Tuesday, April 19, 2011

House Martins

I've been looking out for them for a little while now, although it's still quite early, for Scotland. We said goodbye to the house martins that congregated in the village, way back in September. It's always a sad day when the last one leaves, because it's a sure sign that winter is on its way. And then we forgot about them, and fed the robins and sparrows and most of all the jackdaws that populate our chimneys right through the winter. I love these birds - they seem to be such characters, such individuals, as I watch them out of my bathroom window! Perhaps they appreciate the central heating. Smoke doesn't seem to bother them, and they have been replenishing their nests for some months now. But round about now, we generally remember the swallows and the house martins and hope they make it back again. Then a friend said that the swallows and martins were on Arran and I thought it wouldn't be too long before they were back here, too.

Sitting out in the garden tonight, drinking a glass of wine with relatives, we saw the first of them, three or four, those characteristic shapes silhouetted against the sky. More will come. And soon. There is the remains of last year's nest, on our gable end, and the fiery little sparrows have not yet commandeered it. So we're hoping that the house martins hurry up, that soon we'll see them swooping past, that they will build here again. They're lucky birds, you see. Or that's what we believe. It's a lucky house that shelters them. And we're always glad when they choose our house for their summer season!

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