It's been a great day today, sunny bright and beautiful. Not only a nice day, but more birds than ever before out at my Dartmoor pool. I have built a little hide between two gorse bushes and right on the edge of the tiny pool.I have been watching the pool this July, the same weeks as 2010. It's been quite remarkable because I have seen pretty much the same birds this year as last. The hide is very well concealed and if the birds (and mammals....... more info later) were aware of it they have certainly, now accepted it as part of the terrain. It is very well concealed because I dont want it to be vandalised. Birds have included a pair of Yellowhammer. The bird above is a female, I didn't manage to photograph the male today, but saw him very quickly as he came in for a drink with his mate. Again I was trying to photograph Linnets and today I almost got something special but it just wouldn't turn around to face the camera! Never the less, with even more patience I will get some good photos of this species.
So, Linnets and Yellowhammers.......... it was turning in to a good day. But I haven't told you about the bathing Meadow Pipit yet. It has been odd because last year Meadow Pipits were very regular visitors but this year I hadn't seen them, until today when I had a lovely young bird came down.
Then there was the Grey Wagtail. I see grey wags in all the places that I watch, down on the brook, on the River Teign and also out on the high moor so they are a bird that I seem to see so often, almost on every outing so I guess you could call them common. This one is a male but it's already losing it's breeding plumage.
Stonechats are still common on the moor but around the pool, even though I can hear them, they never ever come down to drink. I expect that this is probably because, being insects eaters they may get enough moisture from their prey? Linnets on the other hand being one of the two British species that feed entirely on seed obviously need to drink regularly, so the pool is a good place to observe them. Anyway, a male Stonechat did perch close by and a cracked off quite a nice shot.