04 August, 2012

The shepherd's companion - an update

On the 28th April, I posted about a Willie Wagtail nest which I had been watching near Baum's Weir. The birds were very busy over the summer months, but then when I returned in April, the nest was empty and the birds had moved on. Yesterday, I went back for another look to see a) what had become of the nest and b) whether there was any sign of the birds.
Willie Wagtail and nest, November, 2011

Willie Wagtail nest, April 2012
Willie Wagtail nest, August, 2012
Well, the remains of the nest were still in evidence, along with the fishing line and the twig, however it was looking even worse for wear than in April and there was no sign of the birds, in fact I did not see a Willie Wagtail the entire time I was there. Another change I noticed was that the spider who had taken up residence had either changed or undergone a serious alteration in web-spinning technique. April's web was less symmetrical and roughly triangular whilst the current web is far more regular and a more typically rounded shape.
Whilst the Willie Wagtails were absent, in contrast to my last visit, the cuckoos were very much in evidence. Whilst I could not see it, I could hear at least one Fan-tailed Cuckoo quite clearly from the moment I arrived. After snapping my shots of the nest, I headed a little further downriver and was rewarded with the following photo:
Brush Cuckoo near Baum's Weir, August 2012
The Brush Cuckoos it appears have also returned to await the arrival of the Willie Wagtails....


  1. Hi Jo
    I think it's a female Rose or Pink Robin rather than a Cuckoo. I'd need to get the books out to be sure.

  2. Hi Boobook,

    Pretty sure it was too big to be a robin. Haven't seen either species in this area before, although I did spot Flame Robins up on the hill behind this part of the river a few weeks back.