July 10th- swifts and big shower clouds

The young swifts are benefitting from a much better day. It is still not particularly warm for July but the adults are coming back reasonably frequently with full throat pouches. Pressure is rising and it does look like we will have a few dry days. It will be interesting to see whether this brings a return of prospecting birds. Martin Calvert of Leeds Swifts had some prospecting birds back this morning, so I am optimistic that we will see some here soon.

There were some magnificent skies early in the afternoon with towering Cumulonimbus clouds moving north to south quite briskly. We had some heavy bursts of rain and one or two rumbles of thunder came from these storms but they were never close. I revelled in sketching some skies in watercolour today. The afternoon saw some warm sunny spells and I dared to hope that I might see some swifts screaming past the eaves again this evening.

The alarm clock will go off at 4am tomorrow morning as I ready myself for a turtle dove survey in the Ampleforth valley. I am looking forward to seeing the sky at dawn and hope to find some interesting species. Tomorrow’s diary will reveal the results…

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