Garden birds at Nedd on 1st May 2016

May 1st 2016

Garden birds at Nedd on 1st May

My half-acre garden at Calltuinn, in Nedd (NC137319), is a good place to record birds, since it is sheltered and well-endowed with trees and shrubs. I encourage them to linger where I can enjoy them with just one peanut feeder, hung from a lower branch of a rowan and clearly visible from the breakfast table.

View of garden, peanut feeder and Loch Nedd. Photo I. Evans
View of garden, peanut feeder and Loch Nedd. Photo I. Evans

However, the count in just over an hour at breakfast time this morning, 1st May 2016, has excelled itself. On the feeder, I logged chaffinch, greenfinch, two goldfinches, two male and a female siskin, two great tits, and a male house sparrow. In the surrounding trees I caught a brief glimpse of a male redpoll and a good view of a song thrush. Robin and dunnock were foraging beneath the feeder, with sorties up into the trees.

Venturing out in to the garden to note temperature and rainfall, I added a male blackbird, flying through fast; I think that a pair must have a nest nearby. The descending song of a willow warbler was predictable, as was the explosive call of a wren, located shortly afterwards in a downy birch.

The front of the house afforded me some further species from the village itself, a hundred or more metres away, although I know they don’t count for the garden list. They included a slightly monotonous mistle thrush, which has been singing for weeks, probably from one of the tall conifers in gardens nearer the road, a collared dove, from the one pair which appear to be resident in Nedd, and a cuckoo, first heard here on 29th April.

So what is missing from the regulars? I should see blue and coal tits shortly; they are less obvious on the feeder now that they must be nesting. Both male and female great spotted woodpeckers have been quite frequent visitors since the beginning of the year. Wood pigeon and tawny owl sometimes alight on the ridge line of the house and call loudly.

Tree creeper and pied wagtail are less predictable; just two records of the former this year and the latter only flying over. Redwings were present in numbers in the taller trees fringing the garden sporadically from 24th March to 28th April, and I had a brief view of a male bullfinch on 25th April. There was a greenshank calling from Loch Nedd on 28th April, but that is perhaps straining the concept of garden birds. However, I still have the pleasure of logging the first swallows and house martins in the air space over the garden; both nest in the village. And who knows what else may turn up; that is the fun of it.

Ian M. Evans

P.S. As predicted, blue tit and coal tit were seen on the peanut feeder on 2nd May, although only fleetingly; they must be busy elsewhere. They were followed by a male great spotted woodpecker on 3rd. It had rather grubby tail feathers, perhaps it had been excavating a nest hole? I think that’s all the regulars. There was also confirmation that the blackbirds have already nested: an adult feeding worms to a large fledgling on the lawn on 2nd.

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