Summer Lekkin’

First signs of the moult
First signs of the moult

Also just worth recording in brief the fact the blackcock continue to display and call into June, despite the fact that a close encounter last night revealed that the moult has begun and the feathers on the back of the head and around the collar are beginning to get tatty. I picked up a few feathers from a roost heap the other day, but can only commend the determination of isolated birds who just don’t know when to stop.

Some more experienced bods and scientists are always surprised to find that the blackcock on my ground continue to display into June, since the general trend is for birds in low densities to confine their calls to April and not a second longer. It seems that my birds this year are as determined as their predecessors, and the archetypal anthem of the spring has continued into these long days of midges and speedwell, when the horizon only turns blue for an hour or two each night.

I have fingers crossed for the greyhens, but having watched a fox scouring through the grass on the neighbour’s ground last week at a distance of several hundred yards, I must admit that my hair turned a little white.


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