May 3, 2021

Two weeks ago I checked our various nest boxes and the one usually occupied by great tits was completely empty. I assumed that they weren’t going to use it this year but in the last week we have noticed the male singing away nearby and one or the other of the pair leaving the box a few times. A quick check with my inspection camera on Sunday revealed a completed nest and at least one egg. Read more

April 26, 2021

My wife and I had the day off so we walked around Westhay Nature Reserve. So many warblers and so much sound! Numerous sightings, the most notable of which were the first hobby, common whitethroat and swifts of the year, plus house martins and a redpoll. Heard about 3 cuckoos. And good to see several pairs of great crested grebes and their nests. With all the busyness of late, it was good to have a chance to catch up and talk over a few things. Read more

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.

Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2022

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