A pair of Green Herons Butorides virescens have been present at SpruceHaven since the spring and even though their breeding attempt seemed to have been thwarted they now are seen regularly with a single juvenile.
These birds are quite wary and slink back into dense vegetation if they feel even the slightest bit threatened. Fortunately, by knowing where they are, a little patience is rewarded with a sighting of one or more of the birds.
When I took these photographs a couple of days ago a family of Mallards Anas platyrynchos was preening and splashing in the water directly below the Green Heron.
The Mallards posed not the slightest threat but the Green Heron was clearly unhappy that they had invaded its space.
It made half-hearted jabs at them but the Mallards paid the heron no attention at all and finally it returned to the security of dense cover, as though to sulk in silence.
Our Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica colony is a thriving affair indeed and we have several nests in the barn with second clutches. In fact we will be banding again tomorrow evening.
The birds are frequently seen on the roof of the barn and perched along the eaves troughs and we are always happy when we spot a bird that we have banded this year.
I care not a fig for the Olympic Games and they seem to be far less about athletic performance than they do about drugs, corruption, self-interest and the determination of the IOC to have the games go ahead no matter what. The host country says to hell with its people, let's put on a good show. To hell with pollution, to hell with crime, to hell with clean water. And if the athletes take a few drugs to hell with that too.
Perhaps a few of these so called athletes should adopt the Barn Swallow as their inspiration. Six to eight weeks after they are born these little birds embark on a perilous migration to South America, encountering all manner of hazards along the way. And they do this unassisted, without benefit of anything to enhance their performance. Some of them will live to return next year and we look forward to welcoming them home.