When I was walking on the road up the valley last week I found the distinct feathers of a Dipper just yards from the river. Was the culprit a Sparrowhawk? Perhaps it was a mustelid that claimed it's life like a Weasel, Polecat, Stoat, or God forbid, a Mink. They have been seen on our river in the past. Dippers are early nesters and if one of these fearsome predators came across a sitting bird in it's domed nest on a riverbank then I wouldn't rate its chances of surviving such an encounter.
Do you reckon male chaffinches have seen the Harry Potter films? When I hear the male call it sounds just like 'Quidditch'! I swear it, listen to it and tell me what you think.
A Tawny Owl is occupying my owl box again (actually it's meant for Goosanders but what the hell an owl will do!). I bought and set up a 'Minox' wildlife cam and have caught the owl a few times at night on the infra-red sensor. It came back with a mouse one time. I haven't looked in the box yet as I don't want to disturb them or even risk loosing an eye! (Some of you will know what I mean). I'm going to set it up for the otters on the river next. There is some spraint on the usual rock mid-river below my house. I'll 'get you' eventually you little critter!
David Evans living in Forge near Machynlleth tells me that recently he has been getting visits from a Marsh Tit at his garden feeding station. This is a real rarity in this area and I don't believe I have ever seen one since I have been living around here. When I was growing up in Newtown we regularly had them on our nut feeders at home. Referring to that classic work 'Birds in Wales' (Lovegrove, Williams, Williams) it says this about the Marsh Tit, I quote -
"A resident species, strongly sedentary, widespread but patchily distributed in the eastern half of Wales and in Pembrokeshire. Scare or absent in other western and northern areas."
I guess that about sums it up.