With the cold weather, days of snow and lots of rain recently, the birds have been making the most of our feeders here. We have spotted over 80 species of birds on our land, making it the perfect location for a birdwatching holiday.
Projects to encourage birds to visit, stay and hopefully nest include relaying hedges around our fields and along the drive, installing nest boxes for every size of bird right up to owls - although all we found this year in the owl boxes were some opportunistic wood pigeons!!, filling our feeders with different types of food ranging from peanuts, fat, mealworms, various seeds and bread to attract as wide a variety of birds as possible and planting wildflowers to increase naturally the food available by attracting more insects and leaving the seedheads on rather than pruning.
Sadly there are plenty of rare birds on the 'red list' in the UK, and the Willow Tit is one of these. There are only 3,400 breeding pairs in the whole of the UK. If you're wondering 'where can I see a Willow Tit?', we're incredibly lucky to have several of these beautiful birds regularly visiting our feeders making our cottages a brilliant place to spot Willow Tits:
As well as the Willow Tit, we also have robins, the gorgeous long tailed tits, blackbirds, chaffinches, the much-overlooked dunnocks, shy great spotted woodpeckers, bluetits, starlings, great tits, wrens and even great big fat pheasants who all make an appearance on or around our feeders. Other species here who prefer to keep a bit more of a distance are herons near the wildlife pond, stunning crossbils, buzzards keeping watch on the fence posts and in the summer, house martins and swallows.
For photographers, budding and professional alike, Cwmbiga Cottages makes a great base for a birdwatching holiday. Not forgetting that ever-so-slightly further afield you can watch ospreys at the nearby Llyn Clywedog, and the Red Kites feeding at Gigrin Farm. Even guests who before they got here were not interested in birds have reported furiously thumbing through the copies of the RSBP guides we have in the cottages to tick off what they've spotted on our feeders!