I recently dusted off my old guitar for something to do in the current situation, and discovered that I had turned into a very bad guitarist. I am pleased to report that after weeks of practice, I am back to being a very mediocre guitarist, and I still can’t play an Em7add11 chord.*
I was also rather disgruntled that almost the very moment I sent off my last GA Advertiser article (which you might remember, involved some species of birds that you can only find in the depths of the Clot) the whole thing was rendered null and void by the lockdown. It will go down on record as the most utterly pointless article I’ve ever written.
Sorry about that, but now I hope I can help you maintain your interest in wildlife, and over the next few months I can point you in the direction of some interesting things you will still be able to see from your house or flat during the current unpleasantness.
There is a temptation to talk about the easy stuff – sparrows, starlings and pigeons – which anyone can see from their balcony or window, but I’ve decided to make things a little more difficult by telling you about a bird which is quite common in our area, but which might take you a bit more effort to see.
If you are fortunate enough to have a garden, or even a few large potted plants dotted around outside your home, you will almost certainly have been visited by the little chap in my photograph. He’s a Sardinian Warbler, one of the most widespread birds of Iberia, and often the first indication you will have that he’s about will be a harsh loud rattle from deep in the undergrowth. He also has a scratchy song, which is often heard at this time of year, but the best sighting you are likely to get is of him diving into the cover of your plants. But keep watching, because during the breeding season the males are always keen to advertise, and you may get a view of him singing away at the top of one of your shrubs to attract a mate.
The female is a much duller, greyer bird, but she will also have that distinctive red eye. They feed on insects and small spiders, so they are useful in keeping the nasties away from your plants. If you have a large garden, you might even be lucky enough to have a nesting pair deep in your shrubbery! They are resident in our area all year round, but back in the UK they are very rare indeed, with only one or two seen each year.
*OK, if you got that joke I am very impressed!
You can see more photographs of birds from our area by visiting
See you next month.