The last week or so have been filled with birds as they do their spring thing. Last sunday we took a stroll along the banks of the River Wharfe near Tadcaster and were surprised to see a barn owl hunting backwards and forwards along the opposite bank before it swooped low and then disappeared for good (presumably with a belly full of vole or similar). On our way out of the town we passed a proud pheasant strutting his stuff along the flood bank and calling noisely to some imaginary female. He was still on the same spot when we returned an hour or so later. Nearby a colony of sandmartins were setting up nest in the eroded river banks and darting low and fast in formation over the river. High over our heads a red kite soared then attempted a descent only to be turned back by a pair of crows. Then on Monday we discovered a moorhen on her nest in the tiny stream that runs alongside the play park. She seemed quite unpeturbed by the noise of the children and had chosen the noisiest spot, so i took the opportunity of a sneak photo of her fine clutch of eggs when she briefly vacated her nest. Despite it being half term and having a mountain of work i managed to squeeze in a quick hours printing last night - meet Mister Starling.
(click image to buy)