Having been out of the birding loop for a few weeks (including being out of the country for a couple), I returned to find that the steady march of Spring and Summer continues at pace.
My quest to see as many species of bird in a year benefitted from the fact that many Summer arrivals are now in our skies, trees, hedgerows, and reeds.
At the London Wetland Centre on Saturday, I added eight new birds to my year list, five of which were summer migrants…
Such as the noisy but secretive Reed Warbler:
… and the notoriously nondescript Garden Warbler (also notoriously badly named, as it is rarely found in gardens):
More difficult to photograph than even these shy warblers, were some of the speed demons of our summer skies, such as:
… and one of the few birds able to predate on such small and swift acrobats…
… although, while I watched it whip about effortlessly in the sky, it was simply feeding on insects and avoiding persistent mobbing from gulls (the photo below illustrating quite clearly how small the hobby is):
Also out patrolling the skies was a permanent UK resident:
Far out in the wetland, I noticed something scuttle past a roosting goose. You may need to look hard just to find it. Whilst the photo is poor, it clearly shows just how tiny Little Ringed Plovers are in comparison to the Canada Goose (and in response to your inevitably raised eyebrow, I don’t know why such a bulky bird finds it comfortable to sleep on one leg either!):
…and finally, another blurry shot of the last of the common UK pigeons to be added to my year list:
This set of birds took my tally of species up to 82 for the year so far. Here are a few more Spring snaps I took in Barnes:
And finally, letting everyone know that some birds are here all year round and that not everything changes…