"Arrival" Over Gallery, Cambridgeshire
Starting 16th May until 29th June, celebrating the arrival of the Over Gallery's Swifts! -) -)
I found this Swift huddled up and clinging to an artificial House Martin nest this morning. Clearly a victim of the very cold, windy and wet weather I decided to bring the bird inside to warm it up. It is resting in the dark and I will watch the birds in the camera box to see when they leave to feed. So far the weather has been so bad that haven’t left their nest box today, now 1.15pm. It could be that it would be sensible to release the bird tomorrow in fine weather.
Our partial albino swift, a male, arrived back on 16th May, five days later than last year and 2011. He arrived with a feather and began nest building immediately. His mate also arrived on this day and they roosted together overnight. Today, 23rd May they have spent alot of time in the nest box feathers puffed up to keep warm. Last night we had sleet and at by dawn there was a frost. Today heavy showers with hail, a tough time for swifts.
I have just produced a new Giclee print of Ampleforth Abbey from a painting completed at the end of October last year. The print is limited to 350 copies and signed, measures approximately 42cmx 30cm(actual image size) and will cost £75 excluding post and packing. Email email@example.com to order.
For a link to a recent article about me in the May edition of Yorkshire Life click here.
Spent an afternoon in very cool blustery weather at Castle Howard Lake. I have never seen so many Hirundines(swallows and martins). I estimate 2000 darkening the skies and feeding literally from the surface of the lake, flying into wind and dipping their heads to touch the surface of the water to take hatching insects. The spectacle was quite remarkable, but alarming at the same time, for many birds seemed to be really struggling. To the the north of the lake swallows were exhausted, resting on caravan rooves and even on molehills. The swifts were flying exceptionally low taking insects inches above the water and at times missing me by a few millimetres. In all, and it was impossible to count them accurately, I would make a wild guess at 1000 swallows, 500 sand martins, 500 house martins and at least 500 swifts.
An exhibition to celebrate the return of the over Gallery Swifts with Greg Poole, Carry Akroyd and Dafila Scott. The exhibition opens on Thursday 16th May(5- 8pm) and continues until 29th June, for more details including gallery opening hours click here.
Two beautiful but utterly different migrants were back in the area today. A Swift flew fast to the west not even tempted by the abundance of insect life by the surface of the lake. Living up to its name it was soon gone, its passage almost too quick to take in, but leaving me with the annual thrill of seeing my first Swift.
I had good views of a pair of Redstarts back on their territory. The male surely one of our most beautiful birds, vibrating his tail and sporadically singing, the weather was dull, not so the Redstart.