Saturday, 25 April 2009

Where did they perch before there were wires?

As I was driving to one the TETRADs I'm surveying I noticed this Swallow on a wire. They're always on wires, where did they perch before we put wires all over the countryside.? I stopped the car almost underneath it, opened the roof vent and took some photos. It wasn't very cooperative, it would have been better the other way round. The streamers are nice and long and as yet unworn. By the end of the breeding season they will probably be worn and broken. Female Swallows seem to think size does matter, the males with the best streamers are the winners in the mating game, and the dominant males will displace lesser males that are already paired up, it's a brutal world.

Near Northbourne there's a plastic lined farm reservoir that you can see into. It looks totally sterile but when looked in I heard the characteristic call of a Common Sandpiper. The horribly exposed picture above shows it and its' shadow flying along.

The plastic was very reflective and not ideal for pictures. I did notice a lot of small Crane Flies around, it may of been these that it was feeding on along the edge of the water.

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