And this is without actively looking out for them.
Some will be birds flying North'ish to get to their breeding grounds... I write "'ish" there because a lot of them.... some LBJs, some thrush-like, at least two groups of large waders and Tuesday morning a very large skein of geese.... have not been heading diagonally across and over us South to North.... rather WWSW to EENE, along the valley towards Petit Pressigny. They might, therefore, be following the river as a navigational aid.... even with all the management work taking place, the actual course of the Aigronne will not have changed appreciably in our lifetimes and those of our ancestors.... so, to a relatively short-lived bird, it is a fixed aid.
|Part of the skein of Brents... click to enlarge... the inset then shows the white 'flash' at the back.|
And there have been more noticeable changes, too, around the house....
Vanishing... Robins... our winter ones probably sing with Breton or even Kentish accents. We don't seem to have Robins around here in the summer.
Arriving... Black Redstart and Stonechat... the males making themselves very obvious on the tops of walls and potager posts, White Wagtail wagging around, Warblers flycatching from bief side bushes...
|Black Redstart [male]|
|White Wagtail male gathering nesting material...|
We will probably notice later that Greenfinch and Goldfinch numbers have decreased as they move to their breeding territory and use the feeders less.
|My feeder...FILL IT!!|
|OK...MY millet, then!|
|"Such ill-manners", said Mr Creosote...|
And changes in attitude... birds that are normally feeding quietly are now getting more aggressive with each other... male Chaffinches, Sparrows and Tits spend a lot of time just chasing around... not just trying to get someone else off the feeder, but really trying to get them out of the tree.
Even the Moorhens have been becoming more territorial... chasing the juveniles away... especially the male, he's the worst. There is a difference between the sexes that is not in the books... the male Moorhen has a larger red plate above the bill... noticeable when they are together under the feeder... broader and slightly higher up the forehead than the female. There is, however, a difference... possibly only in the breeding season.... between the two sexes in the tail... the male cannot seem to be able to tuck the white outer feathers away... so, when viewed from the front, even if you can't distinguish the difference in the plate, the male is the one who goes around with the tail more erect with the white showing. Even one of the juveniles.... the one the resident male is most agressive toward... seems to be having difficulty with the white sides... probably another male on the way.
And Pauline mentioned to me that the Bluetits are busy at one of the holes in the barn wall....
And that afternoon [at 4:10PM]... we had a flight of Cranes over... they used a thermal from the big steel-clad sheds at Grandmont to gain more height.
|Circling in the thermal|