That puzzling sound was a willow warbler, trapped on a prong of barbed wire

Talsarnau, Gwynedd 

The pastures on either side, which teemed with estuarine birdlife in the winter months, were deserted. With my glass, I scanned sentinel oak and ash trees that stand where once all was sand. In a lone Scots pine two carrion crows chuckled to each other. I searched the alder and willow carrs, and the beds of phragmites that flourish in the shelter of the sea wall and line the long, straight, drainage dykes. I looked for the dark head and close-set ears of swimming mink, which flourish here, hunting rabbits, taking young birds. But I saw none this time.

Willow Warbler SBS

As I came near the estuary, a puzzling sound captured my attention – a frantic whirring, like plastic flapping in the wind. I hastened to the source of it. A bird, caught by one leg on a prong of barbed wire, was spinning round and round, trying to escape. I held it, passed it back round the wire to free the leg.

Find out the fate of this poor bird at Country Diary in the Guardian here


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