Tyn y Cwm  'Small house in the Valley' Holiday Home - Bird watching heaven in tranquil Mid-Wales
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Swallows, Pied Flycatchers and Hedgehog Dens
Great when a plan comes together
Disney Valley
Daytime Hedgehog
Friut and Butterflies

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Swallows, Pied Flycatchers and Hedgehog Dens


Been a good week, swallows back on 16th and Pied flycatchers on 18th. In fact have seen many of both since the first sighting. Two Blue Tits have started building nests and I think a sparrow is building one in a nest box in the garden. A first for us, although the purpose built sparrow boxes put up on the house are not being used yet.
There was a nice find in the week when I finally checked out what the dogs were sniffing at in the wood and discovered a hedgehog den under a pile of leaves, 100 yards up in the wood. Later on I confirmed that it was our hedgie, the daytime one eyed daytime hedgehog. He has taken to calling around at the kitchen door, after being fed up in the top garden.

Great when a plan comes together

Last September when our daytime hedgehog mate turned up, it was suggested I make a hedgehog box. Having done so, I was advised by my grand daughter that it wasn't up to the task, so a second one was made which was acceptable.
It was unused through the winter, but we were still really pleased when hedgie showed up mid February, still sticking to his daytime visits. on reasonable days he turns up looking for his food, although one day it was 7.30am.
Yesterday a friend visited and I noticed her dog paying attention to the hedgehog home, taking a look, there inside was the hedgehog, was I pleased.

Disney Valley

Lovely article in the Times in December. There weekend walk  started at our village pub 'The Trout' then a 6 1/2 mile around our local area, including a slight detour to the viewpoint of Cribyn Bedw that is directly above us, where the writer describes our valley thus 'Far below lay a side valley that might have been modelled by Disney, so perfect were the proportions  of its fields, hedges, farm, chapel and forested slopes.'
We always thought it beautiful here, so it's nice someone else thought the same.

Daytime Hedgehog

Driving into our yard on Tuesday afternoon this week were surprised to find a hedgehog wondering about on the gravel.
As they are not meant to be out in the daytime, put it into a box, feed it, then released it in the evening in our top garden. Next afternoon there it was going around in the field next to ours. Boxed it up, feed it and called for advice.
Noticed it only has one eye, but otherwise seemed fine, certainly no issues getting around. Advised to release it in evening. This we did and then two days later it's back in the garden, just after lunch time checking out under the bird feeders.

Friut and Butterflies


Sorry it's been a while since the last blog. Been a busy summer with glorious sunshine and produce galore.
   The best two Garden Open days we have ever had, 105 came in June, then 120 in August, over £2000 raised, a great result.
    Thankfully the river next to the lower garden helped to keep it watered when no rain fell, but the lack of rain caused problems in the house, being on our own spring water supply we found it stopped flowing meaning bottled water for drinking and buckets of water for flushing toilets.

First departures

Lots has been happening, the cuckoo's are going non stop, often two can be heard. The spotted flycatcher has returned only to find its normal nest site has been occupied by house martins which appear to be back in large numbers and making their nests frantically. The spotted flycatcher were seen checking out various other possible sites, even one got trapped in the greenhouse, thankfully I noticed it and released it.
The Pied Wagtails in the summer house fledged safely at the end of last week.

Plenty of nests and eggs

Lovely weather has started lots of activity in the nest boxes. Checked my 29 nest boxes and 21 have some form of use.
11 have eggs, 7 Blue tits, 2 Pied Flycatcher, a Great Tit and Pied Wagtail.
Two nests have sitters so complete. First sign today of the Pied Flycatchers blue eggs with 1 and 2 laid in  2 nests.
A couple of nests seem to have had nothing added in the last few days, others have what seem complete nests constructed in a week, and a couple of  others started in the last two days.

First Eggs and Cuckoo back

First eggs have been laid, 4 Blue tit eggs in a nest box and 4 Pied Wagtails in a nest built on a ledge in the summer house. Checked nest boxes and it seems 7 Pied Flycatcher nests have started, although Blue Tit nests still low this year so far. Whilst sat down watching a nest box a Tawny Owl popped out of a hole in the tree next to me. Not sure who was more surprised at seeing the other. Heard a Cuckoo this morning, always a joy to know they have returned, also heard and saw a Wood warbler in the wood.

Coming Back

It's that great time of year when the migrants return, and with the sunshine over the last few days all seems fine.
Swallows seen here first,14th April, Pied Flycatcher the next day then Redstart later in week. No Cuckoo heard yet, hopefully soon. Nests started being made, Blue Tits so far, but Pied Flycatcher was looking in box today. Pied Wagtail making nest in summer house.
Daffs are lovely, snakeshead fritillary's looking good too..

Edward, buntings, bats & frogspawn at last.

Frog spawn finally arrived on 22nd March. The frogs were active but twice they got hit back by the cold spells this month. The latest we have ever had to wait for frog spawn, since we have been here.
A couple of firsts were seeing a brown long eared bat in one of the barns, hanging onto a beam. Then a bunting on the bird feeders, I think a Reed Bunting. Also have had long tailed tits and a redpoll on the feeders occasionally. Sadly the chickens were attacked and four killed, including Charlie our cock bird.
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