It can be very taxing bird watching, you get up early and you practice your birdwatchers catechisms (“What’s that! Oh it’s a Great Tit”, “What’s that! Oh it’s another Great tit”, “What’s that! Oh it’s a Great tit… etc. etc.) go through your rituals to ward off the curse of the binocular and set out purposefully with a bag comfortably heavy with tea, snacks (today’s choice was choccy dinosaur biscuits, I couldn’t find choccy birds and they were the closest) and your bird book of choice.
The first bird box had (rather inevitably) a family of Great tits and we were soon commenting on their parenting skills as one bird (Carys and Kath somehow decided it was the male, I have no idea why this would be) kept coming to the box with food but had not quite got the idea of going in and feeding the chicks yet.
Their next door neighbours the Treecreepers were doing what Treecreepers do and hiding behind the tree occasionally giving us a glimpse as they went into their box.
Having not seen any Pied Flycatchers it was off to our next location playing guess the bird song game on the way netted us a Chiff Chaff, a Wood Warbler, a Green Woodpecker, a Willow warbler and a Wood Pigeon. This second location was away from any nest boxes so it was noticeably quieter but it was a popular place for Swifts, House Martins and Swallows.
The flypast of a Peregrine Falcon was the highlight but this of course meant all the other birds disappeared (all except the Jackdaws and Magpies) and after another bout of “What’s that! Oh it’s a Great tit” we moved on again.
As we decided to call it a day (the tea having finally run out) the final total for the morning was 28 species none of which were Pied Flycatcher but the Peregrine and the Wood Warbler made up for the disappointment and the Swifts are back!
Graham Watkeys – Taf Fechan Warden