Locally we have mixed news. Our local common sandpipers were predated; less than a week after we found the nest. We hope it was early enough in the breeding season for them to try again elsewhere on a less disturbed field. The nest of our spotted flycatchers was also destroyed (corvids or squirrels? Let's say squirrels). The pair is still around and frequently found flycatching over the river but we don't know whether they are nesting elsewhere. Our blue tits fledged successfully. Unfortunately, we didn't check the box until all but one had left so we don't know how many were reared. The local great spotted woodpeckers reared at least three chicks and we delight with their attempts to get food from our various feeders. They appear to have different preferences with one hogging the peanut feeder, one enjoying the suet cake and one feeding on the ground. The parents still go non-stop for the suet log.
Whilst my mum was here I did have the chance to do a bit of birding whilst we were out and about. On our Borth walk I was very lucky to have found a little stint. But as I've never found such a good bird on my own and because Dave was away over night, I was unsure about what I had until we checked my distant record shots together the next day. So unfortunately it didn't make it into the local news. The three of us also had a very nice day at Ynys-hir. The local woodland birds showed well and I was able to get my mum onto a singing wood warbler, pied flycatchers visiting their nestbox and a male redstart. An added bonus for her was a willow warbler sitting relaxed in a tree in front of us having a very thorough preen.
Today we went on a lovely walk in the Wye valley and discovered juveniles of both stonechats and whinchats (photo). They appeared to be quite independent already and were able to find their own food. Also a delight were the activities of a family of wrens with at least four chicks.
We also managed to finally catch up with ring ouzel on one of our walks. Although the views weren't brilliant, a positive ID was made on the silvery wing panels in flight. Not too long ago a treat was in store for Dave when he had a close encounter with a polecat up in the hills. And I had a personal highlight when I went to one of the best sites for marsh fritillary butterfly in Wales which is also one of the sites I will base my MSc research project on. So far this summer we have also been lucky with the dragonflies. Four-spotted chaser (top right) were aplenty in the bog pools at Ynys-hir; we discovered freshly emerged male broad-bodied chaser (bottom left) at a permanent puddle on our local "Yellowhammer-walk" and encountered an also freshly emerged golden-ringed dragonfly (bottom right) in a scenic valley at Lake Vyrnwy.