All a bit quiet I am afraid
I am afraid one way or another and I haven't been out and about recently. Mind you the weather and light has not been inspiring, much like today, warm but grey and overcast, perhaps where you are it has been better.
I am fortunate to live within one hundred paces of a watercourse, in fact it is one of the reason for buying the property I am in. So today it was a late lunch and a stroll before the rains arrived, and as I write they appear to be here any moment and by the looks of it with thunder for good measure.
So my stroll always involve a beeline to the watercourse, and sure enough as approached a flash of brilliant blue and a kingfisher shot off in the other direction. The watercourse isn't maintained and is heavily overgrown with willow, ideal habitat... for all sorts of things. In fact the big old Willow directly in front of me as I approach has been circumnavigated by a Greater Spotted Woodpecker. The Moorhen are always hidden under the overgrown margins.
I was fortunate enough last year to follow and photograph a family of five kingfishers and it is reassuring to see kingfishers again this year, although I have been concerned about mink and human disturbance, which has prevented me from pursuing them with any intensity. If you know when and where to look you can often come across one or two, but they are gone in a flash, literally, if you do not approach with great stealth, but even then there is no guarantee of a sighting. I must have spent days in hours spent sitting and waiting until all feeling has disappeared from various parts of the anatomy. I intended to set up a hide this year, but it hasn't happened.
I hope to add the story of last years exploits and sightings at a later date. So in the meantime one of the images from last year – if only to illustrate the difficulty in obtaining a clear view of these fabulous little birds.
I don't know if it was the impending change in the weather, you could feel the change in atmospheric pressure but everything was as quiet as a mouse. There seemed something wrong. No birds were singing, the silence was deafening – all very odd. A few Blackbirds scurried about and one of the many Magpie. A couple of Mallard in moult and unusually three Moorhen (unusual as it's normally an odd one). I checked in on a Wren's nest I know and thankfully all was peaceful. A Brown Hawker dragonfly was looking for prey, coursing one location, but moving so fast I had no chance... one day! A Comma butterfly was feeding on some blackberry flowers and there appears to have been a sudden influx of Gatekeeper butterflies, they were everywhere. All the damselflies appear to have disappeared but that might be something to do with the weather. And finally, recently the Goldfinches have been in the garden feeding the noisy and flapping children.
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