Many Mouths to Feed

At this time of year many birds will be starting on their second broods after having been busy raising and feeding their first family. As soon as they hatch the parents begin an endless round of food collection and feeding. When I was watching the woodpeckers raise their young I counted them flying in with food 31 times in an hour!

I sat on the river Wharfe recently and photographed some busy parents collecting a variety of insects for their offspring. This dipper was nesting under a tuft of grass halfway up the span of a bridge.

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Close by a grey wagtail was also busy hoovering up the insects to feed the family.

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And this pied wagtail was obviously trying to set a new record for the number of bugs it could fit in its beak!

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All three were totally focussed on their job, as soon as they had enough they were away to the nest but were back almost straight away to begin the hunt again.

Dipper Di Doo Dah

On my riverbank adventures I seem to have a few regulars flitting in and out while I wait for my Kingfisher moment. One of these is a pair of Dippers which I have found hard to photograph. They are quite nervous birds and as they usually have their heads underwater are not the easiest of subjects. They also tend to be in flowing water with the reflective issues that creates. But today I think I nailed a couple of decent shots.

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