June 17th   Leave a comment

The continuing wet weather of the week is probably now making a real difference to a lot of birds. A walk anywhere through vegetation this week resulted in a soaking. I saw a buzzard on Wednesday morning sitting in a tree with its wings held out like a cormorant, presumably trying to drip dry. For any birds fledging this week, this wet is a disaster. Fledglings don’t develop all their body feathering until a week or two after leaving the nest and are really vulnerable to getting wet and cold. Timing is everything and there is always an element of luck for every brood during a Scottish summer. One silver lining of the bad weather, at least for me, has been it forcing down all the swallows and swifts to hawk very low in their search for the insects downed as well. At Kilrenny last Tuesday the house martins were hawking over the rape at arm’s length. There is something quite special to be surrounded by swallows and martins as they twist past impossibly fast and sure, so close you can hear their bills snapping when they catch a fly.

Close fly-by from a house martin

Close fly-by from a house martin

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Posted June 19, 2016 by aboutcrail in Sightings

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