Sunday, 24 June 2018

Summertime, House-Martins Return

Summertime and the livin' is very easy for the cows out grazing in the sunshine while the farmers are so very busy gathering in the grass for the silage to feed the cows over winter. As always we are thinking ahead despite the temptation to sit and enjoy the glorious weather and planning the work schedule for the tractors and drivers for the next few days hoping the weather will hold so they can get all the contracting work done. We got our own silage clamp finished yesterday and all sheeted up as the next cut will be baled.

The Farmer & I were very thrilled this afternoon to realise that we have a colony of house-martins busily building their their neat little mud-nests under the eaves of the farmhouse along side the nests of the swallows. I have not known martins to be here in the thirty-odd years I've lived here though the Farmer says he remembers them in great numbers in his childhood. They can have arrived only in the past day or so as their nests are still very little more than a wodge (technical term!) of mud stuck to the wall in the shadow to the eaves. Why they should returned now is a great mystery, but wonderful. We shall be watching their progress with a fascinated eye and hope they will raise successful broods. We now have colonies of swifts shrieking and diving along with the madcap aerobatics of the swallows with their cheerful chatter and the pairs of martins busily chittering away to each other as they bring their beakfuls of mud to the wall, all living in and around the house and farm buildings and sharing the air space with the numbers of sparrows that are permanent residents.

Whilst walking along the drive the other day I was able to photograph this Speckled Wood butterfly as it rested briefly on a beech leaf. So beautiful.

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