18 Jul 2014

Swifts over the garden

The warm weather recently has resulted in huge numbers of flying ants locally and this has attracted the Black-headed Gulls and Swifts to feed over the garden. Some of the Swifts have been coming quite low so I stood on the lawn with the camera trying to get some decent shots as they zoomed overhead.

The first photo seems to show the bird has a bulging bolus of insects in its mouth as its throat is extended. I'm not sure if these are local birds or have come from further afield. They seemed to be hanging around unlike the large passage of 3-400+ birds that passed over earlier all heading in the same direction. Its frustrating trying to get flight shots as they're so quick! A fly over Raven was a bonus  but the real surprise was the Pipistrelle bat hunting in broad daylight around 5 pm. How did it know there was a hatch of ants?

The recent warm humid weather has led to a huge number of recently formed frogs exiting the local pond. At one point I counted over a hundred 2 cm long froglets  - I know this as the neighbours kids were collecting them in a bucket and moving them to the safety of an overgrown patch of nettles to stop the Magpies and Jackdaws eating them all.

I mentioned recently I'd bought a new macro lens. I haven't had much time to play with it but here's a couple of shots of a Common Poppy in the garden and an orchid in the conservatory. Its an awesome lens and as I get used to it I'll be using it to photograph insects.


DaveE said...

Nice swift photos.
Screaming swifts are one of my favourite summer sounds.
Unfortunately there seem to be less and less of them each year in my part of Wirral.

Phil Woollen. said...

Same here Dave but I think the recent warm spell has helped. I've certainly seen more over the house this year than in previous years. They may not necessarily be local breeders as Swifts will travel hundreds of miles in search of a food source to feed their young.