Tyn y Cwm  'Small house in the Valley' Holiday Home - Bird watching heaven in tranquil Mid-Wales

Recent Posts

Tragedy in the nests
First Fledging
Chicks and Chickens
Bluebells and Egg
Wood Warblers back and first eggs


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Damaged Nest Boxes

Whilst checking the nest boxes today, phone substantial damage to two of them, whereby the entrance hole has been vastly increased by something.
We blame the woodpeckers, but haven't ever seen them doing it. Cleaned them out in late summer, and there positions are such that they are not visible on my daily walk through the wood so it was a bit of a surprise. Was able to carry out some simple repairs, so hopefully now usable. One other box had a little damage, which looked quite recent, so I'll try and keep a closer watch on it.

Barns nests

Sorry I haven't updated the blog as often as I normally do during the nesting season. 
All the nest box chicks have fledged, only Blue tits and Pied Flycatchers nested in them. The Blue Tits struggled, with one nest all the chicks died and the others fledged in the midst of a cool and wet week, with the number low to start.
The Pied Flycatchers were all good size broods 7 or 6. After the loss of one nest with the female dead on the first egg, the others all fledged.
Pete, our bird ringer friend, came and checked his numerous boxes and found mixed results with one site almost nil, yet another higher than in recent years, but also Blue Tits struggling in the weather.

First Chicks

The Blue Tits nests have started hatching, and it's delightful watching the parents working their socks off feeding their young. Had six Pied Flycatcher nests with eggs laid, sadly one female was found dead on the single egg. The others are 7 or 6 in number and hopefully all is well with them. Hadn't hatched as of 22nd May. Only Blue Tits and Pied Flycatchers in my nest boxes this year. Lots of other birds very active around, a Redstart all around the barns, but haven't found a nest yet, also Grey Wagtails regularly seen, along with the more usual birds.

Eggs, Pied Flycatchers and Cuckoo

As spring comes in, nesting has gone up a  notch. The Pied Flycatchers are back, apparently in good numbers and 5 nests have been started in my nest boxes. A total of 16 nests are now on the go, with 5 having eggs, mainly Blue Tits, but also a Sparrow. A first in any of my boxes. We have had a large number of sparrows around the front of the house for some years, nesting in the roof space. After some work blocking the roof off I put up 3 Sparrow Terrace boxes with 3 nests in each, and one is being used with 5 eggs so far.

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.
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