Buzzards over Didcot

By | Category: Travel rumblings
one of the osprey's in mid-Wales that has returned again this year

one of the osprey’s in mid-Wales that has returned again this year

As my train came into Didcot Station in Oxfordshire, five buzzards languished overhead and I thought to myself that this has been quite a spring for bird-watchers.

I cannot remember seeing so many swallows as have been swooping through our village this year but then I can’t remember quite so many insects around either. The warm weather seems to have encouraged both and, from my kitchen window I can see the birds darting around, their whitish bellies silhouetted against the green of the leaves all the way down the gorge. And bullfinchs. I know they are supposed to be a common bird but I never saw so many as seem to be around this year.

Even the crows are interesting. They have been taking peanuts and crusts of bread and dropping them in the birdbath to soften them and remove the casings around the nuts. They have been caching some of the bread and going back to it later. Maybe they think we might be having a hard winter. Not that they will suffer down here given the amount of bird food that is sold in the shop in the village. Their deliveries are on pallets!

In my part of north Pembrokeshire, Red Kite sightings are an everyday occurrence, so much so that people don’t point them out when they fly over. A few years ago, there would be an avid conversation amongst people if they spotted one. If a day went by without me seeing one  it would be a surprise.

I have to confess that we don’t get ospreys but people still travel up in their thousands to see the nesting group at Ynys Hir but they are one of the birds that may become as frequent as the red kite in a few more decades. Between them, these two birds have reinforced this part of wales as a place for bird-watchers to come. It used to be all walkers and ramblers with the occasional cyclist. Now the bird watchers come and a few hides have been set up in places along rivers to enable people to catch sight of kingfishers. And otters which seem to be doing well.

In all some forty different birds have been spotted locally according to the blackboard in the village that lists the different varieties that people have seen.  And there are still weeks of summer ahead before the migrations begin. And weeks of birdwatchers adding to the tourist numbers of Pembrokeshire.


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