We’re used to seeing swallows passing through and sometimes even attempt breeding but for the first time (to our knowledge!) a pair of swallows successfully reared chicks. The birds chose a relatively quiet, dark and undisturbed building to construct their nest. It was tucked out of the way and soon contained four eggs.
Four of these hatched:
…and all chicks successfully fledged….
QinetiQ staff cable tied the door of the building open to make sure the adult birds could move in and out freely – thanks guys!
For the last three years I have surveyed Hirta for Oystercatchers. Unusually this year, two pairs of birds held a territory in Village Bay, something I haven’t seen before. Great skuas give this Oystercatchers a hard time and I wasn’t hopeful that the birds would nest successfully – but they did! and what a great place to nest!
The Oystercatchers are great parents. While one bird is sitting tight incubating eggs, the other acts as a sentinel and keeps watch on the surrounding area.
The birds made a hell of a racket when disturbed, circle overhead, chase off other birds and for the first time ever I had one dive bomb me reminiscent of a bonxie attack!
I couldn’t get close enough to the chicks to get any decent images as the parents would alert the young causing them to take cover and hide. But, here’s a picture of two chicks, taken from at least 100m away.
Leach’s petrel chicks
I’ll write more about this in another post, but for now….. two Leach’s storm-petrels are using the nest boxes that were installed last year!