Normal service resumed

 Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

It has been two weeks since I last walked round the Patch. In those two weeks we have endured the ‘Beast from the East’ bringing the most significant fall of snow for many years, followed by a spell of much milder weather (11 degrees) and a defeat for Scotland’s rugby team. So normal service seems to have been resumed.

The last visit was all about winter birds like redwings and fieldfares with starling murmurations overhead. Now pussy willows are bursting out along the pathway and there seem to be many more singing birds in the trees. Great tits, blue tits, chaffinches and Cetti’s warblers bursting into song in the bright early morning conditions. There was much duck action with shoveler, gadwall and teal all splashing around in a frisky manner.

The bird that was far more noticeable on this visit though, was that of around eight singing male reed buntings. Whether more reed buntings had made their way in from the coast to the Avalon Marshes, or the ones that had stayed put and over-wintered in the reed-beds just decided to dust down their feathers and clear their throats for a good sing-song to see if there was any females interested in some company, I am not too sure.

Things definitely are changing, the light is different and the days are visibly lengthening.

It is not spring yet, but it is not far away.

Graeme Mitchell