They continue to elude me, those hidden worlds, and particularly those of birds. This year’s big resolution was to spend as much time as I could in this locality (the Towy Valley, Carmarthenshire) to really get to know its non-human inhabitants. I now have at least 8 promising sites where I can watch and record, but it’s been cold and wet. I know there is nest building going on, but have only been able to record one pair of dippers carrying nest material. The only mammals I have seen are Fallow Deer and Grey Squirrels.
Today I set up my portable hide at the Red Kite’s nest site I have been watching for several years. Then I climbed inside, set up the camera and tripod, sat on the uncomfortable little fold-up stool, unzipped a window and looked out at the nest. In the space of 45 minutes the only movement was the piece of frayed orange baler twine hanging from the edge of the nest. Kites like to include bright coloured things in their nests and have been known to steal washing from the line and pick up bits of plastic. There was one kite around but it kept out of sight during my stay.
The old bridge on the Towy is another favourite haunt, and on Friday I set up a trail camera where I think there is a Dippers nest. This morning I retrieved it and looked at the images, but the only animate being recorded was – again – a curious squirrel.
Another favourite area has a lake and a few acres of rough grassland with trees. Another has a lake with a boardwalk all round it and some coppiced woodland nearby. Each had 2 Canada Geese in residence and a few mallards.
Nothing worth photographing, until back home, at the end of the afternoon some Siskins arrived at the bird feeder. They and the goldfinches love the tiny Niger seeds I put out and I got some nice pictures through the window.