Friday 26 July 2013

Where have all the flowers gone?

Friday 26 July

Not so much flowers as birds in this very hot weather!  Even my non-birding friends are freely talking about not seeing their usual eagles and small birds of prey (usually Common Kestrels) this year in any numbers.  Normally, we would be seeing Short-toed Eagles on a daily basis from early March onwards.  Jenny saw one back, I think, in early April but I had to wait until late yesterday afternoon for my first sighting in the "usual" dead tree on the opposite slope of the mountain.  Indeed, I only found the bird as I had been drawn to the upper terrace by the calling of the Ravens.  The day before we had a family of five on and around the  land below us and yesterday four were seen an hundred or so meres away.

Quite a day yesterday having seen both Barn and Red-rumped Swallows along with House Martin and Common Swift over the house.  Then, early evening sitting on the terrace trying to finish my latest Robert Crais novel I heard the chatter of young Barn Swallows.  Eventually, a total of ten resting on the TV wire from the dish to the house as they watched their parents (?) feeding/drinking over the pool.  Then the fun really started as the youngsters tried out this drinking experience for themselves.  Obviously, finding it difficult to grasp the idea of skimming the water so often a smack as the birds actually landed in the drink and then had to make a hasty upward flight.  All very well taking photos with a small camera but, in the end , I just sat in the pool on the steps alongside the corner and watched form a lower viewpoint.  Fascinating and wonderful at the same time.

No sign of the Short-toed eagle to day but the Barn Swallows have reappeared so, presumably, they are gig to continue their drinking lessons.  No doubt, they will also be joined by the Red-rumped Swallow family that usually graces us with their sight and pleasure.  Meanwhile, there seem to be loads of Thekla Larks about so they have, presumably, had a good breeding season.

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