We went to the Chew Valley Lake Bird Fair yesterday, mainly to look at camera gear, but also for a spot of bird watching. The weather was wet and windy for most of the day so there were very few small birds about, but we we were pleased to see good numbers of Sand and House Martins and Swallows, hawking for insects over the lake.
Clearly the change in wind direction had finally allowed good numbers of these summer migrants to arrive for the breeding season. On the way home we also saw a few Swallows flying over the fields near Peasmarsh alongside the A358 so we can at least say they have arrived locally too!
We were also lucky to see a raft of four Velvet Scoter duck out on a very choppy lake at Chew. These birds are actually sea duck and are normally seen on the East coast of GB so the recent easterly winds have presumably blown them off course. The large expanse of water at Chew was probably a welcome sight and they chose to rest before continuing to their summer breeding sites in the far noth of Europe. http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/v/velvetscoter/index.aspx
The wet and windy weather continued today, so the only birding was to be done from the kitchen window. The Blue and Great tits were feeding on the seed, fat balls and nuts on the bird feeders, which no doubt was a necessity as the insects are being washed out of the air.
Let's hope the weather improves soon or another poor breeding season will befall our feathered friends yet again!.