Heol y Cyw


Mistle Thrush numbers now at 14, either around the garden or in the field next door. Usually appear early evening and squabble with the resident Magpies.

Lots of action around the feeders with plenty of young across several species. 4 juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers with adults. 3 juvenile Nuthatch with adults. Other family groups include Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird. Wren have used old swallow nest in garage and had 3 young. Sizeable House Sparrow colony. Wood Pigeon and Collared Dove present with young.

Quieter for birdsong now – Blackcaps quiet but Chiffchaffs still going strong along with Song Thrushes. Haven’t heard Cuckoo in woods below house for a few weeks now.

Pied Wagtail daily and Grey Wagtail regular. Bullfinch pair still present but no sign of any young. Similar with Jays (who have bred the last two years)

Regular raptors over include up to 4 Common Buzzard at a time, Red Kite (usually singular), Sparrowhawk, Kestrel.

Carrion Crow and Jackdaw using garden whilst Raven (usually 2) staying high overhead.

Lockdown has been great to focus on what is immediately outside and better understand the dynamics between species and the timing of everything.

6 thoughts on “Heol y Cyw

  1. Paul Seligman

    What a lovely account. 14 Mistle Thrushes seems a most unlikely number from my urban perspective, and I don’t recall seeing that sort of number outside of a hard winter in the country either. My sparrow numbers are approaching 30 and Wood Pigeon and Collared Dove are daily but without any young so far. Starlings and young are present here (Fairwater, Cardiff) every day, and one or two pairs of Goldfinches but without young so far

    1. Hi Paul. The Mistle Thrush numbers have taken me aback too. Lockdown began with a pair holding territory in the garden but I was aware of other adults dropping in too. 3 fledglings first appeared 10th May. About two weeks ago there was a commotion in a huge conifer I have and I could see and hear a few mistle thrushes having a disagreement with 4 magpies. As the birds gradually vacated the tree I was surprised to see 9 mistle thrush emerge. Maybe two family groups (I already knew there were 5 in the garden)?
      The group I saw early evening last week were working their way through a five acre field next door which is grazed by sheep and cattle. I was able to get a reliable count by scanning from one end to the other as they were all on the ground and not flitting about to confuse things and was amazed as the count just went on and on.
      My place is very rural, sitting right on the edge of the high ground and benefits from a good chunk of mixed woodland and open pasture.
      In contrast, I was excited to see a small starling group in the garden last week as they are a rarity for me as, until a couple of years ago, were house sparrows. It is however now 4 years since I have seen or heard a greenfinch here.

  2. John Wilson

    Breeding record of Mistle Thrush pretty good Martin. We don’t get too many. OK if I make a record of that? Re records if you are thinking of recording a backlog of sightings that could be pretty onerous esp if you haven’t used BT before. If you can put them in an Excel spreadsheet we could commit them to our electronic record with SEWBReC for you.There’s a downloadable spreadsheet on this web site – here’s a link to the page [not sure if this’ll create a hyoperlink until I post]. If not cut & paste or just go to via the main menu bar.
    Cheers, John

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