South West Wales

Swansea Valley pub's webcam birds fly the nest

Millers Arms owners Steve and Delyth Jones with an image from inside the nesting box
Image caption The chicks nested for two weeks at the Miller's Arms run by Steve and Delyth Jones.

A family of young birds have flown the nest - watched by a crowd of pub regulars via a webcam in the pub garden's bird box.

The landlords at the Miller's Arms in Ynystawe set up the camera and have been screening the blue tits live on the pub's screen.

Locals have chosen to watch the birds over rugby or football games in the two weeks since the eggs were laid.

All six chicks successfully fledged over the course of one morning.

Steve and Delyth Jones originally linked the camera to their own television in their home above the pub so that their children could follow the blue tits' progress.

But then they thought the drinkers may be interested, so hooked it up to the big screen.

The birds flew the nest on Friday morning between 1000 BST and 1200 BST, although some were quicker to leave than others.

Mrs Jones said: "It was quite a moment. We watched four disappear all together but then the two littlest ones took two hours longer.

"The RSPB were here on that day to promote conservation and the charity and at 10 Steve came around and said, 'they're going!'.

"We sat for about an hour and just watched. Mum and dad were sat on a branch beckoning and tweeting. We could hear the noise building inside the box."

The parents took the first four fledglings away in the direction of the river and for a while Mrs Jones was worried they would not return for the remaining two.

"I thought, she's not coming back for them and I had visions of me putting them in a shoebox and giving them to the RSPB to release, but mum and dad did come back and then two hours later they took the plunge," she said.

"It was fabulous. We've had such fun with them. It was so interesting - they filled our couple of weeks.

"Life is very boring withouth them."

The pub is hoping the parents may return to the bird box at a later date, although they have been told it is quite rare for this to happen.

Mrs Jones added: "I would have loved to have strapped a little camera to one of their feet to see where they go and if they stay around here but it's impossible of course.

"I'll have to get Bill Oddie here to ask him for tips."

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