephen, it's been an exceptional year for pied flycatcher this year with 24 breeding pairs already found, the BTO will be very pleased.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

NEST BOXES

Last Tuesday Steve Carter and yours truly went and checked our nest box colony and had a general scout about. We had both Great and Blue Tits in quite a few boxes but also had two Nuthatches with one bird sitting, we also had two different pairs of Redstart both still at the building stage. Our resident pair of Tawny Owls are in a box in the woods and had three healthy chicks.
We saw both Stonechat and Willow Warbler with nesting material and found a Meadow Pipit nest and also what Steve thinks might be a Reed Bunting half built.

Here's some pic's of the nests we found.

meadow pipit

redstart building

great tit (or is it blue)
Here's a video of Steve climbing the Tawny Owl.


And here's the chicks.

tawny owl chicks
Before my last post of the Cuckoo this one landed on our satellite dish.

Great couple of hours out and nice to see things moving along nicely.

Friday, 3 May 2019

AT LAST

After years of trying I finally managed to get a couple of decent images of a Cuckoo.
This is a male and it stayed on this post for at least five minutes, I must have taken roughly a hundred photo's, to say I was pleased is an understatement.









This was a case of a bit of luck and being in the right place at the right time.

Monday, 22 April 2019

A TASTE OF SPRING

Spring migrants and our resident birds were everywhere over the weekend at the farm some carrying nesting material some frantically feeding up some feeding chicks and some singing and calling. With the weather being so absolutely beautiful it was a real taste of Spring and a real feeling of pleasure to be out and about.









I had a great day's birding where the list of migrants were :- 
Willow Warbler, Wheatear, Redstart, Tree Pipit and both male and female Cuckoo.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

BLACK NOT RED

black redstart

female common redstart
This time of year us birders eagerly await the arrival of our Spring migrants.
So when I got home from work on Monday last week I thought that I had spotted my first Redstart of the spring, bright red tail drab in appearance yes I thought a female. I grabbed my camera and took a few snaps then put my pic's on a Facebook site called Gwent Birders, it's a local site for people that are interested in Birds and wildlife where they can post pictures and share information. Within 10 minutes of posting the picture I was inundated with comments saying that it was in fact a Black Redstart a first summer male and a passage migrant. I quickly grabbed my Helm ID guide which confirmed that my fellow birders were right. It stayed for a couple more days before moving on but what a pleasant surprise the first I've seen up here and goes to show don't presume that what your looking at is what you think it is. I think I need to brush up on my ID skills.

Some more pic's of this surprising little passage migrant







My regular spring visitors the common Redstarts should be turning up anytime soon lets hope that they are as obliging as this little chap was.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

THE BEAST FROM THE EAST MEETS THE STORM FROM THE SOUTH!

Quite a lot of the white stuff has come down over the last few days as the bitterly cold easterly winds met up with a storm surge coming in from the south. As the pictures below show it's going to be a while before we'll be able to get out.


our dog Jack on the only bit of track left below a 6 foot drift notice the rabbit tracks on the drift.

this is the tarmac road leading out to civilisation 

another bad drift on our road

another big drift on our track, lucky the gate was open.
Luckily for the birds I did manage to get some food out to them before the worst of the snow hit. I thought we might have had some more unusual visitors to the feeders because of the weather but the only thing of note was this single male Brambling who was feeding with the many Chaffinches.


male Brambling




Here are some of the other snowy visitors.


male chaffinch

male reed bunting

great tit

robin

female blackbird.
There were lots of pictures on the net of Redwing and Fieldfare, we've got both species up here so I thought I'd cut up the last of our fruit and put it out near my feeders in the hope that they would take the bait. No such luck though I'm afraid as it was quickly gobbled up by the Crows and Magpie's but I suppose they need to feed as well.

Here's a few more pics of some of my garden birds how such tiny creatures survive through these harsh weather conditions is a testament to how tough they must be.


coal tit

goldfinch

nuthatch
Dunnock
Can't see us getting out any time soon and as the thaw sets in it's going to take a ton of rain to shift this lot but at least I've got food and warmth unlike my avian counterparts who'll have to tough it out in these harsh wintry conditions.


Brambling braving the blizzard.

Lets hope the thaw sets in quickly.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

A WINTER FINCH

After all that snow we've had I thought something unusual might turn up at my feeders but alas the same common species (although very welcome) seem to dominate the array of food put out for them with the corvids bullying every other species out of the way until they've had their fill.
We were snowed in for 4 days so the birds were eating better than us.


the pretty scene outside the house.



Not until after the snow had cleared did this little chap make an appearance.


male Brambling



First sighting this year of a Brambling happily feeding amongst the chaffinches.

Here's a couple of others that I've snapped over the last few days.


redwing

robin

great spotted woodpecker

Nice to see a Brambling lets hope a few more of these lovely winter finches show up.