Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Hot, Hot Hot!

It wasn't too long ago that I was having a quiet moan about the delayed summer but this week has brought heat with a vengeance, 40C being reached yesterday. Rather than taking shelter from the temperature, the golden orioles seem to be welcoming it and one male has been singing away near to my house for over a week now. The clear notes carry a long distance and this bird can often be heard from half a kilometre away. Despite this, because he often sings from the very top of the trees, I can usually pick his bright yellow and black out with binoculars.
Another species which relishes the conditions is the black kite. Large numbers of these birds are taking advantage of the frantic harvesting which is taking place at present as they patrol the stubble fields looking for casualties of the combines. I saw over a dozen yesterday as I drove a couple of visitors to Limoges airport and I arrived at a friend's BBQ in the evening to be told that I had just missed the spectacle of about forty raptors, mainly black kites sharing a thermal.
On the side of my house the young kestrels are now viewing the world from their nesting hole and elsewhere in the garden family groups of finches, blackbirds, tits and sparrows are being taught to start looking after themselves. The local blackcap and chiffchaff are still singing but the whitethroat has curiously gone quiet; perhaps it's too hot for him.

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