It is very much the breeding season for birds right now and all around us there is enormous energy being expended in finding and defending territory, attracting a mate, laying eggs and raising the young.

After the last two weeks high spescies counts in the arboretum a 7am foray this morning turned up some 30 species, down from the 50 and 60 of earlier in the month indicating that the migrants heading further north have refuelled and pushed along.  meanwhile the ones that are still with us are going to be residents – breeding residents we hope.

European Starling bringing food to his nest

Song Sparrow on territory

Red-winged Blackbird displaying - territorial assertion

Mallard ... at least two pairs are nesting in a hay field at the arbo

Meanwhile, in the last seven days of hot, humid weather the flowers have grown amazingly fast – the iris are especially good at the moment

Iris (arboretum)

High Summer