After days of gazing into the sky, a house martin finally flies over the garden. It was only one, and it may have been on its way further north, but it more than cheered up my annual clear up of the garden. The first one always seems to catch me by surprise; a brief call, a quick glimpse, and its gone. The moment instilled new energy into my gardening, and I can now look forward to lazy summer evenings of entertainment watching our little ‘torpedoes’ mastering the twilight sky. With swallows already busy, I now wait for the first swift in a few days time.
House martins nested under the eaves of next-door’s house for years, but alas no longer. Droppings from the nest finally proved too much for our sanitized neighbours, and plastic tails were attached to the apex of the roof by the nest site resulting in the birds deserting. I secretly vowed to put extra effort into my conservation work that summer to make up the loss, but how does one evaluate possibly three priceless broods of house martins? Thankfully for both the martins and us, the neighbours moved house and the new owners took away the plastic, but alas the birds have not returned. There are similar houses in the village they could use, and on the face of it there’s quite a choice, but who knows their exact requirements for a nest site. Is it the amount of overhang of the eaves, the colour of the rendering on the wall, white certainly looks to be the favourite, or maybe the texture of the rendering?
They’ve been back elsewhere for some time and pairs were already nest building under the eaves of one of the Penrice cottages yesterday. I hear that they’ve been increasing over large bodies of waters in the past week, but there are still just a few over our village. It will be a some days yet before they’re over the garden each day, but even then they come and go, and during periods of poor weather are absent altogether.