Friday, 25 July 2008

"Autumn" Gathering

The Telephone wires at East Langdon had a good number of Swallows gathering on them this afternoon. Swallows seem to enjoy these meeting points and their squeaky twittering can be heard constantly. It always seems to signal the approach of Autumn when the wires are full of Swallows, but bird seasons run ahead of ours by a few weeks.

Most of the birds there were juveniles, with short tails and rather dull coloured plumage. These will be from the first clutches of the summer.

A few adults joined them, still looking remarkably smart considering they'd raised a brood, even the tail streamers have partly survived. Normally a pair will raise two broods, very occasionally three. The first clutch is around five and the second normally four.

The new "most" in East Landon has provided a god site for Swallow to feed on the insects over the water and a female Mallard and two young were feeding there while I was watching. I never saw her with a bigger family, but I expect this is a second brood and they are usually smaller than the first attempt.

The Blackbirds in our garden have produced yet more young. This rather startled, tailess individual stood looking bemused when I came out the back door. There were a couple of others around in the bushes making the "seep seep" call.

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