The Violets are starting to come out in the meadows and, as we can see above, Magpies are building their nests. Tentative signs that the season is starting to change.
It was time to do the Big Garden Birdwatch. This year we set ourselves up in a mobile hide down overlooking the feeders by the wild pond which seemed to be seeing the most action recently.
We saw the selection of birds that we were expecting such as Great Tits, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Green Finch, Dunnocks, Robins, Blackbird, Wood pigeon.
However, we also had this bird fly in to have a bath in the pond:
Its a Meadow Pipit and is the 58th species of bird that we have seen here.
In the afternoon, spurred on by the photo of the magpie carrying the twig, we finally got round to the job of putting up some new nest boxes.
I think we found good spots for them – thats about 35 boxes we have got up now. Its going to be so exciting in the Spring to see which ones get lodgers in.
We are getting frequent Tawny Owl visits. Here is the perch from a couple of nights ago:
On the strength of this, I have ordered a Tawny Owl nest box which should be arriving in the next couple of days. We have earmarked a good position for it, about 5m up a ivy-encrusted pine tree, with a branch for owlets to sit on and with a clear view out over the second meadow.
I read that Tawnys start prospecting potential nest sites in January and so we are probably too late for 2018 but you never do know.
Finally, I just want to mention the one eyed fox that comes to the peanuts every night: