A Magpie in the garden

magpie in the gardenLast month, we returned home after a week away to find that a pair of Magpies had built their domed nest near our house, in one of the trees lining the street. This morning, I saw  one on the pavement, which was surprising as they are usually shy. In the afternoon, a Magpie exploring the garden was caught by the remote camera, and I based this sketch on the photo. The light was perfect to show the beautiful metallic shine of this bird.

Swift returning to its nest

Swift with food ball2

At the beginning of May, our sky becomes alive again with the masterful flight of the Swift. Their dizzying, screaming chasing parties circle at incredible speed around their breeding sites under gaps in roofs and eaves. A couple of days ago, I saw my first Swifts of the year, still migrating, very high in the sky. I based this drawing on a photo by David Moreton. It shows an adult swift with a food ball filling its throat, returning to its nest to feed its chicks.