A rainy day in late spring brought some unexpected bonuses to the Dearne Valley. Any insects on the wing flew nearer the ground. With them came their hunters. Swift, sand martin, house martin and a handful of swallow chased their prey over the hedges, banks and waters of Old Moor.

Over the patter of rain, you could hear the excited screams of the swift and the occasional chirrups of the martins.

Here’s what else was noted today…

Colder weather and heavy rain did not seem to slow the shelducklings. All nine were still doing well and feeding along with their parents on the Wader Scrape.

Looking slightly bedraggled, a pair of redshank worked their way around the edges of the scrape. Every now and then, their piping calls distracted from the kreearrs of the black-headed gulls.

Sharing the waters edges, young pied wagtails seemed especially noticeable today.

But it was those martins and swifts that stole the show. Skimming a few inches from the hide windows, they expertly traced the outlines of Old Moor. And no amount of rain was going to slow them down.

Until next time.