I had a day of mixed fortunes yesterday it was tinged with a bit of sadness as one of the pied flycatcher males in my garden (probably the male depicted in a photograph I submitted on an earlier entry) decided to end its life by headbutting my bedroom window. I heard it strike the window from downstairs. I'm thinking that it may have been hot-tailing a flying insect and flew into the window. His partner is busy nest building and probably unaware of his demise so I don't know what will happen hereon There is a spare male about though so lets hope he does the business!
Anyway following this I checked one of my kite nests and saw that there was a white fluffy chick in it which was only a couple of days old the parents were feeding it and the mother bird was so delicate in presenting bits of carrion to the chick. I informed the farmer that he was a 'surrogate' father which pleased him no end and he told me of another possible pair in the area so I hightailed it to the given location and discovered a new nest site (possibly not a new pair but a mislaid one from previous years!). Again the farmer who owns the land was overjoyed. Farmers and landowners are very positive when it comes to kites nesting on their land and its important for nest monitors like myself to maintain a good relationship with them. The same land owner has a good sized badger sett on his land and I paid it a visit the first such visit for 3 or 4 years. It was obviously very active. I must get around to watching it one night. The same wood had pied flycatchers and a ravens nest. The day didn't end there as I checked a nest-box put up for barn owls in a local barn by Bob Formaggia about 3 years ago and it contained a pair of these magnificent birds. They will be safe here as the farmer (a different one again) is also very positive towards nature conservation. He is another lucky one to have a kite nest on his land. Farmers sometimes get a bad press (and we all whinge about them from time to time!) but rest assured there are many out there who are just as concerned as you or I about the declining numbers of some species of birds and animals. Many indeed are not as vociferous in voicing their condemnation of badgers and their link to bovine TB in cattle. Lets hope they can exert some influence on their compatriots and we avoid the calamity of a cull in mid-Wales at some future date.
Have our readers noticed a fall in house martin numbers this year? There seem to be fewer about my home patch.