Gail and I headed to our nest box scheme for Pied Flycatchers in the Hodder Valley this morning. Before we headed off into the woods with ladder, boxes and tools, we had a beautiful Stoat in full ermine! It was completely white, with just a black tip to its tail. A few weeks ago, in another bit of woodland, at this same site, we had a Stoat in partial ermine; stunning to see.
As we headed off into the woodland, we were accompanied by calling Nuthatches and a Mistle Thrush in full song. So loud, and vibrant, but at the same time with a liquid quality, as if its song was cascading from the top of the tree it was singing from.
Two Buzzards were displaying above the woodland, and a pair of Curlews across the river joined in with all the spring joyousness and enthralled us with their bubbling display flight.
We replaced seven dilapidated boxes, and put one extra up, taking the total number of boxes here to 42. It won't be long now before the Pied Flycatchers land on our shores from Africa. I can't wait!
My lovely assistant and other half, Gail. I didn't
really let her carry the ladder and boxes!