Issue 16

Twitcher's World: 0.3

This is the latest installment of our bird watching experiences over the last few months. The last time we saw the changes from summer into autumn and the successful changes from chicks to adult birds.

The stressed-out parent birds have finally seen the hard work and dedication of weeks of feeding a nest full of hungry mouths finally taking flight and leaving the nest for the last time.

With the change in the seasons, the mild evenings are replaced by cold days and even colder nights, the hunt for food for the young is now replaced by the need for food for themselves as winter arrives and food and water become scarce for all the birds.

The native birds have now been left by the migratory birds such as swifts, swallows and house martins. They have been replaced by birds 'passing through' from the colder northern regions. They spend the winter here and will follow old tried and tested routes to see out the winter. Some visiting birds to be on the look out for will be redwings and the field fare, both of which are often mistaken for the mistle thrush as they do resemble one another so identification can be tricky.

As the winter progressed birds that would not normally be seen together in a group will put any rivalry aside in the daily search for food and this week, for example, there were half a dozen wagtails in the courtyard on Cardigan at one time looking for food. They were also mixed in with two robins, a blackbird and some sparrows, all keen to see what they could find to eat in the garden.

The winter will bring severe temperatures and this will make some birds quite daring in the look out for food. The robin, for example, will come right up to the garden window looking for food and will become quite cheeky in the process, often getting quite close to people if food is available.

chick in nest wanting more food

Picture By JaymieJ

The Christmas card image of a robin with snow all around him is very festive at this time of the year. However, the reality is that a lot of birds will not survive the winter. The combination of the cold and the lack of food will also make birds take chances and become prey to predators. Only the strongest will survive the winter. The young birds from this summer will find it difficult and many will not see the winter through.

However, on a lighter note, the winter is a great time for bird watching and the garden has birds of all sorts visiting it during the day. The owls have been heard by night in the trees behind the Clinic.

There has been no sighting of the peregrine for a while but a kestrel and a buzzard have been spotted overhead on a couple of occasions

The bird-watching seems to have caught on and on a recent day out a group of us visited the Wetlands Centre in Llanelli which was a great day out and will be reported on later

There is not much more to write this time but I hope more people become interested as the weeks go by and hopefully someone will spot a different of rare bird in the garden but if not there are still plenty of birds to watch in the meantime.