While looking through 2020 photos which I might use in the annual bird report, I came across this portrait of a Dipper family on the River Carno near Pontdolgoch on 7 May this year. Ruth Jones Maclennan took it and has let me use it. Thanks Ruth.
Paul Roughley sent me these photos, taken at home near Abermule where he caught and ringed it. He asked me to confirm the identification.
I noticed the long, tapering tail, dark-spotted back contrasting with unmarked underparts, long thin bill and dull pink legs. These are all features of a Grasshopper Warbler. It may have been a local breeder, or a migrant on passage from further north. They breed in Wales in small numbers, often in young conifer plantations. When they are not singing, they are skulking and secretive, often running mouse-like on the ground. Thanks Paul - I am sure you knew what it was as soon as you saw it!
Thanks to Lionel Weaver who took these photos this morning through his window at home at Hendomen. To have these two in the same garden in the same morning is remarkable. Lionel adds, "this is the first time to have seen them in the garden in 22 years of being
A recent research paper* raises the debate about feeding birds in our gardens. These buffets are brilliant for dominant species such as Blue and Great Tits, but have gradually pushed out weaker species - such as the Marsh Tits that stopped visiting our feeder about ten years ago. And then there's the question of disease such as Trichomonosis affecting Greenfinches. It's a thought-provoking issue!
In other news:
OSPREY fishing in the Vyrnwy near Meifod, 20 Aug.
A late SWIFT was over the Dyfi Osprey Project, 20 Aug.
Thanks to Stuart Thomas and Will Ferguson for these records.