The soprano bleating of twin lambs is a surprise. Lambs appear in April so this must have been a rogue mating. Those born early in spring are plump and robust.
Brightness falls from the air, clouds veiling the light. Swallows zip across the pasture hunting insects and back to the trees about the farm. I hear kestrel calling to each other and realise they have young too. So I search for them along the tops of dry-stone walls where the dark shapes of corvids show. A kestrel sits atop a pole and photographs reveal an adult female with barred tail and moustachial stripe. She shares her territory with swallows.
Coincidence determines what a morning's birding brings. Good light gives a better chance for a photographer. Kestrel were silent on my previous visits. Only their calls made me aware they raise young. From day to day the swallows show in different locations across their habitat and I have to search to find them. Those upright top-stones on dry-stone walls give fledglings some shelter. Farmland attracts hirundines with cattle and sheep droppings attracting insects, a food-source for birds.
Working out how these different species live and die together is a puzzle.
6 th July and radio 4 has an item on the gannet colony on Bass Rock. Last summer, avian flu threatened the birds and saw significant numbers lost. This year suggests the worst is past. A warden with two decades of experience on the Bass Rock gives a graphic picture and tells of a surprise return of adult gannet who seemed to avoid the rock last spring and now return to breed. She pieces together what's happening by observation and inference.