Kite and Crossbills

March 24, 2024 at 3:42 pm

On any visit to Wales the target birds include Kites and Crossbills. Last weeks rain did not help the search but despite this we came across four Kites at Bala and one pair were collecting nesting material. Crossbills were a more difficult challenge as there are very few cones on the pine trees this year. However, deep in the mountains we came across a pair with a red plumaged male and the female collecting food for young in a nest somewhere in the forest – renown for being one of the most difficult nest to find of any British bird

Rivercatcher Siskins

March 17, 2024 at 8:29 pm

Last week we spent an extremely wet five days in the Dee valley at Rivercatcher. Six inches of rain fell in three days making it the wettest place in Britain. Remarkably instead of being a disaster for filming this extreme weather produced a bonus for Siskins. Normally they feed on seeds in the pine cones but this requires the sun to open the cones and make the seeds accessible. There was no chance of this so a bird feeder outside the cottage attracted over fifty Siskins on a daily basis – making watching them even more enjoyable from a hot-tub!

The last Waxwing?

March 10, 2024 at 9:01 pm

This weeks photos are of a small group of Waxwings in Burnley a month  ago.We were told that this winter was going to be a big waxwing Winter but while some parts of the country have had a lot , in Greater Manchester have had very few. For four months I have checked a berry laden Rowan tree in Middleton, every other day, only to have had every berry eaten by a pair of Mistle Thrushes. As I waited forty years to see my first Waxwing will I still be around when they return? I wish I was an optimist!!

Stick Time

March 3, 2024 at 9:52 pm

February is the month when our earliest breeding bird, the Heron, starts to refurbish its nest. Any sort of twig will do and the Herons will cover some distance in their visits to and from the nests with their twigs. Unfortunately, the weather has been so wet and dull this February that I only managed one brief session at my local Heronry but thankfully there was a good performance by the Herons.