Early June - Summer has officially arrived … monsoons of rain; tornados of wind; flooding that would frighten even Noah; caravans and tents being swept away; agricultural shows being flattened; seaside promenades under three feet of water and lashed by waves. Hello! but we don’t mind, we’re British - we have to get on with it! Birds and animals have to do this all the time and very successful they are, too.
We walked out onto the Reserve early yesterday morning, after a day and night of more or less solid rain - the sun just beginning to break through and the wind having dropped. The air was humid. Through the farm buildings and along the Lonning, all the birds were singing, drinking, and bathing in the puddles would you believe! - preening their soaking feathers in the early morning sun. Even the Moorhens and Grebe were spending their time preening and rearranging their feathers - Wagtails and Swallows catching the early rise of insects.
The wetlands from the hide were a spectacular sight: buttercups, reeds and rushes … have never seen the place look so green with foliage! The calls of the Lapwings routinely chasing Crows and Black-headed Gulls which were intent on mobbing the Herons. Small parties of Teal and Mallard doing ‘circuits and bumps’ just for the sheer joy of it.
It brought to mind Wordworth’s wonderful lines:
"A ‘Birder’ could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company"
- I think, or something like that anyway! … and it would be much the same at Ullswater this morning, which isn’t far from here. Although there is some debate as to whether he wrote this about Ullswater or Rydal - we may never know!
But these birders were much too busy to speculate on such matters. What with Judith swinging the big lens into action at every movement in the hedgerows. How could we not wish to record such a wonderful morning after a night of storms - and pass on to you all the good news from Campfield.
We hope the photographs speak for themselves!
Singing male Chaffinch
Rather wet-looking Robin.
But nevermind, there was obviously an abundance of food with which to feed its young.
Another cheery male - this time a Dunnock.
Male Reed Bunting.
A rather silent and twitchy Whitethroat.
Very wet Tree Sparrow - possibly after a morning bath!
One of a pair of Bullfinch seen picking amongst the vegetation on the track.
Hare amongst lush meadow herbage.
Inquisitive calf - guest flock.
Pied Wagtail pair on farm buildings.
. . . taking advantage of the plentiful supply of flying insects.
Swallow with nesting material.
Roe Deer on mudflats.
Stag surveying the saltmarsh.
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