In my last post, I said it was too late for the house martins to raise a brood on my house this year – well, that’s exactly what they are doing! A few days ago when I got home from work I noticed that the patch of droppings beneath the nest had continued to grow and then I heard the chirping coming from the nest above.
Today when I was out cutting my grass, I walked beneath the nest a few times and on each pass the chicks chirped loudly. Looking up, I could see three little heads poking out through the narrow gap between the mud nest and the eaves.
Whilst it’s not at all unusual for house martin nests to be holding a brood of chicks at this time of year, I think it probably is quite unusual for a first brood to be so late. These chicks will have a bit of catching up to do with their neighbours as the skies around my house have a few families of house martins flying around in groups.
Last weekend I was out at the Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses and that area had very good numbers of both house martins and swallows. The swallows appeared to be preparing to leave for their warmer wintering grounds in South Africa, with large groups collecting on the power lines alongside the canal.
Whilst summer is turning to autumn, it’s nice to see the migrants haven’t quite finished their breeding for this year.