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There are newly fledged birds throughout the parish. Young Swallows hawk in family groups over the ripening barley alongside the railway line. They occasionally perch precariously on a wire fence whilst their parents fly around in escort duty. This must be their first foray – their short tails give away their relative youth and their approach has an air of easily distracted youth about it.
Down at Oxnead Mill the Kingfishers call constantly as their progeny explore the immediate territory for the first time. They are still being fed and the parents run a shuttle service up and down stream calling as they approach with newly caught fish. 
As I approach the Town Field a young Buzzard rises from its perch in a scrubby oak. A few falls of its wings before it gathers the rising air and sails higher in a spiralling vortex. I watch it scanning the ground as it circles higher.  

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The Harvest Moon sailed through clear skies over the village following last weeks autumn equinox. During the same evening four straggling House Martins circled over the cottages. They had stopped off on their trip south. The majority of Martins appear to have left over the last ten days or so. The Swallows went earlier, they made their way south soon after the afternoon of15th September – when I watched a family group hawking for insects low over the wheat stubble.

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First Swallows

April 21, 2012

This morning, before the rains returned, two Swallows swooped and turned over the grazing meadows. I wondered whether they felt that they had arrived too early as the weather turned to rain. The last swallows that I had seen were the late leaving laggards of last autumn, but the spring arrivals in north-west Spain. They flew around in the warmth of a Barcelona evening amongst the Parakeets and Spotless Starlings of the Parc de la Cuitadella; the wet northern spring must come as quite a shock.