Monday, 29 May 2017


Our Swallow which was flying around here on his own for a week or so (we called him lonesome George) has now finally got a mate.
They've been frantically nest building over the last couple of weeks and the nest now must be nearly complete. I had a look in the shed where they've decided to set up home and the nest is sat precariously on a wobbley board at the top of the shed so I hope it holds out.

swallows nest
one of the happy couple
I have been trying to get a photo of them together but they're either to far apart or they won't stay still long enough for a decent pic.

 In my last blog about our nest boxes I said that quite a few have been taken up by Great tits. I snapped this one coming out of a box after feeding it's chicks with what I think is a faecal sack in it's beak.

Also Stephen Carter sent me this beautiful pic of a Wood warblers nest in one of our local woodlands.

Steve is well on his way to a record breaking year in his nest finding quest. As you can see he finds a lot of natural nests as well as his many nest box colonies which he has scattered about on quite a few local farms. He has an excellent reputation with many local bird groups and wildlife organisations.

Saturday, 20 May 2017


Stephen and another nest recorder Sean Price went around the nest box colony at the beginning of the week to check out what's been happening in the last week or two.

We have 46 boxes with 24 currently being occupied.

We now have 4 Redstarts,  4 Blue Tits which all are at chick stage,  3 Great tits at chick stage, 2 are sitting so couldn't tell what on, and 5 on egg stage.  2 Nuthatch (which we think one has been abandoned) the other one has very large chicks which won't be to long before they're fledged. There's also 4 possible builders.

One of the Redstart boxes have been damaged making the entry hole rather large so I went back there Thursday to make the hole smaller with a piece of wood to try and stop predators from stealing the contents.

redstart box
male redstart
blue tit
great tit
Steve and Sean also found a Linnet's nest in the gorse and there's a pair of Pied Wagtails nesting in a shed near my home.

pied wagtail

There were no loses in any of the boxes except we think the one Nuthatch which is excellent news. We're still in the month of May so still plenty of nesting to be done and I think Steve is on for a record year. 

More information about the Nest Record Scheme can be found on the BTO Website.

Saturday, 13 May 2017


Stephen Carter and myself did another round of box checking last weekend the Blue and Great Tits have now laid their clutches and some are also feeding chicks.

two different Tit nests
The Nuthatch with the camo mud over it's nesting hole was sitting tight so no picture but we were pleased that two possibly three boxes at the moment have been taken up by Redstarts who are in the process of building.

redstart nestbox

redstart nests not yet completed
Here's the male and female Redstart.


Also whilst checking the boxes we found this Stonechat nest which had chicks in.

stonechat nest with chicks
Their nests are well disguised in gorse, a low hedge or amongst old bracken in a tussock of grass.
Steve came back a couple of days later and ringed the chicks, because of work commitments I was unable to make it so no pic's or video. 

stonechat nest site
Our nest box colony comprises of 46 boxes of which there's 15 with eggs and 7 building which we hope will be at least 3 Redstarts. we also have 2 Nuthatches with eggs. The rest would be Blue, Great and possibly Coal tits.

We've also got an Owl box which was checked this week.

The great news is that we got 2 healthy chicks, these Tawney's have used this box for a few years now and have proved to be excellent parents.

Friday, 12 May 2017


Green Woodpeckers are notoriously difficult to photograph. They're very nervous or as I'd say "skittish" birds and won't let you come anywhere near close enough for a decent picture. 
I was sat in my car on a lane near my home hoping to photograph a Stonechat which I'd seen in this lane calling and flitting about the previous day when this Green Woodpecker flew onto the floor about twenty yards in front of me and started feeding on an Ant hill.

green woody
 I slowly opened the car door expecting the bird to bolt at any time, but luckily enough it didn't notice me and carried on feeding.

As you can see by it's red moustachial stripe that this is a male.

He finally finished feeding hopped onto a fence post had a look around for a time then took off. 

a quick look around before taking off
More than likely it's got a nest hole somewhere near.

Just goes to show that sometimes in the right place at the right time and of course with a bit of luck.

Sunday, 7 May 2017


I'm lucky enough to be living on a farm where we get a good selection of birds. Spring is here now and the breeding season is always an exciting time with the arrival of our summer visitors and the resident birds coming back on their territories to pair up build their nests and raise their chicks.

I've been lucky enough to be able to photograph most of the birds that visit the farm and I'm always dazzled in spring on how beautiful our finches are, especially the males. The different vibrant colour patterns on their feathers I find absolutely gorgeous.
You can see why the Victorians used to keep them in cages as pets, as well as their brightly coloured feathers they are also quite good songsters.

Here's a selection from the Finch family.





lesser repoll

The above photo's are all very brightly coloured and handsome males.

Not a saturation button was touched in the editing of these pictures (he says with fingers arms and legs crossed). But I hope you all agree they are especially in spring very handsome chaps indeed.