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Thrilled to bits, for at two twenty this afternoon there was a swallow on the wires, in the farm yard. Thank goodness we left the barn door open to make them welcome. For these parts they are early, usually late April.

My fiance and I live in a small town in Essex but you wouldn't believe the birds we see, red kites v. Unusual, black birds, crows, magpies, robins, ring necked doves, all types of Tits, finches, wrens, swallows and sparrows, its mad!! They wake us up in the morning but its a very nice way to wake up!!
In Redditch we see all the above as well as red kites and buzzards,sparrow hawks.

Essex is great for birds, we often get barn swallows nesting in our sheds, saw a Little egret the other day and a hen harrier a few months back. Red kites and buzzards were a very rare sight here 10 years ago, getting to see them regularly now though and I know of two buzzard nesting sites locally. I love the cries of buzzards. 


No swallows I'm afraid but the vicar (or Phil the Pheasant to be accurate) graced us with his presence and fed just three feet from where we were sitting having a cuppa it's lovely when any of my feathered friends venture so close .The pair of wild ducks haven't been near for two days now just hope they are safe and simply nesting down stream.

hollie hock

Good to know that they are on their way back


The other day I had a starling in the bird bath and another one plus a robin in the pond. All bathing at once, it was such a picture 

Swallows are one of the 5 signs of spring people are being asked to log on Springwatch website, as part of the Big Spring Watch project (a 'citizen science' initiative to monitor effects of climate change).  Why not send in your observations?  Also asking for info about sightings of first oak tree bud burst, hawthorn blossom, 7-spot ladybirds and orange tip butterflies.


Mercifully the starlings have left us for the season. They mass in their thousands over the winter , but they get in with the cattle and pollute the feed, but very impressive in mass murmerations.

My sister lives in Herts and she has masses of red kites, but I've never seen one down here in Devon.


We put some live mealworms out yesterday and a pair of robins were back and forth all day taking beaks full to their nestlings.  We moved the dish closer and closer to the terrace table and it didn't deter them - today the dish is on the table - we shall see if the robins are brave enough to join us for our morning coffee

In the late afternoon a hen blackbird was bathing at the end of the pond while a robin was using the shallower birdbath nearby - as soon as the blackbird saw this she left the pond to use the birdbath and the robin had to wait until she'd finished before it could come back.  What a dog in the manger


A pair of mallards have decided they've had enough of the lake at the bottom of the garden and would much prefer the intimacy of our small pond near the terrace. 

My own fault as I'm sure she's the same bird I used to hand feed when we moved here 3 years ago.

Now the garden is planted ,I'm not so keen to have them in "the garden" as they're fond of settling down to sleep on nice lush new growth of herbaceous plants.

We dont see a huge array of birds in our garden, mainly robin, blackbird, starling, blue tits and collared dove. Not a fan of the wood pigeon who gorge on most of the feed. I was excited to see a blackbird building a nest in a shrub a few weeks ago, but after laying its eggs something must have attacked it and both eggs and blackbird gone. 


Just been sat having morning cuppa and can see two blue tits have made a home in our nesting box too.


Max - Do you get magpies and/or jays in your area?  They'll take eggs from blackbirds nests.

Hopefully your blackbirds have started another nest in a more secluded spot

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