Tyn y Cwm  'Small house in the Valley' Holiday Home - Bird watching heaven in tranquil Mid-Wales
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Daytime Hedgehog
Friut and Butterflies
First departures
Plenty of nests and eggs
First Eggs and Cuckoo back

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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.

Nest Boxes and Bats

Nest box time again, some of my original ones must have been out for around 14 years, and despite some running repairs have had their day. 3 definitely need replacing so hopefully there will be 3 extra ones this year. They have been painted since the photo and have added a slate lid to improve weather proof ability.
Birds galore on the feeders and the marsh tit is now a daily visitor, but have never seen more than 1 at any time, but surely there most be. Redpoll seen again this year and spotted a treecreeper whilst in the lower garden this week.

Winter is Coming

Strong winds and the first frost tell us summer is now well behind us. 
We actually have had a week away in the sun of Spain, only to return to find the runner bean arch and a tree peony had been blown over. The archway which had been in place since the start of our garden on 2003 has served us very well, but there has been a feeling it had shaded parts of the garden over much, so perhaps the opportunity now to see if it improves things with it gone. Next year will use poles in wig wags for the beans.

Nearly all fledged

Been a while since the last update and a lot has happened, the blue tits have fledged, but sadly one nest didn't, I found all 11 chicks dead inside, so presumably the parents were killed. The redstart nest was quickly made, 6 eggs laid. The box just behind the summer house gave us wonderful sightings of the parents daily. Now all fledged too, and before the pied flycatchers, which have just started, 2 nests gone, 3 still to go.
Pete the bird ringer has been down from the north to ring the pied flycatchers, and has stated this is the earliest date he has had to ring them in all his 42years of ringing, an interesting fact.
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