The summer gives way to autumn and the roof visitors take a complete change too. The warmer months bring swathes of Swallows, resting on the roof between seemingly taking relays to encircle the house catching flying insects.
Straight after mowing the grass it becomes a free for all as I have disturbed everything to the air.
Alas, Autumn has arrived and the Swallows have given way to the Pied Wagtails. On a nice day like this it is a joy to sit outside and watch them gather and saunter along the rooftop tiles with their distinctive black and white colour and the almost comical great tail wagging as they perch.
Well not so much sitting still either, always on the go they are.
This one showed me exactly what he thought.
I suppose it is perfect territory for them here. The open farmlands and grassland of the Eden Valley, with the great River Eden not too far one way and the steams and becks flowing through woods etc all around.
They are often also found in well lit built up areas. The sounds of the birds with the wagging tails. Grouping on roofs far and wide, ready to roost. Or of course wagging its tail along the lawn enjoying a feast of little beasts.
The Pied Wagtail is seen throughout the UK all year round. In fact it is almost a sole British bird but with small populations in our nearest European neighbours like France and Belgium. In Europe you will more likely see a White Wagtail.
They feed on insects and quite often in big groups so here they are certainly interested after I have mowed the grass.
When insects are scarce they will eat seeds and even our refuse, they don’t care.
You see them often in city and supermarket car parks too. Walking and wagging, looking for food scraps.
The pied wagtail is distinctively more black and white than other wagtail cousins. The Grey Wagtail is different in that it is grey but a big yellow flash.
Today was one of those rare calm blue sky days so took the opportunity to spend five minutes snapping a few of them. Thanks so much for looking 🙂