The weather today was not as good as a year ago. I took a look at the Met Office forecast for RAF Waddington (just up the road), and that suggested overcast conditions with a 20% chance of a shower. In fairness the forecast wasn’t too far wrong, but when the only shower arrived, it was a bit of a downpour. We all took shelter under the trees, protecting the camera equipment from the rain.
The Nightingales were certainly in aural evidence, although this year we counted only 5 singing males. A couple made themselves seen, but spent most of the time out of the way. The other warblers were also a bit in short supply. We didn’t hear one Garden Warbler, but there were several Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff. Even the Swallows numbers were low. Some of this could have been the overcast conditions, but Michael told us of reports that many birds had been held up in their migration because of bad weather in Spain. Let’s hope it improves soon.
After lunch I went back to find the Nightingales again. One particularly took my interest, and I spent a good hour following it as it moved around its territory. Given the energy and volume this bird puts into its choral repertoires it is not surprising that it needs to refuel between performances. I watched as one bird sought out morsels in the undergrowth, occasionally coming to the edge of the hedging and into plain view on the paths. If only that had been more predictable, then I would have had some better photos. As it was I had to wait patiently for the bird to come to rest in its singing position.
|Getting ready to sing|
|At full volume|
|Pausing before an encore|
|Just having a rest|