Spotted fly catcher

Nested, nutured and fledged

Following a short period of reticence, the Spotted fly catcher returned and finished its nest towards the end of June. It could be seen keeping its beady eye on surrounding activity, as it lay on the eggs.

By early July the 2 adults were in and out of the nesting box, feeding the young. Perhaps 3 or 4; difficult to see without causing a commotion.

We’d catch sight of the adults here and there throughout the garden, with their characteristic flying patterns; circling rapidly in mid-flight and returning to their original perch.

By the end of the day on 16th July the chicks had all fledged. The last one to leave can be seen “hovering” on the edge of the box, as it was encouraged by the adults in the nearby birch tree.

What an absolute delight to encounter, for the second year running, such a beautiful little bird raising its family in our garden.

Sounds of May

Birdsong at dawn – choral gladness

For a few weeks in early May, drifting in and out of sleep during the wee small hours, I had been listening to the sound of birdsong in the comfort of my warm bed. I decided (a little reluctantly) to rise very early and record the dawn chorus in all its full magnitude. Setting my alarm for 3.30am I emerged sleepily from my bed……but was disappointed to find that the showers of April were downpours in May:

May downpour

A second try a few days later was thwarted by the wind:

A very windy dawn

On my third early morning I was in luck. The weather was perfectly still and dry.

I recorded a full 20 minutes with only the occassional interuptions by distant cars or a plane flying overhead. I have condensed this into a 5 minute clip, with minimal editing – just extracting key phases of the chorus and crossfading the clips.

Listen and enjoy without the need to be out of bed at dawn!

Dawn chorus at Girrick

Nest of moss in Birch tree

The daylight hours of May have also seen a lot of bird activity in the garden, including an intriguing little nest high up in the Birch tree. I think it is a Chaffinch, but hard to tell from below.

A Spotted flycatcher has been investigating the birdbox, but doesn’t seem to have taken up residence as yet …….

Spotted Fly catcher bringing moss into bird box

… and various birds have been bathing in the pond or the shallow birdbath on the decking.

Blue tit splashing around in the bird bath – watercolour sketch
Robin bathing in the pond

There were also a few rare moments of dramatic lighting this month.