After an increasingly windy evening last Friday, where enthusiastic nature lovers spotted the variety of bats to be found in the outbuildings at Pentillie with bat enthusiast Tony, and a good look at the moths to be found in the woods with his wife Mary, nature was high on the agenda on Saturday morning! With filthy weather forecast for Saturday, the determined ‘ornithologists’ among us gathered with wellies, waterproofs and our binoculars in the early hours – well, 6am!
We were lucky with a break in the clouds, although it was still a little too windy to set up the mist nets. This didn’t stop the birds tweeting their hearts out and putting on a wonderful chorus. Our local bird expert and wildlife artist Dave Scott, ‘Scotty’, guided us through the gardens by pointing out the song thrush’s melodic song, surprising most of us with the knowledge that the wren is often one of the louder birds despite its diminutive size, and pointed out the chiff-chaff’s urgent warning cries as we got too close to its nest.
Scotty managed to find the chiff-chaff’s nest (see picture above), as well as that of a robin which was greeted with great excitement when he found 5 chicks nestled inside. Scotty also identified a huge variety of other bird calls, told us fascinating stories about the migration patterns of a number of different birds including the cuckoo, and reeled off plenty of anecdotes of his time spent waiting in hides for that elusive shot of a kingfisher capturing a fish.
The walk was finished with a coffee and a bacon rolls, exactly what we needed! We have pencilled in a date for ‘Scotty’ to come back in August (probably 9th August) for another Dawn Chorus walk, and bird ringing session, as the birds gather before their migration south begins.
Please do email us if you are interested in other nature walks, or would like to sign up for our newsletter to be kept up-to-date with all things Pentillie!