May 31st- yellowhammer and swift diary

A walk along the Cawton road this morning and we had close views of a male yellowhammer on a freshly tilled field. Yellowhammers are very common in hedgerows around Gilling; they are confiding and beautifully coloured, the lemon yellow head of the male contrasting with rich terracotta upper parts. Their song has accompanied our walks throughout lockdown and for me has a rather hypnotic quality. It is heard throughout the day and I associate it with warm summer days.

Swift diary
Our pair continue to incubate their two eggs. Apart from occasional flypasts by up to three birds before 9am all is very quiet. There is as yet little sign of younger prospecting birds. With a single pair like ours most people would probably not realise they have swifts nesting on their house.

Yesterday evening we had prospecting swift at twilight. I see this most years. As the light fades non breeding birds, usually on their own, race around the house occasionally landing on potential nest sites. After these brief bursts of high energy manoeuvres they spiral upwards to roost in the sky. Are these the next occupants of a colony I wonder? They seem to be following an urge to roost in a nest site without actually doing so.


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