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Pied Flycatcher Joy

I have already met some great, enthusiastic naturalists here in Wales, most having lovely plots, where they are doing what they can to support wildlife on their land. When people have realised what I do, they are usually happy to talk about the wildlife successes they have and this led me to Laura, who told me she had both redstart and pied flycatchers nesting in nest boxes she had made! You can imagine how excited I was at hearing this. These two species are certainly not a common bird to have nesting in your garden, but when I met Laura and she showed me her beautiful plot, with woodland and meadows, surrounded by the rolling hills of Carmarthenshire, I could see why these species would want to raise a family here!

I visited Laura earlier in the year, to take a look at the boxes and their location. I know there are redstart seen here, near my home (not that I have seen one yet) but I don't know if pied flycatchers are near me. I built some boxes, similar to hers and tried to locate them in a similar set up, although my place is not as wooded as Laura's. The great tits nested in one of the boxes and are currently raising 5 chicks in there.

Laura said she would let me know when they were around and raising chicks, as she monitors all the boxes on her site.

Today, I went to see if I could watch the pied flycatchers who were actively feeding chicks from a nest box on the edge of one of her woodlands. Sadly, she has not had the redstarts in boxes this year and a number of the other pied flycatcher nests seemed to have failed, possibly through predation.

I have only seen pied flycatchers once and it was so long ago, I can't remember where it was I saw them, so this was a bit of a treat. After watching them through my binoculars for some time, I settled in a field , hidden by some foliage and waited. They were pretty sporadic with their movements, but did like landing on the barbed wire, some way from the nest box.

I was able to take a few nice shots, all of these are pretty heavily cropped as I did not want to get too close. All were using a Canon 100-400mm lens on my R6. Luckily, I quite like shots of the birds in context with their landscape. It was just lovely to see them and be able to watch them for a bit. They are incredibly aerobatic, twisting and turning in mid-air to pluck flies and other insects from the sky.

Thank you, Laura for sharing these beautiful birds with me.


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