Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rained Off, Nearly

After a rather out of the ordinary but welcome dry spell of weather it’s not often in recent months that the rain stops me getting out as it almost did today. I watched the promised rain clouds hover above and listened to the persistent but just spitting rain drops on the conservatory roof, not nearly as bad as this morning’s BBC weather forecast graphics suggested. At 11am as I looked westwards the sky cleared briefly so I set out to check the Swallow nests at the Hambleton village smallholding I survey.


There was progress from a week ago with 7 nests now in various stages of construction, egg laying, incubation or feeding young. The first nest I checked had four or five tiny young of perhaps two days old showing the first signs of downy feather growth. Seeing newly emerged nestlings so reminds me of the close relationship between birds and reptiles.

Downy Swallow Chick

Two nests had four eggs which may or may not be complete clutches, as five is the norm in these parts. Two more nests had 2 eggs each, then another with 3 eggs. At the final nest only 6 feet off the ground I ducked to avoid fresh horse hair hanging from the nest, the give away to occupation, and found the nest lined and warm ready to accept the first egg.

A Pied Wagtail scurried about the driveway, but before I left to darkening clouds I checked on a few other friends, Danny the Shetland pony and the yet unnamed but promised to another Border Terrier pup.


No Name

Pied Wagtail

I’m note sure why but I associate gulls with rain so here are a couple of pictures of gulls. The first is Audouin’s Gull, one of the rarest gulls in the world, found only in the Mediterranean Sea and with a total population thought to number less than 10.000 birds. I really like the second photograph a Yellow-legged Gull, can’t explain why, but maybe it has something to do with the gull’s expression.

Audouin’s Gull

Yellow-legged Gull

The weather looks better for tomorrow, dry and sunny but a bit windy. Oh well, it will be an improvement on today.


Unravel said...

The swallow chick looks really strange and funny!
I've never imagined it'd be that downy.

chubskulit said...

Oh my gosh, you have wonderful critters over here in your blog. Thanks for sharing.

My camera critter post

jabblog said...

Beautiful shots! It must be so interesting to see the daily development - quite time-consuming too, no doubt. I hope the weather improves for you - it sounds similar to ours!

Pete Woodruff said...

Difficult to believe what the downy Swallow chick in the palm of your hand is capable of doing in the first few of months of its life....amazing stuff!

Lana Gramlich said...

The swallow chick & the puppy are just TOO precious! Thanks for this morning's smile. :)

Snap said...

What wonderful shots. Great info on the swallows and chicks. The pony and the Border Terrier. A real treat to visit! Happy Critter Day!

Hootin' Anni said...

I see gulls everywhere I look around my home...that puppy and the baby swallow is outstanding!!! And the one on the top of the bird house too.

My Camera Critters are 'museum quality'....Click Here to join me if you'd like to view them.

Paco Sales said...

Hola amigo, he visto tu blog, me encantan los animales, muy bien captados por tu camara y tu buen ojo, voy a seguir tu trabajo. Un saludo desde Menorca

Michael said...

Super pics. That chick is amazing - so small.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The Swallow chick is adorable, and the rest of your entries are such a treat, including the pony and the darling little pup-cub~

CherylK said...

This post is a real treat...the photos are priceless...all of them...but especially that tiny swallow chick. I learned something new, today! Thank you.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful series of photos! Love the birds and the horse. The chick is just adorable.

mick said...

Great photos and a very interesting post. Of course the puppy is very cute!

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