I knew this tetrad visit (late season breeding) was going to be the most difficult. Not just because I had to record evidence of successful breeding but because the birds now have so many leaves to hide behind! Indeed, apart from the hirundinidae (swifts, swallows & martins), the numbers were down on the previous count. Not that I don't think the birds are still there.... I was disappointed, however, not to see two pairs of lapwings in their territory - I hope they have been successful.
Recent rain seems to have impacted my tetrad this week - a section of footpath by the River Yarrow has collapsed and elsewhere a crack willow has lived up to its name and landed in a field of corn. By the looks of the cereals I'm the first person to navigate passed.I did find time to enjoy a buzzard circling over with its characteristic V-angled wings. And I'm always fascinated by the sheer speed and elegance of swallow and swifts as they brush just above the spires of corn, their wide mouths scooping up any insects in their paths. I always miss them when they migrate.
Photos for this post are by Mike Atkinson - use the link from this site to see more.