A single swift was above the village again this morning. It seemed strange standing outside on what felt like a Winter’s morning (7C with leaden skies) while watching a swift. It was cruising around very slowly, conserving energy. Through the binoculars I could clearly see that its body feathers were very ‘puffed up’. I am fairly sure that this bird has returned to nearby Gilling Castle, where a few pairs nest in the old stonework. It remains the only swift in the village for now.
Tolly and I went for a walk to see the sand martin colony this morning. It was surprisingly active given the cold weather, with three pairs feeding low over the river and occasionally investigating the banks. At least six swallows and a pair of house martins joined them.
On our walk back we stopped to watch a male house sparrow displaying. The display involved loud…
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