A feeding frenzy of young swallows was one of the most impressive dramas of our stay on the South West coast of Scotland last month. The young birds were fledging and the aerobatics the parents performed to catch insects in flight for their offspring was utterly amazing. Time and time again they would wheel and dive and change direction so abruptly you would think they would leave their brains behind, let alone their stomachs.
These aerobatics went on for a day or two and then the young ones took to the sky and there was even more drama as their parents fed them on the wing and started teaching them some of the manoeuvres they would need in the future.
The birds we enjoyed watching most regularly were the blue tits, thrushes, gold finches, chaffinches and sparrows, but we saw many more than that. So add to the list herons, shell duck, curlews, oystercatchers, swans, red kites, and many, many more.
The flora and fauna, the whole natural environment, both on the shore and inland is the best thing about our visits to Scotland. I must remind myself that it is also the best thing about where we live and that we have very easy access to it all – but we are not quite so much in the midst of it all as we are when in Scotland.
Thank you. I don’t know about excellent but they were the best I could get.
Catching those two in mid-air qualifies as excellent to me!
That burst of activity, from swallows and their broods, is one we well remember from our time in the Preselis — the youngsters lined up on the ridge of the farmhouse roof being encouraged to leap up to grab insects in the adults’ beaks, in preparation for them taking independent wing. We always felt bereft when they all suddenly disappeared during September — no more friendly screaming from in high. Anyway, these photos brought back memories, thanks!
Thanks Chris, you are very welcome
I so enjoyed this avian post, Alastair, and your visit to Scotland. I could watch swallows flying all day long. (Expecting to return to WP next month. Have been in the intense process of post-fire rebuilding and it takes all my energy and more. But we are progressing, and will be able to move back home in Sept.)
Thank you Jet. Good to hear things are progressing for you.