Monday, 18 October 2010

Last of the Summer Swallows?

The seasons are changing and it want be long before migrating Swallows are a thing of the passed. This afternoon I wandered round the paddock hoping to come across some little gem that had taken the wrong turning, but I didn't hear a "tic", or "tac" out of place.

There was a steady trickle of Swallows overhead and today they were moving south. In 1978 I spent three months in Johannesburg, commissioning a pharmaceutical plant, and near the hotel I stayed in there was a smallish nature reserve that held over a million roosting Barn Swallows. I don't know where the ones that pass through here end up, but it would be fun to think that some end in that reed bed.

Every time a chat appears there's a fleeting hope that one of the invasion ( there's been about a dozen on the UK east coast) of Red-flanked Bluetails might put in appearance. It's always a Robin, and their plaintive winter song is now the dominant sound around Bockhill. If you are near a hedge or scattered bushes, then they will be one or more singing.

Another noticeable event at this time of year is the huge number of gulls that pass over the village as it gets dark. Dover harbour must be full of roosting gulls. I suppose that I ought to go down and check through them some mornings, we have had both Glaucous and Iceland in the past and there should be a chance of Caspian, or a real rarity sometime. That will have to wait a while, at the moment there's still a chance of finding something at Bockhill.

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