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Thursday, July 20, 2006

What a good place to be...

Last month we had an influx of housemartins into the area as they arrived for their own spring break. Em and I were treated to a dazzling aerobatic display of diving and chasing when we were out walking beyond the canal. Soon after this a small brood took up residence under the eves of our neighbours' house; this proved to be a mixture of delightful and distracting as they very noisily called between themselves at incredibly unsocial hours of the morning just a few feet from our bedroom window.

The first photo shows adult housemartins busily feeding the young in the evening.

The whole row of backgardens was a feeding ground for them as they would swoop and dive after the rising insects. Their ability to turn is amazing; serious g's for any pilot that tried it. It is almost impossible to catch them in flight, at least for me it is; I don't have the reaction time nor the patience to sit still for long enough to get lucky. However, I did get lucky once and by sheer fluke managed to capture one of the birds as it approached the nest to feed the young.

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