My study of the Firecrest this season has continued but part of the research will include comparing other individuals and upon finding my second territory.. I was completely shocked to find that this bird could also produce both Firecrest and Goldcrest songs... Suddenly I’m starting to think that perhaps this isn’t such a rare occurrence after-all. I’ve read that they are capable of producing both, but nobody I’ve spoken to had heard of this behaviour and I myself have never noticed it before. It goes to show that you can learn a lot by simply spending time with the species in the field and I’m glad that this year I’m able to do so under license.

The wood is also starting to fill up with male Pied Flycatchers, who are already starting to investigate nest boxes, even if they’re already occupied! A Bluetit family had a fight on their hands upon entering their nestbox to find this Pied Flycatcher was inside. This often happens and I’ve seen whole nests with a full clutch of eggs underneath a Pied Flycatchers nest. They are so loyal to their nest holes it’s unreal. Siskin are also back in the tree tops singing away, though this picture was taken at Ian’s Woodland Bird hide that still has a strong number of them visiting the feeders this spring, along with Greenfinch! almost a rare sight in most of gwent these days but I have a feeling that their numbers are picking back up.

The Violet Oil-beetle numbers have spiked this year, with 18 recorded on one visit JUST along the path, and the next day on a more thorough search, more than doubled that amount! Mostly smaller males amongst the taller grass which could easily be missed and stepped on. I feel so protective over this field its unreal, I even spoke with the owners to ensure their grandchildren are careful when playing in the field as I didn’t want to them causing any damage. I’ve grown quite attached to them.. They are pretty prone to being stepped on, as they’re fairly slow moving in the long grass and cannot fly, so if you do find a population of your own, please tread with care. St Marks Fly also out on storm at the moment which is a whole 2 weeks earlier than last year.