Saturday, 2 April 2011
Pied Flycatcher/Invisible Birds
Pied Flycatcher: I help to look after 99 nestboxes in Coedydd Aber National Nature Reserve near Bangor. These are used by about 25 pairs of Pied Flycatchers and assorted tits (Great and Blue, mainly). A keen group of students do the leg-work checking the boxes during the breeding season, but I do have to visit before April to check the boxes, repair and replace as necessary. I was up there last Tuesday (29th) replacing a box high up in the oakwood above the carpark, and heard what sounded like a Pied Fly singing rather quietly. Then I saw it - my first ever March record! First eggs are not laid until the end of April, and it will have to wait some time for a lady friend to turn up. Invisible birds: I've written an article about birds which are difficult to find, it's in the latest Natur Cymru. Naturally I was hoping for some response, and was delighted yesterday to get an email from Jim Marshall who lives beside the railway bridge at Dyfi Junction, a few miles down the river from Machynlleth. Jim has sent me a great list of birds he and Sally have seen at their feeding station this winter, including up to 9 Yellowhammers, a Black Redstart and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers (male and female). Jim's Lesser Spot W'peckers are the first records for the BTO Winter Atlas for SN69, the 10km square he lives in!