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10th – 17th April

The Dunnocks’ nest is tucked into a bushy shrub growing against the wall of an outbuilding in the garden next door. The garden is left more or less to itself, the grass is cut occasionally, but other than that the birds are unlikely to be disturbed. Since the nest was completed and the courtship display on the slate bench sightings of the birds have been brief  as they have foraged along the bottoms of the hedges, so I am assuming that the hen bird is sitting on eggs. I did have a lovely view of one of the pair when it flew to the slate bench to dry off after a dip in next-door’s pond.

A Dunnock preening after bathing: it fluffed out all its feathers then leaned comically to one side to dry out in the warm sun.  

Since I arrived I’ve seen Starlings around the rooftops and a male has been singing from one of our chimney pots. He has been rewarded for his efforts and attracted a female, and I have seen them both in the garden gathering nesting materials.

Starling – Sturnus vulgaris

The male Starling (blue base to his beak) has been singing from the highest point he can find, the top of a chimney pot

The pair were gathering nesting materials in the garden. This is the female with a pink base to her beak.

I was really pleased to catch this male Coal Tit singing from the top of a small conifer at the front of the house
There are a number of Goldfinch about locally.I have seen them in the front garden feasting on dandelion seeds and one male regularly sings from an aerial on a rooftop and this cherry tree