Yesterday was more than a bird photography day, frankly it was a day that I wouldn't want to repeat too often. I have a tooth abcess and it needs sorting. Extraction was attempted and then the dentist gave up, he plans to take it out on Tuesday when the infection has been dealt with by strong antbiotics. So, battered and bruised, I painfuly, I went to the river to check on one of my Kingfisher nests. You may remeber that I have applied to Natural England for a License to photograph this nest site and am waiting to find out if I have been successful. In the meantime the success of this nest is in peril due to the massive amount of rain that has fallen this last two weeks. I sat watching about 100yards down stream, tucked away quietly to see if the birds were coming to the nest burrow. In the hour and half that I watched, no Kingfishers came to or from the nest. At one point a Kingfisher flew swiftly down the (wide) river opposite and made no attempt to come near the nest. I am, sadly therefore, assuming that the nest burrow has been flooded out and the chicks have been drowned. What with my flooded and failed Dipper nest, this is very sad and I am disappointed to say the least. The only compensation is that the birds will probably make another attempt to nest again and then, hopefully I will be in possession of the required license and I will be able to photograph the process. If drowned Kingfisher chicks arent bad enough, the Sand Martin colony in the same area hasn't even got going yet. In fact yesterday there was no sign of Sand Martin whatsoever whereas in previous years, by now burrows were dug and the colony was very active. Are the Sand Martins going to fail too?
In between the showers the air was clean and bright and the rain has cleaned everything up. I hadn't got my camera with me but I walked around the new fishing ponds just to have a look. 3 or 4 Wheatear obviously just arrived on migration, were feeding from the fence posts and it was so lovelly to see them. Wheatear are interesting because of their long migration, these birds now here, only yards from my house had just turned up having flown all the way from sub-Saharan Africa and who knows where they will end their journey to breed. I rushed back home for my camera, the air was clear and the light was good. When I returned 15 minutes later, they were still in the same place and posing beautifully, a real picture and a great photo opportunity. and one which I eagerly accepted.