I’m Back in Birdland


The last two years has taught me many things. We moved to a new house on a new estate almost at sea level without a single mature tree in sight. The only regular avian visitors were the gulls on the weekly waste collection day. Their cousins, the magpies paid occasional visits but the smaller birds were not tempted into the estate from the rail embankments in the middle distance.

In two months of late autumn at the Redrow Grange in Wenvoe there has been a return to the good old days. First to show were a pair of pied wagtails flitting on and off a neighbours roof taking insects in flight and then swooping away to another perch. My favourite garden bird the Robin struts his stuff on the eaves of the garage staking his territorial claim, then hopping and skipping along the fence and shrubs picking up seeds and grubs. His companion is little Jenny Wren, as small as the tip of my thumb, but neat and fast. Shy, yet cheeky enough to explore the potted shrubs on the patio particularly the Christmas fir even though smaller than the smallest bauble.

On my dog walks there are more wrens dipping in and out of the hedgerow above the Close while chaffinches and blue tits skip away from branch to branch in front of me and close in behind me reclaiming their territory. Our dog often pulls at the lead desperate to go play with the blackbirds that skit about at ground level.

In the bit of woodland near the garden centre I often hear the ratatat of a woodpecker and am fairly sure from odd glimpses that it is a lesser spotted. And I have also seen a creeper picking off insects as it hops upside down on the trunk. Too far away to be sure it’s a tree creeper.

The skies over Wenvoe were busy in October with echelons of geese flying southeast and honking away. Now it’s jackdaws and the occasional buzzards but my binoculars were too well stored to get in time to see the Ravens in January.

This all seems quite ordinary. But our time in the Quays has made me appreciate these everyday sightings.