I've quoted D H Lawrence before when he said that you never see a bird that feels sorry for itself and so, grumpy or not, they all seem to be getting on with it. Swallows, house martins and swifts were all flying low today as they fed busily over the stubble and many of them seemed to be young birds practising their fly-catching skills. Red backed shrikes were perched upright on the hedgerows as I cycled past (there was a gap in the downpour this morning) and corn buntings were already gathering in post breeding flocks with at least 15 in the sunflowers.
Rock sparrows are not an easy bird to find in Charente, in fact I can recall seeing the species just once before this summer, but at least one pair appears to be breeding in the small settlement of Galvert just a couple of kilometres from my house.
For the record, it's still possible to find about forty species of birds within a couple of hours but nightingales have now largely stopped singing so are hard to locate. Orioles are still plentiful though and I saw three hoopoes last week. Other less common species that are turning up occasionally are black kites, stone curlews and hen harriers.
Apart from the birds, it's been delight to have posts of close views of hares and red squirrels during the last few weeks.