It's taken a long time this summer to see my first hobby so I watched the one that was hunting swallows near the bio farm for some time. It was the swallows' alarm calls which alerted me to his presence and it was fascinating to see how the intended victims quickly became the aggressor by ganging up to see him off. A few moments later I witnessed swallows adopting a simlar tactic by flying close to a family of red backed shrikes to disturb them from their hunting perches.
Thursday gave the garden some very welcome rain after the hot spell and today (Saturday) the birds seem much more active. As I write this in the early morning sunshine several families are busy flitting from shrub to tree and occasionally sitting on the lawn. The largest group is of blackcaps but there are also blue and great tits, robins, melodious warblers, greenfinches, goldfinches, chaffinches, blackbirds, sparrows, starlings and firecrest. The young moorhens are also chugging about on the pond.
Away from the garden, the Orioles seem to have finally stopped singing but I did hear a stone curlew calling on the plains last week. A pair of kingfishers brightened up the river near Lichère and there are plenty of red backed shrikes and stonechats about but many habitats appear to be rather quiet which is typical of much of August.