Another fine day, but with a strong Easterly breeze. We have had day after day of unbroken sunshine. You have to be careful what you wish for, but as an artist I am rather missing clouds now. The ground is very dry and we could really do with a good soaking. My son has a school project on sounds, so we walked down to the sand martin colony to listen to their distinctive calls. The strong wind in the Scots pine trees was a great start; the ivy cladding the tall, straight trunks rustled, the harsh sound increasing in volume with each gust. By contrast the wind through the pine needles above was soothing. We listened intensely to each birdsong, this morning we heard sand martin, stock dove, woodpigeon, goldfinch, greenfinch, great tit and blackbird. Finally we stopped by the spring and listened to the water dropping into the beck.
I watched a goldfinch feeding on the dandelions this morning. A small percentage of the cadmium yellow flowers are now turning to seed and they are quick to spot this. This beautiful species clamours over garden feeders these days and I am grateful for that, but somehow seeing a pair quietly feeding on dandelions, which I had deliberately left, made me look anew. Not the mass riot of colour of a flock, but time to study individual markings and behaviour.