bird behaviour, Daily blog from Gilling East, Sketchbook, Sketching outside

June 11th- redstarts, pied flycatchers and swift diary

Tolly and I had a very early trip to the North York Moors this morning. We went to see pied flycatchers and redstarts. We were lucky to see both very well. The male pied flycatcher is a little black and white gem. They contrast so well against fresh green foliage. The male was busy feeding young with his mate. Both dart around the woods very fast when looking for food. The only chance to see them well is when they perch briefly before entering the nest hole.

We were spoilt for choice because a pair of redstarts were also showing well. The male sang on an open perch for a while giving us superb views. He was very fluffed up in the cold conditions. We found some wild strawberries to feast on to keep us going for breakfast! This was a welcome trip out, but we feel keen to continue our coverage of the local patch around Gilling East. As the weather improves in the next few days we are keen to walk the Holbeck again and see how our local birds are doing. So expect more local updates in the coming days and weeks.

Swift Diary
Some older non breeding birds returned yesterday afternoon though they have not yet been putting on low level flying displays around the colony. Our pair continue to incubate with the prospect of the eggs hatching in the next few days. We are still awaiting fine weather. Today is atrocious with both swifts huddled in the nest box throughout the afternoon, but on this day last year the same pair didn’t leave the nest box at all with wind and rain keeping the temperature below 10C, so some improvement!

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