April 4, 2021

Sitting in the garden enjoying the sunshine a short while ago we heard the chatter of a swallow and there it was, one of ours, on its favourite spot on the telephone wires.

March 30, 2021

Beautiful weather today. Blue skies, warm sun and a warm breeze. And on that presumably Mediterranean airflow, surprise surprise, my first swallow of the year.

March 9, 2021

Morning walk with the dog. Another bright and frosty one. Lots of bird activity. Heard my first blackcap of the year, so another spring migrant arrives. Still plenty of fieldfares, redwings and starlings. Over the weekend we had a flock of perhaps 3000 starlings hanging around, the biggest I’ve ever seen here. I had assumed it was part of the dispersal of the winter visitor population back to their summer grounds but according to this article in the Guardian it’s quite the opposite. Read more

February 26, 2021

A frosty start followed by a beautiful sunny day. Heard a chiffchaff - the first spring migrant of the year. Possibly the earliest I’ve ever heard one.

January 29, 2021

It’s blowy, wet and cold out there this morning. But I could hear a blackbird singing. First one of the year. And not it’s winter sub-song but the full-phrase version. So while it’s still winter in that damp way we seem to specialise in here, you can hear spring coming.

January 24, 2021

A couple centimetres of snow this morning. Funny how that completely changes the dynamic of the bird interactions at our feeders. As a rule each species tends to keep a respectful distance from each other. The sparrows are a boisterous lot and are generally a bit much for the blue tits. But then the robins usually see off the sparrows, and pretty much anyone else. Today, particularly on the table where we put old apples and bird seed, they were all piling in, the need for food taking precedence over any kind of hierarchy. Read more

Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2021

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