Issue 2

Nature Watch Winter             schmetterling-64

Welcome to another Nature Watch. I usually put out food for some robins on a certain spot in Ffaldau garden, but last week I postponed it as it was raining. A robin came at its usual spot on the fence, looked at me intently, at the empty feeding station and then burst into song, as if demanding his customary meal. I put some down a little nearer to me than usual and it landed immediately, even before. I got back to my seat. He´s got me well trained!

It does not usually feed until I am a good distance away, or out of its sight. I heard a robin sing on Tuesday 12th of February at about ten to midnight! He sang until about 1pm! This is unusual. It may be the mild weather or perhaps it´s a male recklessly in love with a female and can´t wait until the morning to express his love for his prospective mate! I heard it sing again a few nights later, it went on longer this time; the fire alarms went off, a fire engine turned up with its flashing blue lights; and still the robin sang on. That´s dedication for you! It may have been a female singing. It´s a mystery; but it was enchanting to hear the robin´s sad, sweet refrain in the still of the night.

Lyndon has bought £36.00 worth of bird food and feeders to put out on Ffaldau Garden. He has selected several different types of seed to attract different birds and has bought peanuts which we put in a special feeder. Lyndon also processes the peanuts to mix with suet to make a block which we put in another type of squirrel- proof feeder. He also makes porridge "cakes"and peanut balls which don´t last long!

Even the resident white cat looks forward to a piece of porridge cake every day! Many birds have begun to sing lately. The first was the song thrush who began to sing at the end of December, a few notes at first and then full song in January filling the air with his vibrant repertoire. The blackbird has begun to sing the odd few notes and I heard him sing for quite a while on Friday 22nd of February. The male´s beak and circle around the eye are bright yellow now. Many males are brighter in colour as the mating season approaches.

I have also heard the mistle thrush singing at the top of a tree in the pouring rain, living up to his nickname of "Stormcock". The mistle thrush has a song similar to the blackbird but not so fluty and has a wider repertoire of notes.

I have also noticed the jackdaws pairing off in the evenings as they fly above the hospital. On Monday, I saw a coal tit enter a hole in the low wall and didn't see him come out. He may have flown out the other side. It was probably looking for a possible nesting site, I have also seen starlings inspecting an old jackdaw's nest in a hole in the roof of one building. Many birds will re-visit old nests to assert territorial rights ready