Today I was invited to a local Buddhist retreat, originally to see if I could take on the task of erecting, maintaining and cleaning out the nest boxes, but also to see if this was a suitable venue to take my classes. The answer to this came almost immediately, as I opened the door of my car to be confronted with the call of a Nuthatch - a locally scarce bird. In quick succession I also heard Marsh Tits sneezing, the high-pitched call of a Treecreeper, the ugly screech of a Jay, and the flight call of a Green Woodpecker.
A walk round the site included patches of woodland, a walled garden, a couple of lakes, capacious lawns and rough grassland. There were other birds, including Siskins, Redpolls & Skylarks, but these were all heard rather than seen. There is a cafe, which is open Wednesdays to Sundays, a toilet, and a big enough car park, so this venue should have great potential for a spring visit to take advantage of the birdsong. Next a meeting with the owners is to be arranged to ensure that future visits may take place, but the prospects look very promising indeed.
Back at the car park many Hornets were flying around in the warm morning sunshine, whilst Red Admirals, Speckled Woods and Migrant Hawkers were on the wing - with only a Comma basking in the warmth.